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Everything You Need to Know about Tennessee's Sales Tax Holiday

Everything You Need to Know about Tennessee’s Sales Tax Holiday

Shoppers and retailers are getting ready for one of the biggest shopping events of the year, the Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday.

Sales of certain clothing, shoes, school supplies and computers are tax exempt during the annual Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday that will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 29 and ends Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

A favorite time for local residents, the Sales Tax Holiday also makes Sevier County a popular shopping destination for visitors due to the area’s outlet malls and retail stores. Many stores offer extended hours and sales during the weekend event, which is designed to help parents shopping for back to school supplies. However, all consumers can participate. Only businesses are excluded.

Clothing and shoes, as well as school and art supplies, that cost $100 or less per item are exempt from sales tax during the Sales Tax Holiday. Computers and tablets with a purchase price of $1,500 or less are also exempt. Qualifying items must be below the maximum price, but there is no limit to the number of items a shopper may buy.

Purchases of qualifying items bought in person from retail stores throughout Tennessee, and those by mail, telephone, email and from internet retailers will qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the Sales Tax Holiday period for immediate shipment to a Tennessee address, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

What items are included in the Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday?

Clothing items with a price of $100 or less

Clothing is defined as human wearing apparel suitable for general use. This includes shirts, dresses, pants, coats, gloves and mittens, hats and caps, hosiery, neckties, belts, sneakers, shoes, uniforms whether athletic or non-athletic, and scarves.

Clothing does not include belt buckles sold separately, patches and emblems sold separately, sewing equipment and supplies or sewing materials that become part of “clothing” such as thread, fabric, yarns and zippers.

While clothing is eligible for the holiday, clothing accessories, protective equipment and sport or recreational equipment are NOT eligible for the holiday and are subject to tax during the holiday period.

School Supplies with a price of $100 or less

A school supply is defined as an item used by a student in a course of study. Examples are binders, book bags, calculators, tape, chalk, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, notebooks, paper, rulers and scissors. School art supplies are defined as clay and glazes; acrylic, tempera and oil paints; paintbrushes for artwork; sketch and drawing pads; and watercolors.

Items excluded from the holiday (and therefore subject to sales tax) are school instructional materials and school computer supplies.

Computers with a price of $1500 or less

A computer is defined as a central processing unit (CPU), along with various other components including monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables to connect components, and preloaded software. While the CPU may be purchased separately, other items must be part of a bundled computer package in order to be eligible. If the computer purchase price is above $1,500 the entire amount is taxable as there is no provision to exempt a portion of the sales price.

Items excluded from the holiday are individual computer parts, such as monitors, keyboards, speakers, and scanners when not sold in conjunction with a CPU; individually purchased software or other software not part of a preloaded software package on the initial purchase of a computer; storage media, such as diskettes and compact disks; handheld electronic schedulers; personal digital assistants (PDAs); e-readers, video game consoles; and computer printers and supplies for printers, such as paper and ink.

Consumers with questions about the Sales Tax Holiday can find more information here.

Complete listing of TAX EXEMPT Items

Item Other Information
Aerobic clothing
Antique clothing (for wear)
Aprons/Clothing shields
Athletic socks
Baby clothes
Baby diapers
Baby receiving blankets
Bathing suits
Binders School supply
Blackboard Chalk School supply
Book Bags School supply
Boots, general purpose (winter,dress, cowboy, hiking)
Bow Ties
Bowling Shirts
Bridal Gowns and Bridal Veils
Calculators School supply
Camp Clothing
Cellophane Tape School supply
Chalk School supply
Chef Uniforms
Choir and Altar Clothing
Clay School art supplies are exempt .
Clerical Vestments
Clothing Exempt if $100 or less per item.
Compasses School supply
Composition Books School supply
Computers, Notebooks, Laptops, and Tablets Exempt if $1500 or less.   Includes CPU and other bundled components such as speakers, monitor, keyboard, mouse,
cables, and basic software.
Corsets and Corset Laces
Costumes, including novelty
chilldren’s costumes
Cowboy Boots
Crayons School supply
Diapers – (adult and baby, cloth or disposable)
Dress Gloves and Shoes
Ear Muffs
Erasers School supply
Folders – expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila School supply
Formal Clothing, purchased
Garters/Garter Belts
Girdles, Bras, and Corsets
Glazes School art supplies are exempt.
Glue, Paste, and Paste Sticks School supply
Golf Clothing (caps, dresses,
shirts, skirts, pants)
Graduation Caps and Gowns,
Gym Suits and Uniforms
Hats, general purpose: cowboy, baseball, knit
Highlighters School supply
Hiking boots
Hooded Shirts and Sweatshirts
Index Card Boxes School supply
Index Cards School supply
Jerseys, sports
Jogging Apparel
Jogging Bras
Knitted Caps and Hats
Lab Coats
Leather Clothing
Leg Warmers
Legal Pads School supply
Lunch Boxes School supply
Markers School supply
Neckwear, including ties and scarves
Nightgowns and Night Shirts
Notebooks School supply
Overshoes and Rubber Shoes
Pads, sketch and drawing School art supplies are exempt per legislation passed in 2007.
Paintbrushes, for artwork School art supplies are exempt.
Paints, acrylic, tempora, and oil School art supplies are exempt.
Paper – loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper School supply
Pencil Boxes School supply
Pencil Sharpeners School supply
Pencils School supply
Pens School supply
Poster Board School supply
Prom dresses
Protractors School supply
Raincoats, Rain Hats, and Ponchos
Religious Clothing
Rubber Thongs, Flip-Flops
Rulers School supply
Running Shoes, Without Cleats
School Art Supplies Clay and glazes, paints (acrylic, tempora, and oil), paintbrushes for artwork, sketch and drawing pads, and watercolors are
exempt per legislation passed in 2007.
School supplies Exempt if $100 or less per item.
School Supply Boxes School supply
School Uniforms
Scissors School supply
Scout uniforms
Shawls and Wraps
Shoe Inserts
Shoe Laces
Ski masks
Ski suits
Sleepwear, Nightgowns, Pajamas
Socks (including athletic)
Suits, Slacks, Jackets, and Sport Coats
Support Hose
Sweat Suits
Tablet Computer
Tennis skirts, dresses, shoes
Tuxedos, purchased
Undergarments, including longjohns
Uniforms Athletic or Non-Athletic
Veils Veils for general use are exempt.
Vests, except hunting and water
Walking shoes
Wedding Gowns $100 or less rule applies.
Writing Tablets


These items are NOT included the Sales Tax Holiday and remain TAXABLE

Item Other Information
Belt Buckles Belt buckles sold separately are not exempt.
Belts, tool
Boots, ski
Breathing Masks
Bridal apparel, other than gowns or veils
Cell Phones, including smart phones
Clothing Accessories or Equipment Incidental items worn on the person or in conjunction with clothing.
Compact Disks Computer storage media
Computer Software Basic computer software purchased with a bundled system is exempt. Individually purchased software and upgraded
software purchased with a bundled system is taxable.
Computer Storage Media Computer storage media (diskettes, compact disks), handheld electronic schedulers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), computer printers, and printer supplies (printer paper, printer
Diskettes Computer storage media
Electronic Readers
Electronic Schedulers School computer supply
Emblems Emblems sold separately are not exempt.
Face Shields
Fins, swim
Glasses, safety
Gloves, protective or welders’
Gloves, sports
Goggles, safety
Goggles, sports
Guards, sports hand, elbow, mouth, shin
Hair Notions
Hard Hats
Hearing Protectors
Jump Drives Computer storage media
Leased Items
Paintbrushes, other Paintbrushes not used for artwork are taxable.
Paints, other Only acrylic tempora, or oil paints defined as school art supplies are exempt.
Patches Patches sold separately are not exempt.
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) School computer supply
Printer Ink School computer supply
Printer Paper School computer supply
Printer Supplies School computer supply
Printers School computer supply
Protective Equipment Items for human wear and designed as protection of the wearer against injury or disease or as protections against damage or injury of other persons or property, but not suitable for general use.
Reference Books
Reference Maps
Rented Items
Respirators, paint or dust
School Computer Supplies Computer storage media (diskettes, compact disks), handheld electronic schedulers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), computer printers, and printer supplies (printer paper, printer ink).
School Instructional Material Reference books, and reference maps and globes.   Textbooks and workbooks exempt under existing law.
Sewing Equipment & Supplies
Sewing Materials Materials that become part of clothing are not exempt.
Shoes, ballet or tap
Shoes, cleated or spiked
Shoulder Pads for Dresses, Jackets, etc.
Shoulder Pads, sports
Skates, roller and ice
Ski Boots
Skin Diving Suits
Smart Phones
Sport or Recreational Equipment Items designed for human use and worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for
general use.
Thumb Drives
Tool Belts
Trade or Business, items used in
Video Game Consoles
Welders’ Gloves


About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I’ve spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.