Ohio Announces 2021 Back-to-School Sales and Use Tax Holiday April 23, 2021

Ohio Announces 2021 Back-to-School Sales and Use Tax Holiday
By: Jonathan Wolnik

Ohio will once again provide back-to-school shoppers with an August sales tax holiday.  The holiday will begin on Friday, August 6, 2021 at 12 AM and will end on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM.  During the sales tax holiday, only the following items will be exempt from sales and use tax, if they are not used in a trade or business:

  1. Clothing priced at $75 or less;
  2. School supplies priced at $20 or less; and
  3. School instructional materials priced at $20 or less.

There is no dollar limitation on the total purchase of a transaction in order to qualify for the holiday.  Rather, the sales tax exemption is determined on each individual item purchased during the dates noted above.  If an item to be purchased exceeds the price listed above, sales or use tax is due on the item’s entire purchase price.  For example, there is no exemption applicable to the first $75 of clothing if that item has a total purchase price in excess of $75.

The Ohio Department of Taxation provided the following definitions for the items subject to the holiday:

“Clothing” is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use.  “Clothing” includes, but is not limited to, shirts; blouses; sweaters; pants; shorts; skirts; dresses; uniforms (athletic and nonathletic); shoes and shoe laces; insoles for shoes; sneakers; sandals; boots; overshoes; slippers; steel-toed shoes; underwear; socks and stockings; hosiery; pantyhose; footlets; coats and jackets; rainwear; gloves and mittens for general use; hats and caps; ear muffs; belts and suspenders; neckties; scarves; aprons (household and shop); lab coats; athletic supporters; bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats; costumes; baby receiving blankets; diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers; rubber pants; garters and garter belts; girdles; formal wear; and wedding apparel.

“School supplies” include only the following items: binders; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; blackboard chalk; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila); glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards; index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers; notebooks; paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper; pencil boxes and other school supply boxes; pencil sharpeners;  pencils; pens; protractors; rulers; scissors; and writing tablets.

“School instructional material” includes only reference books, reference maps and globes, textbooks, and workbooks.

Considering the challenges facing the world and the economy, hopefully this small sales tax holiday will help boost Ohio’s economy.  As always, MLCL attorneys can assist with any questions retailers or buyers may have regarding sales tax compliance.

Jonathan Wolnik is an attorney at the Cleveland, OH-based law firm McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA.


While we would be thrilled to work with all individuals, institutions and companies that read our advisories, we  want to clarify that these insights do not form a lawyer-client relationship and represent only general guidance without access or reference to all of the specific facts and circumstances.  If you do wish to engage McCarthy Lebit on a specific matter, please contact us by calling 216-696-1422 or by filling out an inquiry form located here.  If you are already a firm client, please contact the McCarthy Lebit attorney you work with to discuss these advisories and/or the nature of your concern.  In closing, please understand that the law, especially during this pandemic, is changing rapidly and we would recommend that you regularly contact your legal counsel to ensure that your actions are taken based on the most up-to-date versions of the laws.

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