It’s a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shopping that parents could really use. But there’s a lot you need to know.

First of all, with this year’s state budget finding New Jersey awash in cash, they were able to do this sort of thing. Don’t look for it in years to come. Expect a one-off.

Right now New Jersey is waiving its 6.625% sales tax on many back-to-school items. The first thing you need to know is don’t wait. It’s going on already but the last day is Sept. 6. So do not wait for that weekend after most schools start thinking you’ll play it safe and see what your kid’s teachers might add to or change from that list on the district site. It will be over.

Also if you’re a company looking to get a break on office supplies, forget it. The sales tax will only be waived for individuals and it has to be for items that are non-business use.

The range of items is wide but beware the cost must fall below certain amounts on some things. Example. Computers that are below $3,000 will have no sales tax added but at $3,000 and above no dice. Computer supplies must be below $1,000 to get the tax break. So don’t go wild.

The NJ State Division of Taxation has helpful information on their site to guide you with what things are going to be tax free.

Conspicuously absent from the list is back-to-school clothing. So don’t get excited thinking there’s any deal there on jewelry or accessories like purses and backpacks that are among the few taxable items in a clothing category.

School supplies on wooden table
tanuha2001, Getty Stock / ThinkStock

Think supplies.

Your basic back-to-school supplies like notebooks, calculators, pencils, paper, etc. are getting the break.

Books with globe on the school desk

School instructional materials are also included though. Examples offered on the state’s website are reference books, workbooks, maps and globes, and textbooks. This could be a big help for college students.

Photo by Kenny Nguyễn on Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Nguyễn on Unsplash

One other category of back-to-school supplies that will benefit from the sales tax holiday might surprise you. Sports equipment. Just a few of the examples given … ballet and tap shoes, mouth guards, shoulder pads, baseball gloves and bike helmets. Lots of others.

For the full list and other information about the back-to-school sales tax holiday ending September 6 go here.

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