Tax-Free Shopping

Clothing, footwear and textbooks are part of the tax breaks… not pets!

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminded students and parents of the back-to-school tax breaks on purchases of certain clothing and footwear and course textbooks for college students.

“It pays to keep this year-round tax break in mind, especially when making back-to-school shopping plans,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “The savings on purchases of clothing, footwear, and college textbooks can really add up.”

College textbooks

Course textbooks—when full-time or part-time college students purchase them—are also exempt from New York State and local sales and use taxes throughout the year.

Students can make qualifying purchases from any bookstore (including college or university bookstores), by mail order, or over the Internet.

If sales tax is erroneously charged, students can file state form AU-11 to receive a sales tax refund on the purchase.

Sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear

In New York State, qualifying clothing and footwear purchases are exempt from state sales tax year-round. Many states offer “sales tax holidays” leading up to the school year, but in New York State, clothing and footwear are always exempt from the state’s 4 percent sales tax when they are sold for less than $110.

Clothing and footwear items sold for less than $110 are also exempt from local sales tax year-round in New York City.

In 2017, the state exemption alone is expected to save New York shoppers more than $900 million. Savings from the combined state and local sales tax exemptions are about $1.3 billion annually.

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