Back-to-school deals key focus of tax-free holiday July 30-Aug. 2

Farragut shoppers will have a holiday from paying state sales tax twice this year — one for back-to-school clothing and supplies and another for restaurants.

For 2020 only, the Tennessee General Assembly has approved the two sales tax holiday weekends, during which certain items may be purchased tax free, not only to help shoppers save money but also to help support the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee Department of Revenue director of communications Kelly Cortesi stated in a recent press release.

“The first tax-free holiday weekend focuses on clothing and other back-to-school items,” Cortesi stated. “It begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 31, and ends Sunday, Aug. 2, at 11:59 p.m.

“During this time, consumers may purchase clothing, school supplies, computers and other qualifying electronic devices without paying sales tax,” she added, noting certain price restrictions apply.

“For school and art supplies and clothing, the threshold for qualifying items is $200 or less (a $100 increase from last year). For computers and other electronics, the price threshold is $3,000 or less (an increase from last year’s $1,500 threshold).”

She added exempt items sold online also are eligible, but pointed out consumers must purchase any items for personal use, not business or trade, to be exempt from the sales tax.

Tax-free items, costing $200 or less per item, include general apparel such has shirts, shoes, dresses, etc.; school and art supplies such as binders, books, backpacks, crayons, paper, pens, pencils and rulers; and art supplies such as glazes, clay, paints, drawing pads and artist paintbrushes.

Computers for personal use with a purchase price of $3,000 or less; as well as tablets, smart phones and electronic readers at a purchase price of $3,000 or less; and televisions and video game consoles with a purchase price of $3,000 or less, will be excluded from the sales tax on the first tax-free weekend.

“First, the threshold for tax-exempt items for the first holiday weekend — for clothing, school supplies and computers and electronics — has doubled,” Cortesi stated. “Secondly, consumers can also purchase video game consoles, televisions and smart phones tax-free during the first weekend, if they are priced under the $3,000 price threshold.

“Previously, the exemption was just for computers priced under $1,500,” she noted.

Second holiday

The second sales tax holiday weekend, which will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, and end at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 9, focuses on restaurant sales.

“During this time the retail sale of food and drink by restaurants and limited service restaurants, as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-4-102, is exempt from sales tax,” Cortesi stated.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated, restaurants are defined, in part, as “establishments that serve meals and drinks to patrons and have a seating capacity of at least 40 patrons.”

Limited service restaurants are defined, in part, as “establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and food and have a seating capacity of at least 40 patrons, with a majority of revenue being derived from the sale of alcoholic beverages.”

For more information about the sales tax holiday weekends, visit