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Miss. sales tax holiday on tap

By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Posted: 11 am ET

With folks pinching their pennies ever tighter, 17 states are hoping to encourage shopping by offering sales tax breaks.

This time of year the events are usually characterized as back-to-school tax holidays. But it's not just classroom supplies that are exempt from sales taxes.

In fact, in Mississippi, which kicks off the 2011 round of late summer tax holidays this weekend, isn't offering any special tax exemption for school supplies or computers.

But the kiddos' back-to-school outfits could be exempt from Mississippi's 7 percent sales tax on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, as long as each piece of apparel and footwear costs less than $100. And the tax savings aren't limited to children's' clothing. If mom or dad find attire that meets the tax holiday guidelines, those items are tax free, too.

However, accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches and backpacks remain subject to sales tax.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue has compiled a tax holiday guide detailing what items are and aren't tax free. The guide also explains the rules regarding rain checks, special purchase offers and discounts, coupons and rebates.

In 2010, the Mississippi legislature gave cities the option to participate or not in the tax holiday. This year five cities have opted out and retailers in Bolton, Enterprise, Heidelberg, Magnolia and Crenshaw will be charging sales tax on all purchases there.

The bulk of the rest of the 2011 back-to-school sales tax holidays will be the first weekend in August. I'll provide specific dates and information on those events in upcoming blog posts.

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