Sales tax holiday weekend, now with food

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The start of school being just around the corner signals the return of the annual sales tax holiday weekend.

This year, as a response to the pandemic year, the Tennessee legislature has added two additional sales tax holidays, as well.

The traditional sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug, 1.

Clothing items and school and art supplies valued under $100 per item will be tax exempt over the weekend, as will personal computers, laptops, and tablets valued under $1,500.

As always, some merchandise does not qualify, including jewelry, purses, sporting or recreational equipment, printer supplies, or software, for example.

Qualifying items purchased online are also eligible.

New for this year, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday and extended until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, is a sales tax holiday on prepared food and groceries.

Food covers pretty much everything that one would eat or drink from a grocery or store.

Alcohol, tobacco, candy, and dietary supplements are still subject to sales taxes.

Any foods cooked by, made with two or more ingredients, or with which utensils are provided are exempt as prepared foods, whether from restaurants, food trucks, grocery stores, or caterers.

The prepared food exemption is another effort by the legislature to help restaurants in the state, which endured long closures last year.

The third tax break is an exemption for gun safety related equipment, such as gun safes, from sales taxes through the end of the state’s fiscal year, June 30, 2022.

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