TENNESSEE, USA — Tennesseans will get not one, not two, but three big opportunities to avoid paying sales tax in 2021, including one for back to school, a week-long break on food tax, and a year-long opportunity to save on gun safety equipment.
Gun Safes and Safety Equipment
The first one is the first-ever tax-free opportunity for equipment to make it safer to store or handle firearms.
Starting on July 1 at midnight through 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2022, consumers won't need to pay sales tax in Tennessee on gun safes or other safety equipment.
Gun safes are defined as "a locking container or other enclosure equipped with a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or other locking device that is designed and intended for the secure storage of one or more firearms."
A gun safety device can be any device that can be added to a gun to restrict who can use it "through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm."
Clothing, School Supplies and Computers
This is the one most Tennesseans are very familiar with. For one weekend, you don't have to pay sales tax on items to help get your kids back-to-school, though anyone can take advantage of the savings.
This year, the tax-free weekend will run from July 30-August 1. Here's what's eligible:
- Clothing priced up to $100. It does not include jewelry, purses, or sports equipment.
- School and art supplies priced up to $100 each
- Computers, laptops or tablets that cost less than $1,500. It does not include flash drives, software, printer supplies and household appliances.
Food, Food Ingredients and Prepared Food
This sales tax holiday also begins on Friday, July 30, but it runs for a whole week, through Thursday, August 5.
Food and ingredients you buy at the grocery store will be tax free, basically almost anything a person can eat. It does not include alcohol, tobacco, candy, or dietary supplements.
It also includes most things you can buy from restaurants, food trucks, caterers, or grocery stores.
Here's how the state defines what qualifies:
- Is sold in a heated state or heated by the seller,
- Contains two or more food ingredients mixed together by the seller for sale as a single item; or
- Is sold with eating utensils, such as plates, knives, forks, spoons, glasses, cups, napkins, or straws provided by the vendor.
Prepared food does not include food that is only cut, repackaged, or pasteurized by the seller, and eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and foods containing these raw animal foods requiring cooking by the consumer as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent foodborne illnesses.