Mark your calendars and save money

Sales tax waived for qualifying clothing, shoes

Back to school shoppers mark your calendars. Maryland's tax-free week is coming just in time for those school clothes purchases.

Starting Sunday, August 11 through August 17,  consumers who buy clothing and shoes priced $100 or less won't have to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax through the Shop Maryland program.

"This initiative helps consumers and gives retailers a boost in these financially unstable times," said Comptroller Peter Franchot. "All Maryland families have been impacted by the national recession and they deserve this annual tax break as they prepare to send their kids back to school."

Resulting from legislation passed in the 2007 special session of the Maryland General Assembly, a tax-free week will occur every year during the second week in August, until the legislature decides to revisit the issue. During this period, each qualifying article of clothing or footwear selling for $100 or less is exempt from sales tax, regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time.

Businesses selling items that are not eligible for inclusion in the tax-free week can still participate in Shop Maryland. Under "Sellers Privilege," other unqualified merchandise can be sold tax-free but the retailer is responsible for paying the sales tax owed to the state.

"During the back-to-school shopping season, tax-free week provides Maryland consumers with both an opportunity to shop at their local stores and to save 6 percent on clothing and shoes under $100 per item," said Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.

For more information on qualifying items, visit the Comptroller of Maryland's Website at http://www.marylandtaxes.com/, e-mail     shopmaryland@comp.state.md.us

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