The 2023 Ohio Tax-Free Weekend

The annual Ohio tax-free weekend can help you save on back-to-school shopping. Here’s how to save the most money.

Books pencils pen and magnifying glass on a shopping cart
(Image credit: Getty)

Update: The 2023 Ohio tax-free weekend has ended. Here are the highlights from this year.

The 2023 Ohio tax-free weekend ran from 12:00 AM on Friday, August 4 and ran until 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 6. That gave Ohio shoppers three full days to take advantage of tax savings. 

Families could save at least $5.75 on every $100 of eligible purchases made during the sales tax holiday. 

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Ohio tax-free weekend for 2023 

Only items for personal (or instructional) use were tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday. So, anything purchased for a business was taxable, even if the item would otherwise be exempt during the tax-free weekend. Here are some other rules.

  • Sets that include both taxable and tax-exempt items did not qualify for the sales tax holiday.
  • Clothing and footwear rentals were not tax-exempt.
  • Items placed on layaway during the sales tax holiday were tax-exempt.
  • Items picked up from layaway during the sales tax holiday were also tax-exempt.

What was included in Ohio’s tax-free weekend?

Ohio’s tax-free weekend included clothing, footwear, school supplies, and instructional material. But there were some exceptions. For example, each item of clothing must have been priced at $75 or less to qualify, and individual school supply and instructional items couldn't exceed $20. Below are specific items that did not qualify for the tax holiday, regardless of price.

  • Accessories (sunglasses, handbags, headbands, jewelry, etc.)
  • Sports equipment (cleats, baseball gloves, shoulder pads, ballet shoes, etc.)
  • Protective equipment (such as hard hats and respirator masks)
  • Sewing materials (including fabric and patterns)

Ohio tax-free school supplies 

Ohio only allowed certain school supplies and instruction materials to be purchased tax-free. These are the items that qualified for the sales tax holiday.

  • Binders, book bags, calculators, and cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk, compasses, composition books, crayons, and erasers 
  • Folders, glue, paste, highlighters, index cards and index card boxes
  • Legal pads, lunch boxes, markers and notebooks
  • Paper (including tracing paper, construction paper, copy paper and graph paper)
  • Poster boards, pencil boxes, pencil sharpeners and pencils
  • Pens, protractors, rulers, scissors and writing tablets.
  • Reference maps and globes
  • Textbooks and workbooks

Ohio tax-free weekend for online shopping

Thankfully, online shopping qualified for Ohio’s sales tax holiday. That means shoppers could have saved on gas costs, too. That’s especially helpful since Ohio has one of the highest gas taxes in the country.

For online orders to be tax-free, you must have ordered and paid for eligible items during the sales tax holiday. According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, the retailer must have also accepted your order for “immediate shipment” during the three-day period. 

This means that pre-orders for items shipped at a later date did not qualify. However, the date of delivery did not determine eligibility. So, you don’t need to worry if your package hasn't arrived at your house yet.

Katelyn Washington
Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.