Texas Tax-Free Weekend in 2023: Everything You Need to Know

The 2023 Texas tax-free weekend can save you money on your back-to-school shopping. Here’s what you should know before you buy.

Back to school concept with stacked books red apple school supplies and color pencils
(Image credit: Getty)

Update: The 2023 Texas tax-free has ended. Here are the highlights from this year's back-to-school sales tax holiday.

The 2023 Texas tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping ran from Friday, August 11 to midnight on Sunday, August 13. Texans only had three days to buy certain items tax-free.

Texas’ state sales tax rate is 6.25%. That means shoppers could save at least $6.25 on every $100 spent on qualifying purchases during the sales tax holiday. Those savings can really add up. 

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Texas tax-free weekend  

Shoppers could purchase most school supplies, clothing and footwear tax-free during the annual back-to-school Texas sales tax holiday. But there were some exclusions. Items must have cost less than $100 to qualify for a tax-exemption. So, if an item costs $150, shoppers still had to pay sales tax on the entire amount as opposed to only the amount over $100.

What is included in the Texas sales tax holiday

The Texas 2023 tax-free weekend exempted most types of back-to-school items, but some purchases were still taxable during the three-day event.

Items that qualified for the tax holiday: All the below items were tax-exempt during the tax-free weekend.

  • Baby bibs, clothes and diapers
  • Jeans, shorts, slacks and suits
  • Baseball caps, hunting vests and costume masks
  • Socks, shoes and sandals
  • Backpacks and lunch boxes
  • Calculators, rulers and scissors
  • Crayons, pencils, markers and highlighters
  • Notebooks, folders and binders
  • Back-to-school kits (if the value of tax-exempt items in a kit was more than the value of the taxable items)

Items that didn't qualify for the tax holiday: If you purchased the below items, you still had to pay sales tax.

  • Computers and tablets
  • Printers and printer ink
  • Textbooks and software
  • Cleats and baseball gloves
  • Watches, jewelry, handbags and briefcases
  • Bowling shoes
  • Sewing items and buttons
  • Safety glasses
  • Barrettes, headbands and other accessories

For a full list of taxable and tax-exempt items, shoppers can visit the Texas Comptroller website. 

Online shopping qualifies for Texas’ tax-free weekend

Qualifying purchases made online were tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday. For your order to be tax-free, your items must have been shipped to a Texas address. Additionally, you must have paid for the items during the tax-free weekend. 

This means your order would be taxable if your payment method was declined during the sales tax holiday and resubmitted once the sales tax holiday ended. Orders did not need to be delivered during the tax-free weekend to qualify. Orders made via mail or telephone also qualified for the sales tax holiday, but the same rules applied.

List of tax-free items in Texas 

If you missed the sales tax holiday, you can still purchase several items tax-free next month. A Texas sales tax relief law will become effective on September 1 and will exempt several items from Texas’ 6.25% sales tax. Here are some of the items you will soon be able to purchase tax-free in Texas.

  • Baby diapers and wipes
  • Baby bottles 
  • Maternity clothing
  • Some feminine hygiene products
  • Sterile bandages

The best part about the sales tax exemption that begins in September is that it will exempt qualifying items permanently rather than just for a weekend. 

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.