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Education

Florida tax-free holiday to include computers, tablets

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Published:   |   Updated: August 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Florida's tax-free holiday for school supplies is back this year, starting Friday at 12:01 a.m and ending Sunday at midnight. This year, some new items are on the tax-free list, including personal computers and tablets.

Retailers are planning to bring in extra staff to help handle crowds and Best Buy, for instance, is extending hours, opening at 8 a.m. instead of 10 a.m.

School supplies can add up. The National Retail Federation forecasts that families with school-aged kids will spend $634.78 this year on shoes, clothes and supplies, which is down from $688.62 last year. Here is a rundown of what you need to know:

* New items on the tax-free list this year: Personal computers, tablets and accessories such as keyboards and monitors with a price tag of $750 or less.

* Bonus: The tax holiday also applies to e-readers.

* Sorry: That doesn't include cellphones, video game consoles, digital media receivers or devices not primarily designed to process data.

* No kids? No problem: The holiday applies to any approved purchases, whether you have a kid or not.

* Apparel: Everything from shirts and shoes with a price tag of $75 or less to backpacks and hats. Even diaper bags are tax-free during the holiday.

* Supplies: Any school supply item priced at $15 or less.

* Online: You also can order online during that period, tax-free, as long as the retailer is set up to process the transactions.

Even if the item won't arrive for days, as long as you bought it during the holiday period, it should still be tax free.

* Not tax-free: "Clothing" does not include accessories or equipment such as watches, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs or sporting gear.

* Details: A full list of eligible items is online at dor.myflorida.com/dor/pdf/sales_tax_holiday_list_of_items.pdf

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