Not one, not two, but three sales tax holidays in 2021

This year, there will be three sales tax holidays in the state of Tennessee, all beginning next month.

These are periods during which sales tax is not charged on sales of certain goods.

The “traditional” sales tax holiday on clothing, school supplies and computers begins at 12:01 am on Friday, July 30th, and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, August 1st.

This year, the General Assembly approved two additional sales tax holidays, one on food and the other on gun safes and gun safety devices.

The sales tax holiday for food, food ingredients, and prepared food begins at 12:01 am on Friday, July 30th, and continues through 11:59 pm the following Thursday, August 5th. This includes qualified sales of prepared food by restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and grocery stores, but does not include sales of alcoholic beverages.

The other new sales tax holiday is the longest of them all, as sales taxes will not be imposed on purchases of gun safes or “gun safety” devices beginning on July 1st, 2021 and continuing through June 30, 2022. Gun safety devices are defined by the state as “Any integral device to be equipped or installed on a firearm that permits the user to program the firearm to operate only for specified persons designated by the user through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm.” This category would include things like trigger guards.

For a complete look at what is, and is not, exempt from state sales taxes, visit this website.

a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 1, 2021. 

Clothing

Exempt: 

  • General apparel that costs $100 or less per item, such as shirts, pants, socks, shoes, dresses, etc.

Not exempt:

  • Apparel items priced at more than $100
  • Items sold together, such as shoes, cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum
  • Items such as jewelry, handbags, or sports and recreational equipment

School Supplies

Exempt:

  • School and art supplies with a purchase price of $100 or less per item, such as binders, books, backpacks, crayons, paper, pens, pencils, and rulers, and art supplies such as glazes, clay, paints, drawing pads, and artist paintbrushes

Not exempt:

  • School and art supplies individually priced at more than $100
  • Items that are normally sold together cannot be split up to stay beneath the $100 maximum

Computers

Exempt:

  • Computers for personal use with a purchase price of $1,500 or less
  • Laptop computers, if priced at $1,500 or less, also qualify as well as tablet computers

Not exempt: 

  • Storage media, like flash drives and compact discs
  • Individually purchased software
  • Printer supplies
  • Household appliances

For 2021, Tennessee’s General Assembly has approved a sales tax holiday on food, food ingredients and prepared food which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 5, 2021. 

Food and Food Ingredients

Food and food ingredients are defined as liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried, or dehydrated substances that are sold to be ingested or chewed by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. Food and food ingredients do not include alcoholic beverages, tobacco, candy, dietary supplements, or prepared food.

Prepared Food

A food item qualifies as prepared food if it:

  • 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 food borne illnesses.

During the period beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, July 30, 2021 and ending Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm, food, food ingredients, and prepared foods are exempt from sales tax.  This includes qualified sales of prepared food by restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and grocery stores.

Sales of alcoholic beverages are not included in items exempt during this period.

For 2021-2022, the Tennessee General Assembly has approved a sales tax holiday on gun safes and safety devices that begins at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2021 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2022. 

A “gun safe” is 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” is defined as:

  • Any integral device to be equipped or installed on a firearm that permits the user to program the firearm to operate only for specified persons designated by the user through computerized locking devices or other means integral to and permanently part of the firearm.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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