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Treasury Dept. announces school supplies tax-free holiday July 15-16

The Puerto Rico Treasury Department announced that it has opened the first tax-free holiday for school uniforms and materials ahead of the upcoming school year, slated for July 15-16.

A second round of tax-free sales for the 2022-2023 school year will take place in January 2023, Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés-Alicea said.

“Both sales periods begin at midnight on Friday and end at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The items that will be exempt from the sales tax will be uniforms and school materials included in the agency’s Circular Letter,” said Parés.

Uniforms include clothing specifically required by the educational institution and cannot be used for general or ongoing use as a substitute for ordinary clothing.

Pieces of clothing and footwear that complement them are also considered part of the uniform.

Belt buckles sold separately, costume masks, patches and emblems sold separately are not included, except if they are part of the uniform.

Neither sewing equipment nor articles such as needles, pins, and patterns, sewing materials such as buttons, fabrics, thread and yarn, accessories such as briefcases, cosmetics, hair items, jewelry or sunglasses, protective equipment to be used against injury or illness, such as masks, sterile room clothing, protective helmets, or seat belts, among others.

Sports or recreational equipment such as sneakers, sports shoes with hooks, sports gloves, roller skates or shoulder pads, among others, will not be exempt from SUT.

The materials that will be exempt from paying sales tax will be school, art, music, instructional materials purchased at retail and computer storage media, including compact discs and flash drives.

Some items regularly used for school are folders, school bags, calculators, tape, chalk, compasses, crayons, erasers, folders, accordions, expandable, plastic, and manila envelopes.

Also included are glue, stickers, markers, index cards and storage boxes, lunch boxes, loose and lined paper, copy paper, grid paper, tracing paper, colored paper, construction paper, pencils, and pencil boxes and for other materials, pencil sharpeners, pens, protractors, rulers, and scissors.

Materials for art disciplines, music, and other instructional materials include clay and glazes, acrylic, tempera, and oil paints, brushes, drawing and sketchbooks, watercolors, musical instruments, and reference maps and globes.

Puerto Rico’s Internal Revenue Code also provides that all printed and electronic books are exempt from paying the sales and use tax throughout the year, as well as notebooks purchased at retail, regardless of the size.

Purchases under lay-away plans, with vouchers, by mail, telephone, email or internet, as well as gift certificates and cards, will qualify for the exemption, as long as the final payment is made during the exemption period established in the Internal Revenue Circular Letter 22-10.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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