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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2017 > Three Things to Know about Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday

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Three Things to Know about Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday

This year, Ohio has a sales tax holiday from Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6. Learn which purchases are exempt from sales tax during the holiday and find other back-to-school smart shopping tips.  
Wise shopping for the season starts with knowing the facts about Ohio’s sales tax holiday, including:
  1. The sales tax holiday runs from Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. Ohio Senate Bill 9 established a one-time sales tax holiday for 2017. Ohio’s sales tax holiday begins at midnight on Friday, August 4, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 6, 2017. During the holiday, qualifying items are exempt from sales tax. For web-based purchases, the seller’s time zone dictates when sales tax will not be charged.
  1. Only certain purchases qualify. In general, the sales tax holiday exempts the following from the state’s sales and use tax:
  • Clothing priced at $75 per item or less
  • School supplies priced at $20 per item or less
  • School instructional material (such as workbooks) priced at $20 per item or less
Certain exclusions apply, and items used in a trade or business are not exempt under the sales tax holiday.
  1. Detailed information is available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website. For more information about the sales tax holiday, visit the department’s website at The website offers answers to frequently asked questions, such as which types of clothing qualify for the sales tax holiday, and which types of items qualify as school supplies or school instructional materials.  
Whether you’re shopping during the sales tax holiday or making annual back-to-school purchases, it’s important to know your consumer rights when it comes to shopping. Here are some pointers:
  • Disclosure of limitations: An offer’s exclusions and limitations must be clearly listed in advertisements; it is illegal to advertise a sale without listing specific limitations if they exist.
  • Rain checks: If a store runs out of an advertised product or service, you generally have the right to a rain check that enables you to buy the advertised good for the sale price at a later date. Sellers do not have to issue rain checks if their ad mentions the number of goods available or that the merchandise is seasonal or clearance and that no rain checks will be given. They also are not required to issue a rain check if the consumer agrees to buy a similar item at the same price or if the seller proves it had a reasonably sufficient supply.
  • Return policies: Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act doesn’t require merchants to have any particular return policy, but it does require businesses to clearly post their return policy. If businesses do not accept returns, that must be clearly posted. Before making a purchase, read the refund and cancellation policies for that store or product, and keep your receipt.
  • Gift cards: Under Ohio and federal law, businesses must honor most single-store gift cards for at least five years from their issue date and generally they may not charge fees that reduce the card’s value for at least two years.
  • Credit card vs. debit card: Consumers who pay with credit cards have added protection if something goes wrong. Federal law allows consumers to dispute unauthorized credit card charges within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed. Debit card providers are not required to offer the same protections. Regardless of your payment method, carefully review your statements for errors.
  • Rebates: Follow rebate directions closely and make sure you complete all of the requirements in the specified timeframe.
  • Online purchases: Make sure the website is secure before you enter payment information such as a credit card number. To do this, look for “https” (rather than “http”) in the website address. And remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.