Tax Free Holiday 101

Staff | - July 31, 2013

"Here are some facts to help you navigate this weekend's tax holiday."

New Mexico's tax-free weekend is finally here, that time of year when back-to-school shopping benefits kids and bargain hunters alike. Here are some facts to help you navigate this weekend's tax holiday. 

1. First and foremost, New Mexico's gross receipts tax holiday takes place the first weekend of August, this year starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 2, and ending on midnight, Sunday, August 4.

2. Here's what you can buy. Of course, standard school supplies ranging from notebooks and backpacks to art supplies and globes. All clothes less than $100 are tax-free as long as the retailer deems them wearable in a school setting: Athletic gear designed specifically for sports aren't eligible, according to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. Items such as ski boots, athletic pads and helmets will still be taxed. 

3. Let’s talk electronics. Not everything is tax-free in this department. Any desktop, laptop, notebook or tablet computers valued at less than $1,000 are free of sales tax, according to NM Tax and Revenue. Computer accessories like printers and keyboards under $500 will also fall under the “school supply” list. However, cameras, mp3 players and computer software will be taxed as usual.

4. The tax-free law specifically notes that watches, radios, compact disc players (yes, they still think people buy these), headphones, sporting equipment, cordless home phones, copiers, office equipment, furniture and fixtures will not receive a tax break.

5. The list of items you can buy free of tax this weekend is extensive, but does not include everything needed to get you through the school year. Although summer is coming to a close, entertainment-related items such as swimwear are not tax-free. Also, sadly, all computer, board, and video games are not tax free.

6. School supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms must sell for less than $30 per unit, according to NM Tax and Revenue.

Although the some items may not be exempt in the eyes of the program, many merchants also absorb the tax on a number of non-qualifying items, according to NM Tax and Revenue. Here's a complete list of eligible items.