Sales Tax Holiday: Exempt and Non-Exempt Items

Published 4:49 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019


One of the Birmingham metro area’s largest shopping weekends will take place again this year with the state back-to-school sales tax holiday.

During the tax holiday, which will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 19, and end at midnight on Sunday, July 21, certain items will be exempt from state, county and city sales tax.


$100 or less per article of clothing

Exempt Items

Items that qualify for the sales tax holiday include all human wearing apparel suitable for general use. The list below is not all-inclusive.

  • Belts
  • Boots
  • Caps
  • Coats
  • Diapers
  • Dresses
  • Gloves
  • Gym Suits
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Neckties
  • Pajamas
  • Pants
  • Raincoats
  • Robes
  • Sandals
  • Scarves
  • School Uniforms
  • Shirts
  • Shoes
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sneakers
  • Underwear

Non-exempt items

Items that do not qualify for the sales tax holiday include clothing accessories, protective equipment and sports or recreational equipment. These items will be taxed. The list below is not all-inclusive.

  • Belt buckles (Sold separately)
  • Briefcases
  • Cosmetics
  • Costume masks (Sold separately)
  • Hair accessories (barrettes, hair bows, etc.)
  • Handbags
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Jewelry
  • Patches and Emblems (Sold separately)
  • Sewing equipment and supplies
  • Sunglasses, eye glasses, contact (prescription or nonprescription)
  • Umbrellas
  • Watches
  • Wigs and hair pieces
  • Breathing masks
  • Clean room apparel and equipment
  • Ear and hearing protectors
  • Face shields
  • Hard hats
  • Helmets
  • Paint or dust respirators
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses and goggles
  • Safety belts
  • Tool belts
  • Welders gloves and masks
  • Ballet or tap shoes
  • Band instruments
  • Cleated or spiked athletic shoes
  • Sports gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hand and elbow guards
  • Life preservers and vests
  • Mouth guards
  • Roller and ice skates
  • Shin guards
  • Shoulder pads
  • Ski boots
  • Waders
  • Wet suits and fins


$750 or less per item

Exempt items

For the purposes of the exemption, a computer may include a laptop, desktop or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit (CPU) and devices such as a display monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers sold as a computer package. Computer parts and devices not sold as part of a package with the CPU will not qualify for the exemption.

  • Laptop (See note above.)
  • Desktop (See note above.)
  • Tower computer system (See note above.)
  • Computer software
  • Computer storage media, diskette, compact disks
  • Handheld electronic schedulers, except cellular phones
  • Personal digital assistants, except cellular phones
  • Computer printers
  • Printer supplies including paper and ink

Non-exempt items

Items that do not qualify for the sales tax holiday listed below. These items will be taxed. The list below is not all-inclusive.

  • Furniture
  • Video games of a non-educational nature
  • Any systems, devices, software, peripherals designed or intended primarily for recreational use


$50 or less per item

Exempt items

Items that qualify for the sales tax holiday include school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional material. The list below is all inclusive.

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila)
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • Loose leaf ruled notebook paper
  • Copy paper
  • Graph paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Manila paper
  • Colored paper
  • Poster board
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets
  • Clay and glazes
  • Paints (Acrylic, tempora and oil)
  • Paintbrushes for artwork
  • Sketch pads
  • Drawing pads
  • Watercolors
  • Reference maps
  • Globes
  • Textbooks (Listed on an official school book list with a sales price of more than $30 and less than $50


$30 or less per item

Exempt items

  • Books – For the purpose of the exemption, book is defined as a set of printed sheets bound together and published in a volume with an ISBN number.

Non-exempt items

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Periodicals
  • Any other document printed or offered for sale in a non-bound form

All information from the Alabama Department of Revenue’s website.