COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offered back-to-school shopping tips for consumers ahead of Ohio’s sales tax holiday, which is Aug. 5-7, when certain clothes and school supplies are exempt from sales tax.
“Education and awareness can go a long way in helping consumers avoid problems and make the most of their purchases,” DeWine said. “We’re encouraging people to take advantage of the sales tax holiday and to remember their rights as consumers.”
During the sales tax holiday, the following items generally are exempt from sales tax:
- Clothing priced at $75 per item or less
- School supplies priced at $20 per item or less
- School instructional materials priced at $20 or less
More information about the sales tax holiday is available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website.
Consumers can help protect themselves in any consumer transaction by taking steps such as:
- Check the exclusions and limitations of an offer. Exclusions and limitations must be clearly disclosed in advertisements, including online, so review terms and conditions carefully before you go to the store or make a purchase.
- Understand return policies before you buy. In Ohio, sellers can choose to set their own return policies, including policies of “no returns,” but they should clearly tell you what their return policy is before you check out or complete the transaction. For example, the return policy shouldn’t be posted only on the back of a receipt.
- Find out if rain checks apply. If a seller advertises a product at a certain price but sells out of that product by the time you respond to the ad, you may have the right to a rain check. However, sellers are not required to provide rain checks if they clearly disclose the number of goods available at that price or if they clearly state that no rain checks will be given.
- Keep your receipts. Maintaining a complete record of a sale will help you handle problems that may arise after the purchase. Keep copies of receipts, advertisements, photos of products, or other documentation of a sale until the transaction and billing process are complete.
- Monitor your accounts. Regularly check your credit card and bank accounts for unauthorized charges or unexpected activity. If you find problems, immediately notify your credit card provider or bank. The sooner you identify a problem, the sooner you can work to correct it.
- Watch for scams. Con artists operate year round. If you receive a message saying you’ve won the lottery, the IRS is coming to arrest you, or a family member is out of the country and in need of money immediately, it’s likely a scam.
Consumers who need help addressing a consumer problem or question should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.