Last day to cash in on back-to-school bargains during sales tax holiday

Consumers get to legally cheat the tax man during Florida’s annual sales tax holiday, which kicks off Friday, Aug. 4, through Aug. 6.

We’ll save about $33 million in taxes on expensive computers, tablets and tech items ($750 or less), clothes and shoes ($60 or less) and school supplies ($15 or less), according to the .

It’s a great time to stock up on printer ink cartridges, jeans, jackets, athletic shoes, backpacks, purses, lunch boxes, notebooks, pens and more. See which items are exempt by checking our nifty searchable database at .

Florida’s sales tax is 6 percent, which is the rate in Broward County. Sales tax in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties is 7 percent. So, if you’re buying a $750 computer, you’ll pocket $52.50 in 7 percent sales tax right off the bat.

Palm Beach County public school begins Aug. 14. Broward and Miami-Dade county children return on Aug. 21.

Clearly, the economic outlook is sunny. This is projecting back-to-school spending will reach $83.6 billion this year, a more than 10 percent increase from last year’s $75.8 billion. Families plan to spend an average $687 each, up 8 percent from last year. Total spending is projected to be the second-highest in the history of the survey following a peak of $30.3 billion in 2012, according to the NRF.

With all that spending going on, I recommend combing the circulars in the weekend newspaper to plan your savings strategy. Here are some deals you can stack with tax savings to get you started.

JC Penney is offering a free with purchase of $75 on e-gift cards through Aug. 6. Buy the gift card in stores and use them immediately on back-to-school purchases. Then, use the coupon in stores Aug. 7-Sept. 4 to buy something for yourself.

There’s more: Score another $10 reward by downloading the free JC Penney app, found at , and joining the chain’s newly revamped loyalty reward program through Aug. 31. You’ll earn points for purchase, which means more freebies and coupon savings.

JCP salons also are offering a coupon for $10 haircuts for kids in grade K-6 found at . The offer ends Sept. 9.

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