The upcoming Back to School Sales Tax Holiday will be Aug. 2-4. Florida law directs that no sales tax will be collected on sales of clothing and school supplies. For the first year, personal computers and certain related accessories selling for $750 or less per item will be included.

The local chapter of the Better Business Bureau offers the following suggestions for a successful sales tax holiday weekend:

Plan ahead.Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Make a list of items you need to purchase to avoid buying on impulse.

Shop carefully.Tax holiday “sales” and promotions may not be what they appear to be. Compare prices and sales at similar stores.

Ask questions.Find out how refunds and exchanges are handled after the sales tax holiday has ended.

Shop with reliable retailers.Always check with your BBB for a Business Review on the business.

Collect store discount coupons.The store discount coupons reduce the sales price of an item. Manufacturer’s coupons are not paid by the retailer and do not reduce the selling price of an item during tax-exempt weekend.

Some business locations are not included.Theme parks, entertainment complexes, public lodging establishments, and airports are excluded from participating in the sales tax holiday.

Not all items are tax-exempt.Clothing does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, or sporting equipment. Personal computers do not include cellular telephones, video game consoles, digital media receivers, or devices that are not primarily designed to process data.

There is no limit on the number of items you can purchase during the tax-exempt holiday. If you buy tax-exempt items and the store charges you tax, take the receipt back to the store owner and ask for a refund of the tax. For a complete list of tax exempt items or any questions visit the Department of Revenue website:

“I think you approach this the same way you would any shopping trip,” advises Destin Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shane Moody. “Have a list and know what you’re going after, and go get it.  You have an opportunity with this to maybe buy something a little extra since you’re saving some money tax-wise, but know what that amount is and stay within your budget. And above all else, enjoy yourself!”