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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

IVU exemption period for school supplies is this weekend

The sales and use tax-free period for school supplies begins at 11:59 p.m. Friday and concludes at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

By John McPhaul

Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea announced Thursday that the second period in fiscal year 2021-2022 for which sales of school uniforms and supplies are free of the sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) will take place this weekend.

“The second period of school sales without the IVU will begin at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022,” the Treasury secretary said via Twitter.

Treasury Department Memo 21-14 indicates that school materials exempt from the payment of IVU are items commonly used by a student during the course of study, such as: folders, school bags, calculators, adhesive tape, chalk, compasses, crayons, erasers, plastic or paper expandable accordion file folders, manila envelopes, glue and stick adhesive, as well as markers.

Also included are poster cards, boxes for storing poster cards, lunch boxes, loose paper, lined paper for ring binders, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, cardstock and other paper supplies, pencil boxes and other boxes for school supplies, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers and scissors.

Likewise, school uniforms, which according to Section 4030.20 (c) (1) of the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code are classified as the clothing that is specifically required by the educational institution and that may not have a general or continuous use outside the school to replace ordinary clothing, are exempt from the IVU. Also considered a school uniform are those pieces of clothing and footwear that complement one or more pieces of the uniform, as specifically required by the educational entity.

School uniforms do not include: belt buckles sold separately; costume masks, patches and emblems; sewing equipment, supplies and materials; clothing accessories or equipment such as briefcases and cosmetics. Protective equipment against injuries or illnesses, such as masks and helmets, or sports or recreational equipment, is also not included.

Also included in the IVU-exempt sale of school supplies are packaged computer storage media, which includes discs, compact discs and memories. In addition, art or music materials and instructions may be purchased without the IVU, for use in a course or as a reference for a subject.

Parés noted that the applicability of the IVU exemption extends, for the return to classes, to notebooks and electronic books that are required in an official list of school and university books.

Term or layaway sales of uniforms or school supplies will qualify for the IVU exemption when the final payment is made during the exemption period. Similarly, items purchased with vouchers or “rain checks” will qualify on those days, regardless of the date of issue.

Regarding purchases through the mail, by phone, email or internet, Parés said the purchase will qualify for the IVU exemption when the item is paid for and delivered to the buyer during the established exemption period. Therefore, items that are pre-ordered and delivered to the buyer during the exemption period qualify for the exemption.

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