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Puerto Rico: Sales and use tax holiday, school uniforms and supplies

Puerto Rico: Sales and use tax holiday, school uniforms

Puerto Rico’s Treasury Department issued Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 19-11 to provide a “holiday” from sale and use tax regarding purchases of school uniforms and supplies, and other articles that will be exempt from sale and use tax payments during the tax holiday period.


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For the fiscal year 2019-2020, the periods for the sale and use tax holiday with regard to school uniforms and supplies are:

  • The first period will begin at midnight on Friday, July 12, 2019, and conclude at 11:59 pm on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
  • The second period will begin at midnight on Friday, January 3, 2020, and conclude at 11:59 pm on Saturday, January 4, 2020.

School uniforms, school supplies defined

Section 4030.20(c)(1) of the Puerto Rico tax law defines the term “school uniform” as clothing specifically required by an educational institution of its students, and that does not have a general or continued use outside the school as a substitute for “ordinary clothes.” It also means clothing and footwear that complement one or more parts of the uniform, as specifically required by the educational entity. The term “school uniform” does not include certain items such as belt buckles sold separately, sewing materials, and certain sports equipment, among other items.

Section 4030.20(c)(2) of Puerto Rico’s tax law provides that “school supplies” includes school art supplies, school music supplies, school computer storage media, including discs, compact discs and flash drives. School supplies are articles commonly used by a student in a course of study. The measures also define school art or music supplies and instructional materials.

Section 4030.20 provides that “printed books” are exempt from sales and use tax on a year-round basis. The term “printed books” is defined as any printed, non-periodical unitary publication published once or in intervals, in one or more volumes or installments, of a scientific, cultural or artistic nature, but excluding electronic publications, magazines, and newspapers. In addition, electronic books (e-books) that are listed as required on an official school or college book list and notebooks (regardless of size) are also exempt from payment of the sales and use tax year-round. An official school or college book list is a list established by an educational institution for its students, detailing the school texts to be used for a particular grade or course.

Rules for purchases made using gift certificates and cards

Articles that qualify for the sales and use tax exemption and purchased during the holiday period using a gift certificate or gift card qualify for the exemption, regardless of when the gift certificate or gift card was purchased. Articles purchased after the exemption period using a gift certificate or gift card are taxable even if the gift certificate or gift card was purchased during the exemption period.

For more information, contact a KPMG tax professional in Puerto Rico:

Rolando Lopez | +1 (787) 622-5340 |

Carlos Molina | +1 (787) 622-5311 |

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