Exemption of SUT for School Uniforms and Supplies


According to what is established by the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code that exempts school uniforms and supplies from paying Sales and Use Tax (SUT) during a two-day period during the months of July and January, each year the Secretary of the Treasury Department (TD) issues a Circular Letter to inform on the specific dates on which this exemption will apply.


To this effect, the Secretary published Internal Revenue Circular Letter No. 19-11 (CC RI 19-11) to inform on the dates for fiscal year 2019-2020; and to enumerate the articles to be included under this exemption.


For this fiscal year, the exemption period will be as follow: the first one will begin at 12:01 on Friday, July 12, and will end at 12 midnight on Saturday, July 13, 2019.  The second exemption period will begin at 12:01 on Friday, January 3, and end at midnight on Saturday, January 4, 2020.


CC RI 19-11 also defines the exempt articles, such as school uniforms and supplies.  According to this definition, the school uniform is defined as any attire required by the educational institution and to be used exclusively for school purposes. The school uniform cannot be used as a substitute for regular or ordinary attire.  Shoes or any other article that complements the uniform and is required by the educational institution are included within this rule.


The following items are included in this exemption:

  • Protective clothing or equipment, used to protect the person from injuries or sickness, or for protection for damages or injuries to other persons or property.
  • Recreational or sports equipment


School supplies exempt from SUT include regular supplies such as notebooks, rulers, folders, paper, pens, and pencils.  It also includes art and musical materials and computer storage tools such as disks, compact disks, and flash drives.


Other Transactions


CC RI 19-11 also establishes the way in which the IVU exemption will apply to other buying methods such as layaway plans, vouchers, and gift certificates; as well as for purchases made through mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet.


Layaway plans qualify for the exemption provided that the final payment is made and the article is delivered to the buyer within the exemption period.  Articles received or delivered after the exemption periods do not qualify for the exemption.


Articles bought during the exemption period by means of vouchers or rain checks qualify for the exemption. However, if the voucher was issued during the exemption period but is used at a later period of the exemption, the transaction does not qualify for the exemption.


Purchases made through mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet qualify for the exemption provided the article is paid and delivered during the exemption period.  Thus, items that are pre-ordered and delivered during the exemption period qualify also.


Exemption on Books and Notebooks


All printed and e-books are exempt from SUT all year long.  The exemption applies to the purchase or rent of printed and electronic books.   In addition, all types of notebooks are also exempt all year long.  The TD defines electronic books as the digital, cyber, or e-book versions of printed books.

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