EXPLAINER: What the grocery tax holiday actually means


Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee’s month-long grocery tax holiday is going on now but while many are celebrating their tax savings, some are confused about what is taxed and what is not.

One store is explaining to help clear up the confusion. The grocery tax-free holiday does not include everything in a store.

Workers at Compton’s Foodland said they are already seeing some confusion but, are working to clear things up starting with some signs for knowing the difference between taxed and tax-free food.

In just two days grocery store owner Jenni Hunter said they’ve had dozens of questions about products in their deli section.

“There is some confusion about what is and isn’t in that tax-free bracket,” Hunter explained.

Hunter said any unprepared food, from fresh to frozen vegetables, meat, fruit and canned goods are all tax-free. What is not tax-free are items like candy, alcohol, tobacco, dietary supplements, and prepared food.

“So these items are unprepared already so they are a part of the tax holiday. Anything that is prepared by the deli has tax applied to it,” Hunter said.

To help clear up the confusion, Hunter said they posted a list of taxed and untaxed food at each checkout.

Shoppers like Joan King said the lists are a big help.

“I came to pick up a few things and you can see it’s never a few things, and I saw the sign on the register, and I thought oh neat so, I was impressed and I’m glad. Every little bit helps,” King said.

And King is not alone.

“I think it’s very important that the community is educated whenever they are doing things like this, shopper Kevin Winn said.

Hunter said they plan to keep the list up for the whole month of August, hoping to clear up the confusion for all customers.

The grocery tax holiday ends on Aug. 31. You can find a full list of what is tax-free here.

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