It’s about that time of year again – back to school, and time to get ready! But back-to-school supplies can be pricey! So, how about a weekend where there are no sales taxes? Sounds like a great idea!
Actually, several states set aside a few days, around the date that schools are set to begin for the fall, when those states allow retailers to sell certain items without charging sales tax. Keep reading to find out where, when, and how to make the most of tax-free weekend!
|Alabama||July 19 – 21|
|Arkansas||August 3 – 4|
|Connecticut||August 18 – 24|
|Florida||August 2 – 6|
|Iowa||August 2 – 3|
|Maryland||August 11 – 17|
|Massachusetts||August 17 – 18|
|Mississippi||July 26 – 27|
|Missouri||August 2 – 4|
|New Mexico||August 2 – 4|
|Ohio||August 2 – 4|
|Oklahoma||August 2 – 4|
|South Carolina||August 2 – 4|
|Tennessee||July 26 – 28|
|Texas||August 9 – 11|
|Virginia||August 2 – 4|
Which states are participating?
The chart above shows the 16 participating states and the dates on which the tax-free days occur in 2019.
The states that are not participating in tax-free weekend include Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Five states do not have sales tax at all: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon.
What items are exempt from sales tax?
Many states include back-to school supplies, clothing, shoes and computers. For example, in Florida where the 2019 tax-free days will be August 2nd to August 6th, tax-free items include clothing, shoes, purses and backpacks that are $60 or less, school supplies with a cost of $15 or less, and personal computers and accessories that are $1,000 or less (including laptops, desktops, handhelds and tablets, but excluding cell phones).
What is there to know beforehand?
Find out what items are included – and excluded – in your state’s tax-exempt list. Also watch for price tag limits – some states only have tax breaks if the price of the item is as low as $15, whereas in some other states, it varies from $60 to $100. Still others have no dollar limit.
Similar to when preparing for hurricane season, shop early to make sure the items you want are in stock. Also, this is a popular shopping time to pick a time when the stores will be less crowded to avoid long checkout lines.
You can shop online! If you want to avoid big crowds and long lines, try shopping online instead. Many of the in-person stores will also be participating online. So, mark your calendar and plan ahead. It’s a good idea to load up on all the necessities while you can!