Now that we are heading into the backend of summer, it’s time for many states to host their annual sales tax holidays for returning to-school shopping. Numerous states with sales tax (remember, not all states have a sales tax) provide the reprieve to help families with the cost of annual school supplies and clothing.
According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 80 percent of shoppers are expecting increased costs this year versus last year; so more than ever, consumers are looking for ways to save. Furthermore, about two-thirds of back-to-school shoppers take advantage of these tax-free shopping periods.
The vast majority of states offer some type of tax-free shopping for a limited time period, frequently taking place over a weekend. Below, we will look at each state that offers a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers, along with their details. Note that several states, including Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, have their programs in July – and those are excluded from this article due to the timing of publication.
Arkansas: From Aug. 5-6, the following items are tax-free for shoppers: clothes and shoes under $100 per piece, fashion accessories $50 and less per piece, as well as electronics, art, and school supplies.
Connecticut: From Aug. 20-26, clothes and shoes priced at $100 or less per piece are tax-exempt. Fashion accessories and sports gear are fully taxable, though.
Iowa: Aug. 4-5, clothes and shoes priced at $100 or less per piece are exempt.
Maryland: From Aug. 13-19, clothes and shoes priced at $100 or less per piece are exempt.
Missouri’s back-to-school tax breaks come Aug. 4-6. Clothes that cost less than $100 per piece are exempt. Also tax exempt on a “per purchase basis” are school supplies under $50, software under $350, and PCs under $1,500.
New Jersey: From Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 all art supplies, instructional materials, school supplies, and sports equipment sold to individuals are sales tax exempt. In addition, computers priced at $3,000 or less are also tax-free.
New Mexico cuts its sales tax charges from Aug. 4-6. Included are clothes, shoes, and backpacks costing $100 or less per piece; school supplies costing $30 or less per piece; and computers costing less than $1,000.
Ohio’s back-to-school deals are during Aug. 4-6. Clothes costing $75 or less per piece; school supplies less than $20; and other instructional materials priced at $20 or less are all tax-free.
Oklahoma from August 4-6; only clothes and shoes costing $100 or less per piece are exempt.
Texas: During Aug. 11-13, clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks priced below $100 per piece are exempt. The exemption applies to both brick-and-mortar sales and those made online or via catalog.
West Virginia: From Aug. 4-7, no sales tax is charged for clothing priced at $125 or less; laptops and tablets costing $500 or less; school supplies purchased for $50 or less; and also certain sports equipment costing $150 or less.
Expirations and Details
If you notice, most states have an exemption for clothes and footwear in a moderate price range. Some are more liberal with their exemptions, while others offer a tax break on a broader scope of items, such as electronics and supplies.
Keep in mind that a few states’ sales tax holidays are permanent, while others are temporary. Also, remember that certain states are very specific about what is exempt from sales tax, so visit your state’s tax revenue website for details. It’s also important to note that some states allow counties or towns to exempt themselves, so check for this provision as well.