The Margin: Your ultimate tax-free holidays guide: when and where you can shop without paying sales tax in August

This post was originally published on this site

These tax-free shopping events can give strapped parents a little extra credit.

As families and teachers are bracing for school supplies to be more expensive this year due to pandemic-related shortages and distribution bottlenecks, more than a dozen states that normally charge sales tax are holding weekend or week-long events that withhold the sales tax from the clothing, electronics and accessories purchases that often pop up on school supplies lists.

What’s more, you don’t have to live in these states in order to take advantage of their tax-free events. So if you’re an Alabama resident who missed this year’s sales-tax holiday from July 16-17, you can visit neighboring Mississippi and Tennessee to shop their tax-free weekends, instead. Plus, states including Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon don’t ever charge sales tax, so you can always stock up on supplies while visiting those places, as well. 

Back-to-school staples such as computers and tablets, sneakers and backpacks featuring favorite characters like Peppa Pig are going to be harder to come by this year, analysts have told MarketWatch. That’s because a COVID-related global chip shortage has put tablets and computers in short supply, while many sneakers and licensed character backpacks are made in China and Taiwan, which have experienced pandemic-related port closures.

Related: COVID-related global chip shortage will make back-to-school shopping more expensive

These items will also probably become more expensive, in part due to high demand, and also because the cost to transport goods has increased. And with in-person instruction expected to return this fall, families with elementary school-aged children plan to drop almost $850 on back-to-school shopping this year, which is almost $60 more on average than they spent last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

And since high sales tax states like Tennessee (9.55%), Arkansas (9.51%) and Alabama (9.22%) are waiving that extra fee for a limited time, families can save a smart chunk of change by taking advantage of these tax-free holidays. 

So here’s a complete list of the sales tax holidays happening from now through the end of August, the shopping categories that are included, as well as any spending caps, which have been drawn from the Federation of Tax Administrations website.

Arkansas 

The dates: Aug. 7-8

The goods: Clothing and shoes up to $100 per item; clothing accessories up to $50 per item; electronic devices including computers, laptops, tablets, printers, e-readers, cell phones and calculators; and school supplies. See the complete list here.

Connecticut 

The dates: Aug. 15-21

The goods: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item, except for athletic gear and uniforms. See the complete list here.

Florida 

The dates: July 31-Aug. 9

The goods: Clothing, shoes and select accessories up to $60 per item; school supplies up to $15 per item; computers and certain computer-related accessories up to the first $1,000 spent. See the complete list here.

Iowa

The dates: Aug. 6-7

The goods: Clothing and shoes up to $100 per item — excluding athletic gear, jewelry, backpacks and handbags. See the complete list here.

Maryland 

The dates: Aug. 8-14

The goods: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item, excluding accessories and athletic equipment. See the complete list here.

Massachussetts

The dates: Aug. 14-15

The goods: All retail items for personal use up to $2,500, excluding: meals, motor vehicles, motorboats, telecommunications services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana or marijuana products and alcoholic beverages. See the complete list here.

Mississippi

The dates: July 30-31

The goods: Clothing, footwear and school supplies up to $100 per item. See the complete list here.

Missouri 

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing up to $100 per item; school supplies up to $50 per item; computer software up to $350; personal computers up to $1,500; graphing calculators up to $150 per item. See the complete list here.

New Mexico 

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing or shoes up to $100 per item; desktop, laptop, tablet and notebook computers up to $1,000; computer equipment up to $500; school supplies up to $30 per item. See the complete list here.

Ohio

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing up to $75 per item; school supplies and school instruction materials up to $20 per item. See the complete list here.

Oklahoma

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing and shoes up to $100 per item, excluding athletic gear and uniforms. See the complete list here.

South Carolina 

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing, footwear and accessories; school and art supplies; school supplies; computers, computer accessories; printers and printer supplies. See the complete list here.

Tennessee

The dates: July 30-Aug. 1

The goods: Clothing and apparel up to $100 per item; backpacks, school and art supplies up to $100 per item; computers and laptops up to $1,500. See the complete list here.

Texas

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (except for backpacks with wheels and messenger bags) up to $100 per item. Cloth and disposable face masks are also free from sales tax. See the complete list here.

Virginia

The dates: Aug. 6-8

The goods: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item; school supplies up to $20 per item. See the complete list here.

West Virginia

The dates: July 30-Aug. 2

The goods: Clothing up to $125 per item; school supplies up to $50 per item; school instruction materials up to $20 per item; certain sports equipment up to $150 per item; laptops and tablets up to $500. See the complete list here.

Add Comment