It’s Time For A Back To School Tax Free Shopping Weekend!
Are you ready for some tax free shopping?
Not all of us can be as lucky as those living in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, where they have no sales tax.
Most other states offer a Sales Tax Holiday the first weekend in August to alleviate a little bit of the extra spending we’ll be doing as our kids go back to school.
The Sales Tax Holiday typically applies to three categories of spending:
- Clothing (including shoes)
- School Supplies
- Personal Computers
Your individual state determines the limitations of the Holiday and whether or not all three categories are included in the holiday.
Here’s a list of each state and what the limitations are for each one.
Since sales tax is only between 4-9% of your purchase, it’s not a huge saving when you are buying a pack of 50¢ crayons.
Plus, there are so many exceptions and exclusions that shopping can be confusing.
To Get The Very Best Deals…
Make Sure You Know The Details
Every state has a different set of rules, what is included, price limitations and exemptions for their tax free shopping holiday. Look up the DETAILS FOR YOUR STATE before shopping.
For states that have value limits, that is per item. For example many states say clothing up to $75, that means each item can’t be more than $75, but you can buy 4 items together and pay $250.
Have A Plan
Tax free shopping means an extra 4-9% off for most shoppers, that really isn’t enough to go crazy and blow the budget for.
Head in with a plan of what clothing they need, and then focus on larger items (if your state allows). Do you need a new computer, printer, graphing calculator etc.?
Saving tax on 50¢ crayons is nice, but it’s really about saving it on the $50 shoes and the $500 computer
Buy The Unexpected
You have school needs on the brain, but this is much bigger than that in most states! You’ll find diapers, lingerie, suits, craft supplies, even wedding dresses are part of the tax exempt items during the tax free shopping holiday.
Again, check the rules for your state before shopping, but be ready to save on a lot more than you thought.
Items That Qualify For Tax Relief:
Clothing, Accessories & Footwear
Any individual clothing items under $60 in FL (other states are listed below) are exempt during the tax free shopping holiday.
Clothing refers to basically anything worn on the body such as clothes, jackets & hats. This includes shoes wallets, backpacks, fanny packs and even diaper bags.
EXCLUSIONS: The exemption does NOT include skates, roller blades, most sports equipment (including swim masks), watches or jewelry. See the full list of Florida exemptions.
Any individual school supply $15 or less per item in FL (other states listed below) are exempt from Sales Tax during the tax free shopping holiday.
Most school supplies are under the $15 each threshold except expensive calculators.
EXCLUSIONS: The exemption does NOT include books, computer paper, correction tape/fluid and staples & staplers. See the full list of Florida exemptions.
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Computers & Related Accessories
This is the best one (if your state is honoring it). Any individual computer or accessory that is $1,000 or less is exempt from Sales Tax during the tax free shopping holiday.
Includes printers, ink, all computer related items such as mouse, keyboards, zip drives, ear buds, tablets and personal computers! (but not computer paper)
This includes tablets such as iPads too!
On a $1,000 item, that will save you over $90!
EXCLUSIONS: The exemption does NOT include computer bags (briefcases too), computer paper, digital cameras and surge protectors. See the full list of Florida exemptions.
Two Important Notes:
Watch Your Coupons & Store Sales
Using a Manufacturer’s Coupon does not force the item to be Tax-Free during the tax free shopping holiday (but Store Coupons DO).
For example; if a school supply item is $16 (it would not qualify to be exempt in FL) and you use a $1 Manufacturers Coupon to reduce the item to $15 (now you would think it would qualify for Tax Exemption), but it DOESN’T!
It is STILL TAXED.
But instead, if that $1 coupon is a Store Coupon, then the item WOULD qualify for Exemption.
The Sales Tax is determined solely on the ultimate selling price of the item.
So a 10% store sale could make an item dip below the threshold and therefore would qualify for the exemption.
Example – The exemption is on individual items, so if you have 10 school supplies and they are each $10 (which is under the $15 each threshold), your total will be $100 and it is ALL Tax Free!
So, the combined total does not affect anything. Yay!
Your True Savings, Is It Good Enough?
So the typical family spends over $200 on Back to School Supplies & Clothing per child each year. Since my area has 7% Sales Tax, so that means I would save $14 by buying those items during the tax free shopping holiday.
Ummm, I’m not totally convinced that $14 is worth fighting the crowds to shop during that time frame (the best time would be to shop early on Friday morning).
If your area includes computers, then by all means I would shop when there is no tax because, obviously, that is a larger purchase and will save you more money.
HOWEVER, computers are not at the lowest prices during the Back to School season. They are cheaper during Black Friday.
2019 Tax Free Shopping Weekend Dates:
Alabama – July 19 – 21, 2019
Arkansas – August 3 – 4, 2019
Connecticut – August 18 – 24, 2019
Florida – August 2 – 6, 2019
Iowa – August 2 – 3, 2019
Maryland – August 11 – 17, 2019
Massachusetts – August 10 – 11, 2019
Mississippi – July 26 – 27, 2019
Missouri – August 2 – 4, 2019
New Mexico – August 2 – 4, 2019
NOTE: Retailers in New Mexico are NOT REQUIRED to participate. That means you will need to call ahead to make sure they are honoring the Exemption!
Ohio – August 2 – 4, 2019
Oklahoma – August 2 – 4, 2019
South Carolina –August 2 – 4, 2019
Tennessee – July 26 – 28, 2019
Texas – August 9 – 11, 2019
Virginia – August 2 – 4, 2019
Wisconsin – July 31 – August 4, 2019
States with No Sales Tax Holidays in 2019
States not participating in Sales Tax Holidays are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, 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, and Wyoming.
It’s a great thing to save money even during the Back To School tax free shopping holiday.
Save more during this time of year by purchasing all your back to school needs without the tax!
~Happy Shopping and Bonus Tax-Free Savings!