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Mark your calendars for back-to-school tax-free shopping days in these states

Mark your calendars for back-to-school tax-free shopping days in these states
Posted at 12:43 PM, Jul 12, 2019

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but back-to-school time is quickly approaching. The lazy days of summer are flying by, and before you know it, the kids will be returning to the classroom. While students are still enjoying the summer break, parents may start to feel some dread at this time of year over the impending back-to-school shopping.

Getting everything your kids need to go back to school can put a serious dent in your budget. In 2018, the National Retail Federation projected back-to-school spending would reach $82.8 billion. Parents with children from kindergarten through grade 12 planned to spend nearly $700 to get what their students needed for the new school year, according to their research, and parents of college-age students planned to spend nearly $950 for their children’s back-to-school shopping needs.


Fortunately, many states try to help with back-to-school expenses by offering tax-free shopping days. These tax holidays allow people to buy essential back-to-school items such as classroom supplies, computers, clothing and shoes without paying sales tax. This might not sound like much in savings, but it adds up.

Every state has its own tax holiday guidelines and eligible products. We have a quick rundown for you so you can plan your big back-to-school shopping bonanza:

Alabama: July 19-21

Tax-free eligible items include:

  • Most clothing $100 or less per article, not including accessories or sports equipment
  • Computers, software and supplies as a single purchase of $750 or less
  • School supplies at $50 or less per item

Arkansas: Aug. 3-4

Tax-free eligible items include:

  • Most clothing $100 or less per article
  • Select clothing accessories or equipment less than $50 per item
  • School supplies

Connecticut: Aug. 18-24

Tax-free eligible items include:

  • Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item

Florida: Aug. 2-6

According to Florida’s tax code, qualifying items include:

  • Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item
  • Clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item
  • Computers and certain accessories selling for $1,000 or less per item, when purchased for non-commercial or personal use

Iowa: Aug. 2-3

Select clothing items up to $100 in value per item are tax-exempt during the holiday.

Maryland: Aug. 11-17

Qualifying clothing and footwear priced $100 or less will be exempt from Maryland’s 6% sales tax. The first $40 of book-bag sales also qualify.

Mississippi: July 26-27

Mississippi’s sales tax holiday applies to clothing, footwear and school supplies that are less than $100 per item.

Missouri: Aug. 2-4

The Missouri sales tax exemption is limited to:

  • Clothing: any article at a taxable value of $100 or less
  • School supplies: not to exceed $50 per purchase
  • Computer software at a taxable value of $350 or less
  • Personal computers under $1,500
  • Computer peripheral devices (such as printers) under $1,500
  • Graphing calculators under $150

New Mexico: Aug. 2-4

Tax-exempt items include:

  • Clothing or shoes less than $100 per item.
  • Desktop, laptop, tablets or notebook computers up to $1,000
  • Related computer hardware up to $500
  • School supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms must be under $30 per item

Ohio: Aug. 2-4

Tax-exempt items include:

  • An item of clothing priced at $75 or less
  • An item of school supplies priced at $20 or less
  • An item of school instructional material priced at $20 or less

Oklahoma: Aug. 2-4

According to Oklahoma tax law, clothing and footwear items priced less than $100 are included in the tax holiday, but not specialized or protective athletic wear.

South Carolina: Aug. 2-4

South Carolina has published three shopping lists of tax-exempt items for their tax holiday — one for school supplies and technology, one forbed and bath supplies and one for clothing and accessories — for shoppers to use as a resource.

Tennessee: July 26-28

Tax-free items include:

  • Clothing: $100 or less
  • School supplies and school art supplies: $100 or less
  • Computers: $1,500 or less

Texas: Aug. 9-11

Tax-free items include:

Virginia: Aug. 2-4

Approved tax-free items include:

  • Qualified school supplies priced $20 or less per item
  • Qualified clothing and footwear priced $100 less per item

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