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Missouri's doubly green sales tax holiday

Helping folks save a few bucks while saving the planet is a goal of Missouri tax officials.

Sales tax holiday_Iowa The Show Me State kicks off 2009's sales tax holiday season Sunday, April 19, waiving tax collections on purchases of certain energy-efficient appliances. The holiday wraps up April 25.

It's no coincidence that Earth Day, April 22, falls smack dab in the middle of Missouri's Show Me Green tax holiday.

Retailers are hoping that the annual celebration of all things environmental, coupled with the exemption of sales taxes, will boost sales of energy-efficient appliances.

Savings beyond the state levy: Buyers of the qualified items definitely will avoid paying the state's 4.225 percent sales tax during the seven days of the tax holiday.

Some of them might get even bigger breaks, as nine counties, 58 cities and eight special taxing districts also will take part in the tax holiday.

The full list of participating jurisdictions is available in the Missouri Department of Revenue's announcement of the holiday.

What's not taxed? The eligible appliances must meet Energy Star standards. They are:

  • Clothes washers
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Air conditioners
  • Heat pumps

Price limit, too: There's also a limit on tax savings based on the price of the appliance.

The sales tax exemption only applies to the first $1,500 on each appliance. If an appliance costs more than $1,500, regular sales tax is collected on the purchase amount in excess of $1,500.

Latest holiday on Missouri tax calendar: The state's first-ever appliance sales tax holiday is actually the second one it will hold this year.

The weekend of Aug. 7-9, Missouri shoppers can pick up a variety of computers, clothing and school supplies sans state (and some local) sales tax.

And lawmakers also are looking at making most of July tax free for shoppers.

The Independence Day Sales Tax Holiday, which is now being considered by the state legislature, would run from July 4 through July 31 and exempt sales taxes on all merchandise and services purchased in the state.

Don't forget the feds: Uncle Sam also could make the tax savings even better for Missouri shoppers and those from nearby states who cross state lines to save a few bucks.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AKA the Obama stimulus) which became law on Feb. 17 offers taxpayers a credit of up to $1,500 for some energy-efficient home improvements.

Under the federal credit, which can be claimed on 2009 returns filed next year, eligible improvements include the furnaces and air conditioners that are tax free for a week in Missouri.

Energy star logo The table on page four of this story, 7 housing laws you don't want to miss, offers an overview of the new federal home energy tax credit. Additional info can be found at EnergyStar.gov.

So if you know you need to upgrade these items and it's cost-effective to buy them in Missouri, do so this coming week. That way you'll save some state (and possibly local) taxes now and get more savings on your 1040 when you file next year.

More holidays on the way: As I noted, this is the first sales tax holiday of 2009. A couple are in May, with the bulk of the events aimed at back-to-school shoppers and held in late summer (August). I'll get that full list up shortly. Stay tuned!

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