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10 tax holidays on tap today

Ten states hold back-to-school sales tax holidays this weekend, even though in some places, kids are already back in class.

The bad timing is purely accidental. The calendar and legislative language conspired to take some of the steam out of the marketing pitch for the no-tax days.

The law is written so that the sales tax holidays begin on the first Friday of the month and, in most places, run through Sunday. This year, that means the no-tax events occur on the second weekend of August.

However, the school year in some places, such as Tennessee, began on the first Monday of the month.

But no worries really.

Kids are going to need lots of school supplies, so parents in states with holidays that exempt such items can stock up now.

Any tax-savvy parent intending to buy Janie or Jimmy a computer to help with school work also by now has told the youngsters to chill for a few days. In those states offering such holiday deals, the PC or Mac will be bought this weekend sans taxes.

And clothing for everyone, not just for kids, is tax-exempt in most of this weekend's holiday locales, too.

The table below provides an overview of the tax holidays, listed by state alphabetically, that begin today, Thursday, Aug. 7.

So pay close attention to the dates and also to exactly what is, and isn't, tax free. The table gives general information, but double check the official Web pages to make sure you don't inadvertently buy a still-taxable item.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holidays
Click on the state name to go to the official tax holiday Web page.
State Dates Tax-exempt Items
Alabama August

Clothing costing less than $100; school supplies selling for up to $50 each; books that cost up to $30; computers and software costing $750 or less. Cities and counties can opt out.

Clothing or footwear costing less than $100.
Most items purchased for personal use that do not exceed $2,500 each.
Clothing and footwear items worth $100 or less; school supplies priced at $50 or less; personal computers bought for $3,500 or less; computer peripheral equipment also priced at $3,500 or less; software costing $350 or less.
New Mexico
Clothing costing less than $100; computers costing less than $1,000 and peripherals less than $500; school supplies costing no more than $15. Eligible and ineligible items detailed in this PDF document.
North Carolina
Clothing, footwear and students' school supplies costing $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreation equipment priced at $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less.
Clothing and footwear costing $100 or less per item.
South Carolina
Clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers, printer supplies and computer software. There is no dollar limit on eligible items.
Tennessee August
Clothing with a price of $100 or less per item; school supplies selling for $100 or less per item; computers for personal use with a price of $1,500 or less. Art supplies for school work (clay, glazes, paint, paintbrushes, sketch pads, etc.) also are tax-exempt as long as they meet the $100 limit.
Clothing and shoes priced at $100 or less per item; school supplies that cost $20 or less per item.

A little later: Here in Texas, most schools start toward the end of the month, so the Lone Star State's back-to-school sales tax holiday isn't until Aug. 21-23.

Connecticut apparently is on a similar school schedule, with its tax holiday scheduled for Aug. 16-22.

Aug. 22 must be a magical no-tax day in the Northeast. That's also when Vermont will hold its one-day-only tax holiday.

And West Virginia will give shoppers a sales-tax break on residential Energy Star appliances that cost $5,000 or less. The holiday has been expanded this year to three months, running from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.

Doubling up: In addition to this weekend's school-themed holiday, several states have scheduled an additional tax holiday later this year.

Virgina will hold another sales-tax-free event Oct. 9-12 for energy-efficient products priced at $2,500 or less. The Old Dominion's tax department will post details on that holiday as it nears.

North Carolina has planned another one for Nov. 6-8, during which time no tax will be collected on eligible Energy Star qualified products.

And South Carolina will hold its second sales tax holiday on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving for gun aficionados. On Nov. 27-28, the Palmetto State will not collect sales tax on handguns, rifles and shotguns.

So Texans, Vermonters and Connecticut residents, mark your August calendars for your upcoming tax holidays. You folks with later events, note those dates.

And you shoppers who live in or are neighbors of the 10 states with tax holidays this weekend, have a good time at the mall.


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Nice read, i was actually looking something like this due to school season coming again (YAY)

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