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Texas and Connecticut wrap up the summer of 2012 sales tax holiday season

Summer's winding down and across the country schools will soon reopen. You know what that means.

Well, yes, parents will be celebrating.

But it also means that the end of the annual back-to-school sales tax holidays is in sight.


This year 18 states authorized tax holidays.

Mississippi kicked the sales tax holiday season off in late July.

The first weekend in August was the busiest sales tax holiday weekend of 2012. A dozen states held their tax holidays on some combination of that Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Massachusetts, Maryland and Georgia followed a week later.

And now Texas and Connecticut are wrapping up the 2012 back-to-school sales tax holiday season.

Texas tax holiday: Here in the Lone Star State our usual 6.25 percent sales tax rate, along with any local add-ons (that kicks my Austin sales taxes up to 8.25 percent), are waived today, Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19.

Tax-free items include clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. The price cut-off for each purchase in those categories is $100.

Now about those broad categories, you might want to check the Texas Comptroller's website for the details.

We do things a little differently down here and that means there are some, uh, shall we say interesting delineations as to what is tax-free and what you'll still pay sales tax on. For example, belts are tax free but if you just wanted to replace a belt's buckle (to compete with those cowboys who have the really cool ones touting their rodeo skills), buckles are still taxable.

And if those bronco busters need new boots, they're in tax holiday luck. Cowboy boots are tax-free. So are hiking boots. But you'll still pay tax this weekend if you buy other types of specialty footwear, such as ski boots, fishing waders, overshoes and galoshes.

Texas has separate lists of qualifying clothing, footwear and other items and qualifying school supplies to help you keep your tax-free shopping list straight.

Connecticut tax holiday: As Texas' tax-free weekend is wrapping up, things are just starting for shoppers in the Nutmeg State.

Connecticut's annual one-week sales tax holiday runs Sunday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 25.

For those seven days, shoppers won't have to pay the state's 6.35 percent tax on clothing and footwear that cost less than $300 per item.

Many Connecticut merchants give shoppers extra incentive by discounting qualifying items via sales, coupons and other promotions so that they meet the tax-free threshold.

Happy shopping Texans and Connecticuters.

And all you parents in every state, enjoy the last few days of summer vacation with your kiddos.

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Sales tax holidays can provide a significant savings during high shopping periods such as back to school time as you point out. We're not so fortunate in NY as we have no such "holiday" on the immediate horizon. BUT we're not far from Connecticut that does offer such a holiday!
Paul S. Herman CPA

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