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Connecticut is wrapping up 2019's back-to-school sales tax holidays

School has already started in many places, but one state is still holding a sales tax holiday for folks looking to get a tax bargain on children's (and actually anyone's) clothing and shoes. Connecticut's qualifying items will be tax-free through Aug. 24. 

Back to School Tax Holiday blackboard notice_Florida Department of Revenue

We Americans just can't seem to slow down, even during the traditional summer vacation season. We always are looking ahead.

School's just been out a few weeks in most places and already ads for back-to-school sales are showing up in our television shows, print publications (yeah, a few are still around and read by some of us) and on our electronic devices.

Look for the commercial come-ons to increase, especially in the 16 states that are holding sales tax holidays this year.

These annual events, usually billed as ways to stock up on back-to-school tax holidays, offer shoppers a chance to purchase many items their children will need, from clothing to books to supplies to computers.

16 tax-free events still planned: Sixteen states are holding sales tax holidays during this summer of 2019.

Three states kick off the tax-free shopping season this month.

The mid- to late-July tax holidays are in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Alabama kicks off the 2019 summer tax holidays with its event on July 19-21 in Alabama. Yep that's this coming weekend.

Mississippi's tax holiday runs July 26-27. Tennessee shoppers can find tax-free bargains on July 26-28.

Now all y'all can rethink your jokes about Southerners being slow.

The rest of the states hold their no-tax shopping days in August.

The table below lists alphabetically the states that will hold sales tax holidays in 2019. The links (red text) within the table provide additional details about the tax-saving events.

States where the holiday has passed are grayed-out. States where the holiday is underway or coming up soon are in green.

2019 State Sales Taxes Holidays

State and sales tax rate
(Local taxes also may be waived)

Holiday Days
and Dates
Tax-free products
and per-item price limits



Alabama 4%


Friday, July 19
through
Sunday, July 21

Clothing priced at $100 or less Books priced at $30 or less 
School supplies at $50 or less Computers & software
priced at $750 or less

Arkansas 6.5%
Saturday, Aug. 3
through
Sunday, Aug. 4
Clothing $100 or less
Apparel accessories $50 or less
No dollar limit on instructional materials or school & art supplies

Connecticut 6.35%
Sunday, Aug. 18
through
Saturday, Aug. 24
Clothing & footwear
priced at $100 or less

Florida 6%
Friday, Aug. 2
through
Tuesday, Aug. 6
Clothing at $60 or less
School supplies $15 or less
Computers, certain accessories selling for $1,000 or less

Iowa 6%
Friday, Aug. 2
through
Saturday, Aug. 3 
Clothing & footwear
priced at less than $100

Maryland 6%
Sunday, Aug. 11
through
Saturday, Aug. 17
Clothing & footwear
priced at $100 or less

Massachusetts 6.25%

Saturday, Aug. 17
through
Sunday, Aug. 18
Almost every personal item
priced at $2,500 or less

New this year, meals are eligible for the sales tax holiday exemption, but alcoholic beverages remain taxable

Mississippi 7%
Friday, July 26
through
Saturday, July 27
 
Clothing, footwear $100 or less


Missouri 4.225%


Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4

 

Clothing at $100 or less
School supplies $50 or less
Computer software $350 or less
Personal computers & peripheral devices costing $1,500 or less

New Mexico 5.125%
Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4
Clothing or shoes $100 or less
Computers $1,000 or less
Computer hardware $500 or less School supplies $30 or less

Ohio 5.75%
Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4
Clothing priced at $75 or less
School instructional materials
& school supplies at $20 or less

Oklahoma 4.5%
Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4

Clothing, footwear $100 or less


South Carolina 6%

Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4
No purchase price limit
on clothing accessories & footwear; school supplies; computers, printers & printer supplies, computer software; & bed linens & bath furnishings

Tennessee 7%
Friday, July 26 
through
Sunday, July 28 
 Clothing $100 or less
 School supplies $100 or less
Computers $1,500 or less

Texas 6.25%
Friday, Aug. 9
through
Sunday, Aug. 11
Clothing, footwear, backpacks
priced at less than $100
School supplies at less than $100


Virginia 4.3%


Friday, Aug. 2
through
Sunday, Aug. 4

Clothing & footwear $100 or less
School supplies $20 or less
Energy Star & WaterSense products $2,500 or less
Hurricane preparedness items
priced from $60 to $1,000 or less

 

Local taxes, too: Note that the percentages by the state names in the table represent the state's sales tax amount.

In some places, cities and/or counties also waive (or are required by law to do so) their additional sales tax collection during the tax holiday period.

In others, the local taxing jurisdictions have the choice to continue collecting their taxes.  

Bad, but popular, tax policy: If your state didn't make this list, congrats on having lawmakers who realize the tax-free events are just that, events.

Tax holidays are gimmicks — and bad tax policy — that don't really produce new sales as much as shift when people will buy the affected items.

Cigar box full of school supplies
Students (and parents) must buy school supplies, tax or no-tax. Back-to-school and similar tax holidays simply prompt shoppers to shift when they buy required classroom items.

I know, I know. Shoppers love them. You, personally, love them and you don't even have any kids!

I get it. Saving money is a good thing, even when it's a few dollars of sales tax.

It's also fun, especially when it's the tax collector's hands you're keeping off your hard-earned money.

And since shoppers also are potential voters, lawmakers like to give them when they want. So every summer, more than two dozen states trot out the tax-free days.

Ready, set, shop: If you plan to shop during the tax holiday where you live, check out my post with 6 tips on how to maximize your savings, tax and in general, and minimize the hassle.

If your state doesn't have a tax holiday but you live near one that does, remember that you still could owe your home state's use tax.

Finally, remember to read the fine print about the tax holiday in your area. You'll find it in the links in the above table.

Most states have some specific and variously humorous or confusing (or both!) rules about what is or is exempt from sales tax.

You'll also find info on whether your local sales taxes are lifted for a few days. 

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Comments

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Joe

Thank you for this clarification, the list is very detailed and comprehensive.

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