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4 states holding end-of-July sales tax holidays

Attention shoppers in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Your states are holding back-to-school sales tax holidays this final weekend in July, and beyond for Sunshine State and Volunteer State tax bargain hunters.

School supplies at HEB_Texas Sales Tax holiday items
Retailers are getting ready for youngsters to return to classrooms. Shoppers are getting ready for tax-free savings on school supplies and more. (Photo by Kay Bell)

Despite a surge among unvaccinated of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most schools are making plans to welcome students back to classrooms this fall.

Retailers also are joining the back-to-school parties. This year, 18 states scheduled sales tax-free events, most of them pegged to classroom supplies, including computers in some cases, and new school clothes for the kiddos. Two have passed, a dozen are scheduled for August, but four are on tap for this final weekend of July.

Shoppers in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia, get your lists ready.

Here are the details on these upcoming weekend sales tax holidays.

Last weekend of July 2021
State Sales Taxes Holidays

State & Sales Tax Rate
Local taxes also may be waived

Holiday Days
& Dates

Tax-Free Products
& Per-Item Price Limits

Florida 6%

Saturday, July 31
Monday, Aug. 9

Clothing at $60 or less
School supplies $15 or less
Computers, certain accessories selling for $1,000 or less

Mississippi 7%

Friday, July 30
Saturday, July 31

Clothing, footwear and school supplies that cost $100 or less per item; school supplies are items commonly used by a student in a course of study

Tennessee 7%

Friday, July 30
Sunday, Aug. 1 

Clothing $100 or less
School supplies $100 or less
Computers $1,500 or less

West Virginia 6%

Friday, July 30
Monday, Aug. 2

Clothing $125 or less
School supplies $50 or less
School instruction material $20 or less
Sports equipment $150 or less
Laptop & tablet computers $500 or less

Feeding another tax-free appetite: Volunteer State shoppers get even more tax-free options this year. Starting Friday, July 30, and running through Thursday, Aug. 5, Tennessee also is exempting food, food ingredients and prepared food from sales tax.

Grocery paper bags full of food

The Tennessee Department of Revenue points out that the week-long tax break covers qualified sales of prepared food by restaurants, food trucks, caterers, and grocery stores. Yay! Meal planning for that week is done!

But, Tennessee shoppers, also note that alcoholic beverages are not part of the food tax-exempt list. Neither are tobacco, candy, or dietary supplements.

Double check dates, items, and shop safely: I appreciate your giving the table above a look, but do click on the links. Of particular importance are the dates themselves.

In the upcoming events, for example, Florida's is the longest — a week — but it doesn’t' start until Saturdays, July 31.

And while the tax holidays in Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia all start on Friday, July 30, they each end on different days.

Just as important are the items that are and aren't sales tax free. You don't want to head to a store and discover an item you thought was tax exempt during your state's tax holiday is, in fact, taxable.

There also are price thresholds and limits. Some states classify things as a certain price or less. Being off by a dollar could be tax costly.

So check out the specifics and make a list to ensure that you don't mess up or miss out on your state's sales tax holiday savings. My earlier post on ways to maximize your sales tax holiday savings can help.

Finally, since the coronavirus pandemic just won't go away, be sure to shop safely. Many stores still offer phone or online shopping and curbside pickup.

Get ready for August: While these four states wrap up July with tax-exempt shopping opportunities, they are not the last of the back-to-school tax holidays.

A dozen more states have planned similar tax-free events in August. They are Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

You can find the specifics in my earlier overview of all 18 of this summer's tax-free holidays. And I'll remind all y'all ol' blog readers as these 12 sales tax holidays approach in the coming weeks.

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