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5 tax moves to make this August

August is prime sales tax holiday time

Get ready Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia shoppers. Your back-to-school tax holidays are coming up in August. And yes, Floridians, your event wraps up this week.

School supplies at HEB_Texas Sales Tax holiday items
Many school supplies, like these at my local grocery store, will be sales-tax-free in Texas later this summer. (Photo by Kay Bell)

With August just one day away, it's definitely time for parents and youngsters alike to get ready for the reopening of classrooms.

Yes, those two groups likely will celebrate (or not) differently. But there's one thing they can share, shopping for school clothes and supplies.

That's why August is the big month for back-to-school sales tax holidays. Of the 17 scheduled this year, 14 are in August, including Florida's summer tax-free shopping event. It kicked off July 24 and wraps up Sunday, Aug. 6.

The rest of August will see sales tax holidays in Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

Most of these special tax-exempt shopping days will be this coming weekend. Some will start on Friday, Aug. 4, with a few beginning Saturday. And most will end on Sunday, Aug. 6. But not all.

The precise starting and ending dates for August's sales tax holidays are listed alphabetically by state in the table below. The information comes from the various state tax departments, as well as the Sales Tax Institute and Federation of Tax Administrators.

 

2023 State Sales Taxes Holidays

State & Sales Tax Rate
Local sales taxes also may be waived

Holiday Days
& Dates

Tax-Free Products
& Per-Item Price Limits

Arkansas 6.5%

Saturday, Aug. 5
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

Clothing $100 or less
Accessories $50 or less
No dollar limit on school art supplies, school instructional materials, school supplies, and school-related products such as electronic devices, which includes computers, commonly used by a student in a course of study.

Connecticut 6.35%

Sunday, Aug. 20
through
Saturday, Aug. 26

Clothing and footwear $100 or less
Accessories and protective or athletic clothing is still taxed.

Florida 6%

Monday, July 24
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

Clothing $100 or less
School supplies $50 or less
Learning aids and jigsaw puzzles selling for $30 or less
Computers, certain accessories $1,500 or less
More on tax-exempt items during the 2023 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday can be found in TIP No. 23A01-06.

Iowa 6%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Saturday, Aug. 5 

Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100

Maryland 6%

Sunday, Aug. 13
through
Saturday, Aug. 19

Clothing and footwear $100 or less
First $40 of a backpack or bookbag sale 

Massachusetts 6.25%

Saturday, Aug. 12
through
Sunday, Aug. 13

Almost every personal item
priced at $2,500 or less

Missouri 4.225%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Sunday, Aug. 6 

Clothing $100 or less
School supplies $50 or less
Computer software $350 or less
Graphing calculators $150 or less 
Personal computers & peripheral devices $1,500 or less
Find more on the tax-exempt items in the state's Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday FAQs.

New Jersey 6.625%

Saturday, Aug. 26
through
Monday, Sept. 4

Computers less than $3,000
School computer supplies less than $1,000
No price limit on school supplies, school art supplies, school instructional materials, and sport or recreational equipment
Details on the tax-exempt items can be found at the state's special online sales tax holiday page.

New Mexico 5%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

Clothing or shoes $100 or less
Computers $1,000 or less
Computer hardware $500 or less
There is no price limit on school supplies that "students normally use in a standard classroom for educational purposes."
FYI-203, Gross Receipts Tax Holiday, contains more information on the exempted sales.

Ohio 5.75%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

Clothing $75 or less
School instructional materials
& school supplies at $20 or less

Oklahoma 4.5%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

Clothing, footwear $100 or less

South Carolina 6%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Sunday, Aug. 6

No purchase price limit
on clothing accessories & footwear; school supplies; computers, printers & printer supplies, computer software; & bed linens & bath furnishings

Texas 6.25%

Friday, Aug. 11
through
Sunday, Aug. 13

Clothing, footwear, backpacks
priced at less than $100
Cloth and disposable fabric face masks meet the definition of an article of clothing and therefore are tax exempt during this weekend.
School supplies at less than $100

West Virginia 6%

Friday, Aug. 4
through
Monday, Aug. 7

Clothing, footwear $125 or less
School supplies ($50 or less)
School instruction material ($20 or less)
Sports equipment ($150 or less)
Laptop and tablet computers ($500 or less)
More on tax-exempt items can be found on the state's Sales Tax Holiday Questions and Answers page.

 

Shop wisely:  As noted in my earlier post on the full summer 2023 schedule of state sales tax holidays, most of these special shopping days are billed as back-to-school events. That's why most feature items youngsters need for class.

But even those with that moniker also tend to be more inclusive. They're not limited to children's clothing. And you don't have to prove that the computer you buy is only going to be used by the young students' homework.

So pay attention to what is tax-exempt (or not). The links in the table will take you to official lists of eligible items.

Knowing what's tax-free is one of the 6 shopping tips to maximize sales tax holiday savings. Check that post out, then make your list, which also is of the tax holiday shopping suggestions.

Addendum: My tumblr blog Tumbling Taxes' related post has Macklemore's video "Thrift Shop" for your tax holiday shopping playlist.

You also might find these items of interest:

 

 

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