Sales tax Feed

Happy Valentine's Day! This Feb. 14, the hubby and I are snuggling, but today it's mainly to keep warm. Like much of North America, we're dealing with a serious arctic blast. I hope you and your sweetie are having a good Valentine's Day. And I hope you got exactly what you wanted from your love. In many cases, it might be something simple or homemade. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering financial ramifications mean that spending on Valentine's Day gifts this year has dropped. Those celebrating plan to spend an average $164.76, down $32 on average per person,... Read more →


Most states hold sales tax holidays in late summer, pegging he events to the resumption of the school year. But there are a few tax holiday over-achievers. They supplement their back-to-school tax-free events with additional sales tax savings. The standard bearer of late has been Florida. The Sunshine State in 2022 and 2023 enacted a variety of tax holidays, some of which extended into this year. Florida also kicked off 2024 with a semester break back-to-school tax holiday in January. Other states' special shopping events will include no taxes on emergency supplies, energy efficient products, food, and even firearm-related purchases.... Read more →


It's the last weekend of 2023, and you're busy planning how you will ring in 2024 on Sunday night. Unless you live in Florida. Oh, Sunshine State residents will party on New Year's Eve, too. But many also are making back-to-school shopping lists. That's because Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, is the start of yet another Florida sales tax holiday. This two-week event waives the sales tax, both state and local option add-ons, that's usually collected on what state officials have deemed school supplies. Among the items that will be tax free during the Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 through Sunday, Jan.... Read more →


Shopping with your true love can be fun, but you'll probably have to make a separate, solo trip so you can surprise your partner. And if you want to buy any or all of the true love gifts in "The 12 Days of Christmas" carol, you also will want to make sure you have lots of cash or a large credit card limit. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Even though inflation has slowed this year, Americans are still grumbling about prices. But it hasn't slowed holiday shopping. More than 200 million people went in search of perfect... Read more →


My H-E-B helps me keep track of store purchases that might be eligible for FSA reimbursement. (Crumpled receipt photo by Kay Bell) After today's weekly grocery buying trip, I'm pulling out my stash of COVID-19 pandemic masks. Yes, I bought a lot. A whole lot! As before, the facial protection is to shield me from the sneezes and coughs of many of my uncovered fellow H-E-B shoppers. This time, though, I'm hoping the upper respiratory cacophony is due to the changing weather, dust stirred up by the firing up of furnaces, and, here in Central Texas, cedar fever. But you... Read more →


If you stopped at a Georgia gas station today to top off your tank, you might have encountered a line. Peach State motorists will see fuel prices increase tomorrow, Nov. 30, as the governor's emergency suspension of the state fuel excise taxes expires. So you couldn't blame them for trying to get one last bargain at the pump. Gov. Brian Kemp's decree, first issued in September and then extended in October through most of this month, saved drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles 31.2 cents per gallon. Drivers of auto that use diesel saved 35 cents per gallon. In addition to the... Read more →


Today is Small Business Saturday, a charge card marketing initiative that has become an accepted nationwide effort to celebrate small, independent retail operations. It's also an official tax holiday in the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico's Small Business Gross Receipts Tax Holiday falls each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today and ends at midnight tonight. For this one day, the state allows a gross receipts tax break on sales of qualifying items at certain small businesses. For the eligible companies, New Mexico provides a deduction from gross receipts for retail sales of... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell Do you have your candy for Halloween's trick-or-treaters? Or are you going to have to make another grocery store run to replace the sweets that someone somehow munched early? No judging here. Been there, done that. This week. 😊 And we surreptitious candy snatchers are not alone. Halloween and all its accoutrements, edible and otherwise, is incredibly popular in the United States. This year is expected to be record-setting. Spooky expenses: Total spending for Halloween 2023 is expected to reach a record $12.2 billion, exceeding last year's record of $10.6 billion, according to the National Retail... Read more →


The bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, and Juárez, Mexico, is one of several international exchange points expecting increased traffic this weekend as Mexican shoppers visit to take advantage of Lone Star State tax holiday savings. (Photo by Nils Huenerfuerst on Unsplash) The final five summer sales tax holidays are upon us, with Texas kicking things off this weekend. And it's going to be an international affair. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials expect a higher volume of crossings into the Lone Star State starting tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 11. That's the first day of Texas' three-day back-to-school tax holiday. If... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Shoppers in 14 states are taking advantage of sales tax holidays in August. Tennessee's back-to-school tax-free event was in late July. But Volunteer State shoppers have another way to escape sales taxes this month. And in September. And in October, too. Tennessee's new Grocery Tax Holiday began at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1. Food and food ingredients are exempt from sales tax until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 31. During the three-month grocery tax holiday, shoppers won't have to pay the state's 6.75 percent state and local option sales tax on food and food ingredients. The... Read more →


Photo by Saulius Sutkus on Unsplash August has arrived, reminding us that summer is almost over. There are just a few weeks left to take a final vacation during these sweltering dog days. But before you head out to a beach retreat or a cooler mountain cabin, take a few minutes for taxes. This month is a good time to make some tax moves that could save you some (or more) dollars and/or keep you out of tax trouble. Here are five to consider. 1. File your 2022 return by Aug. 15. OK, this applies only to a few, relatively... Read more →


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. 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,... Read more →


Get ready Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee shoppers. Your back-to-school tax holidays are this month. The rest of this year's no-tax shopping events are scheduled for August. Many school supplies, like these at my local grocery store, will be sales-tax-free in Texas later this summer. (Photo by Kay Bell) Wow! We're into the third week of July already. You know what that means. School is just around the proverbial corner. And you know what that means. States are holding their annual sales tax holidays. There are four this month in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee. A baker's dozen are scheduled... Read more →


Photo by Alesia Kozik Cryptocurrencies have changed not only individuals' views of assets and wealth development, but also countries' tax systems. Those are among the issues explored in a just-released International Monetary Fund (IMF) paper. As for the tax challenges, the IMF paper notes that the capital gains tax revenue at stake worldwide, either because it's not imposed or not collected, may reach well into the tens of billions of dollars. But the more profound risks, say the paper's authors, may ultimately be for value added tax (VAT) and sales taxes. The paper also cites research monitoring crypto transactions. These... Read more →


Hello, July! Yeah, I know my welcome to the first full month of summer is a bit late. But admit it. You don't really focus on the month either until after you wrap up July 4th celebrations. Since Independence Day this year fell on Tuesday, that meant an extra-long holiday weekend for lots of us. But the fireworks are over and, sadly, we'll never be independent of taxes. So it's back to work this first week of July, and back to making tax moves that can at least keep a few more dollars out of Uncle Sam's clutches. Here are... Read more →


The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It's also the start of a couple of sales tax holidays in Texas and Florida. Texas energy & water tax savings: Let's start here in Texas. Beginning Saturday, May 27, and running through Monday, May 29, Lone Star State shoppers won't have to pay state and local sales taxes that usually apply to purchases of energy- and water-saving products. The tax-free qualifying appliance purchases and related items include — Energy Star-qualified air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less; refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less; ceiling fans; incandescent and fluorescent... Read more →


Alaska gets a chunk of its operating revenue from the federal government, which owns more than half the real estate in America's largest state. But budget concerns have Last Frontier lawmakers again discussing creation of a statewide sales tax. (Photo of Denali peak reflected in Wonder Lake courtesy U.S. National Park Service) Alaskans face fewer taxes than most other United States taxpayers. It's one of eight states* with no income tax. And while some local jurisdictions collect sales tax, there is no statewide levy on purchases. But that could change if the Last Frontier's Republican governor gets his way. Gov.... Read more →


If you fall for a tax April Fools' joke, you could end up as sad as this usually jovial jester. (Jan Alojzy Matejko painting image via Wikipedia Commons) It's April 1, also known as April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day or the day of the year I hate the most. Why do I have such disdain for the first day of April? Because too many people try to be funny on this day. Call me a killjoy if you want. I've been called worse. I really do have a sense of humor, even about taxes. But not about fake... Read more →


Where you live and the types of taxes collected there determine whether your tax bill goes up or down. (Photo by Annamaria Kupo on Unsplash) The annual income tax filing season generates a lot of talk about moving. Few of us actually pack boxes and load up vans as soon as we send the Internal Revenue Service our 1040s, but we do contemplate what it would be like to live in a lower-tax locale. People in high-tax states explore possible relocation to a lower- or no-tax domestic jurisdiction. Some more peripatetic taxpayers look abroad. But there's more to consider than... Read more →


It's National Margarita Day! Each Feb. 22, the focus is on appreciating this popular tequila-based cocktail. Or as we call it here in Texas, every day. FX/FXX TV's spy-turned-private detective Sterling Archer offers his margarita recipe. If, however, you're looking for a drink that's a bit more elaborate that the basic one preferred by the animated (in so, so many ways!) and self-absorbed bon vivant, check out the Cooking Channel's top 28 margarita recipes. Personally, I prefer beer. But if a margarita is your drink, here's to an enjoyable happy hour with your fellow fans of this azul agave beverage.... Read more →


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Most states operate on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30. That's why we see some new laws take effect each summer across the United States. However, those states also make the effective date for other changes the first of the year. It's easier for us residents, who operate on a January to December calendar, to accept that timetable. That's especially true of tax laws, since most states also tend to follow the Internal Revenue Service calendar. New tax laws effective New Year's Day: This Jan. 1, notes the Tax... Read more →