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Catch a (Tax) Break: 17 States Offer Back-To-School Tax-Free Holiday Weekends

With the average back-to-school shopper expected to spend nearly $635 and back-to-college shoppers are expected to shell out close to $835, there’s no better time than the present to start preparing for your annual splurge on school supplies, apparel, electronics, and dorm furnishings. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey, 24% of households with students already received the memo and have begun shopping for their kids’ impending return to the classroom, effectively setting the back-to-school shopping season into motion.

 

Back-to-school expenditures often add up far more quickly than many expect and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress on your wallet. In an effort to alleviate that stress, seventeen states are planning on making back-to-school shopping slightly less painful, not to mention encourage consumer spending and stimulate economic growth, by implementing tax-free holiday weekends in late July and throughout the month of August.

This is, quite literally, highly valuable news for shoppers living in states that have exorbitant combined state-local sales tax rates, like Tennessee (9.44%), Louisiana (8.69%), and Oklahoma (8.33%). For consumers whose bank accounts are regularly subjected to a slightly tighter squeeze than those of shoppers in states that have little to no sales tax, these tax-free holidays should come as a welcome moratorium on their usual sales tax.

2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

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2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

 

2013 Tax Holiday Map for Back to School

You’ll find just below a little more info on the seventeen states implementing the tax-free holidays, including each state’s usual combined sales tax, the dates of the holiday, as well as the items you’ll be able to purchase tax-free.

17 States Offering Back-to-School Tax-Free Holidays

  • Alabama (8.03%): August 2-4:clothing ($100), computers ($750), school supplies ($50), books ($30)
  • Arkansas (8.10%): August 3-4clothing ($100), school supplies
  • Connecticut (6.35%): August 18-24clothing & footwear ($300)
  • Florida (6.62%): August 2-4: school supplies ($15), clothing ($75), computer ($750)
  • Georgia (6.99%): August 9-10: school supplies ($20), clothing ($10), computer ($1,000)
  • Iowa (6.82%): August 2-3: clothing ($100)
  • Louisiana (8.69%): August 2-3: all tangible personal property
  • Maryland (6.00%): August 11-17: clothing & footwear ($100)
  • Mississippi (7.00%): July 26-27: clothing & footwear ($100)
  • Missouri (7.00%): August 2-4: clothing ($100), computers ($1000), school supplies ($50)
  • New Mexico (7.26%): August 2-4clothing ($100), computers & accessories ($1000), school supplies ($30)
  • North Carolina (6.87%): August 2-4clothing ($100), school supplies ($100), instructional material ($300), computers ($3,500), sports equip ($50)
  • Oklahoma (8.33%): August 2-4clothing ($100)
  • South Carolina (7.08%): August 2-4clothing, school supplies, computers
  • Tennessee (9.44%): August 2-4clothing ($100), school supplies ($100), computers ($1500)
  • Texas (8.14%): August 9-11: clothing, backpacks, school supplies ($100)
  • Virginia (5.00%): August 2-4: clothing ($100), school supplies ($20)

Source: TaxFoundation.org & Federation of Tax Administrators

P.S. Not lucky enough to live in a state with a timely August tax holiday? Many retailers offer discounts to students and teachers with school IDs. Check out our student and teacher discount lists for more details.

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About the Author: Connor J. Laughlin

Connor is an amateur food critic (read: he eats and has opinions), self-proclaimed film-buff, & expects to be starting in the NBA or selected to the USMNT's starting XI by the time he's 45 years old. He enjoys fine wine (when told it's fine), international travel, & is passionate about reading, writing, & the Oxford comma.

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