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

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

Posted on July 26, 2013

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: & 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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