Skip to content
Home » How the Tax-Free Weekend Can Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

How the Tax-Free Weekend Can Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

How the Tax-Free Weekend Can Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

Every sector of the economy is being impacted by the recent inflation increase, including back-to-school sales. In fact, parents are expected to spend $661 per child to be ready for the upcoming school year, up 27% from last year and 8% from 2021.

If you wish to reduce this expense increase, you might want to think about benefiting from the “tax-free weekend” that several states offer. Let’s examine the operation of these weekends, the states that provide them, and the kinds of purchases that qualify.

What is a Tax-Free Weekend?

The majority of states impose a levy known as sales tax on the goods you buy. You’ll pay more in taxes the more you spend.

Many states offer a tax-free weekend where they will not collect sales tax to aid struggling consumers. Tax-free weekends are typically offered just before the start of the school year so that parents and children can save money on necessities like clothing, laptops, and school supplies.

Purchases made online and in stores are also eligible for the tax exemption. If you make an online purchase, even if the item is delivered after the holiday, the tax break will still be offered.

The items you can purchase tax-free vary by state. For instance, the majority of states impose a cap of $100 per piece of clothing. Even if you spend $125 on a winter coat, taxes still need to be paid.

However, as the discount extends to more than simply children’s apparel and accessories in the majority of states, adults can also save money throughout the tax-free weekend. They are also exempt from paying sales tax when buying electronics and office supplies. During this time, teachers and childcare professionals can also purchase classroom supplies.

To take advantage of the tax break, you don’t need to live in the state. You can still benefit from the savings if you reside close to a state that offers a weekend without taxes.

Make sure the tax-free discount won’t tempt you to spend more than you can truly afford before you reach the stores. Prepare a list of the items you actually need to buy. Keep in mind that if you end up spending more than you would have otherwise, you are not saving money.

Find Your State:

Alabama

Dates: July 15-17

Tax rate: 4%

Eligible items:

  • School supplies $50 or less per item
  • Clothing $100 or less per item
  • Computers $750 or less

Arkansas

Dates: Aug. 6-7

Tax rate: 6.5%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing items $100 or less
  • Clothing accessories $50 or less per item
  • Certain school supplies including pencils, notebooks, binders and more

Connecticut

Dates: Aug. 21-27

Tax rate: 6.35%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item

Florida

Dates: July 25-Aug. 7

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items:

  • School supplies $15 or less per item
  • Clothes or accessories $60 or less

Iowa

Dates: Aug. 5-6

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items:

  • Clothes and accessories $100 or less per item

Maryland

Dates: Aug. 14-20

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing and shoes $100 or less per item
  • The first $40 of a backpack

Massachusetts

Dates: Aug. 13-14

Tax rate: 6.25%

Eligible items:

  • Certain retail goods worth $2,500 or less
  • Massachusetts always exempts the first $175 of a clothing item

Mississippi

Dates: July 29-30

Tax rate: 7%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing and shoes $100 or less per item

Missouri

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 4.225%

Eligible items:

  • Clothes $100 or less
  • School supplies $50 or less
  • Computers $1,500 or less
  • Software $350 or less
  • Graphing calculators $150 or less

New Jersey

Dates: Aug. 27-Sept. 5

Tax rate: 6.625%

Eligible items:

  • Clothes and shoes
  • School supplies
  • Certain computers and supplies
  • Instructional materials
  • Some sports and recreation equipment

New Mexico

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.125%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item
  • Computers $1,000 or less
  • Computer hardware $500 or less
  • School supplies $30 or less per item

Ohio

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.75%

Eligible items:

  • Clothes $75 or less
  • School supplies and instructional materials $20 or less

Oklahoma

Dates: Aug. 6-8

Tax rate: 4.5%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item

South Carolina

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items:

  • School supplies, clothes and computers

Tennessee

Dates: July 29-31

Tax rate: 7%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing $100 or less
  • School and art supplies $100 or less
  • Computers $1,500 or less

Texas

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 6.25%

Eligible items:

  • Clothing, shoes, school supplies and backpacks $100 or less

Virginia

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.3%

Eligible items:

  • School supplies $20 or less per item
  • Clothes $100 or less per item

Learn more: Inflation Reduction Act of 2022: What it Could Mean for You and Your Taxes