Who doesn’t love summer? Longer days, warmer weather, tax-free shopping.
States across the nation kick off sales tax holidays in July and August. Stroll into your favorite store during these windows of time, and you may be able to purchase items without being charged state sales tax.
Think of it as a way to boost your savings — and a rare opportunity to get an upper hand on the taxman.
In many of these summer sales tax holidays, back-to-school items are exempt, including everything from clothes to school supplies. Other states extend the savings to things like personal computers.
And this summer two states, Florida and Tennessee, are debuting new sales tax holidays that have nothing to do with back-to-school supplies.
Holiday dates and the spending caps for exempt items also differ from state to state. So, check your state’s rules before heading to the store. For most of the states in the following list, you can click on the state name to learn more.
States with upcoming sales-tax holidays include:
- Alabama: July 16-18
- Arkansas: Aug. 7-8
- Connecticut: The state has yet to officially announce 2021 dates, but last year its back-to-school sales tax holiday started on the third Sunday in August.
- Florida: July 1-7 (the new Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday) and July 31-Aug. 9 (the state’s usual back-to-school sales tax holiday)
- Iowa: Aug. 6-7
- Maryland: The state has yet to officially announce 2021 dates, but its back-to-school sales tax holiday historically starts on the second Sunday in August.
- Massachusetts: Aug. 14-15
- Mississippi: July 30-31, Aug. 27-29
- Missouri: Aug. 6-8
- New Mexico: The state has yet to officially announce 2021 dates, but last year its back-to-school sales tax holiday started on the first Friday in August.
- Ohio: Aug. 6-8
- Oklahoma: Aug. 6-8
- South Carolina: Aug. 6-8
- Tennessee: July 30-Aug. 1 (the state’s usual back-to-school sales tax holiday); July 30-Aug. 5 (a returning sales tax holiday for food); July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 (a new yearlong sales tax holiday for gun safety items)
- Texas: Aug. 6-8
- Virginia: Aug. 6-8
- West Virginia: The state has yet to officially announce 2021 dates, but statutes indicate it will start on the Friday prior to the first Sunday in August.
According to the Sales Tax Institute, statewide sales tax rates range as high as 7.25% in California — and 11.5% in Puerto Rico — not counting any local sales taxes. So, you stand to save a nice bit of cash by taking advantage of sales tax holidays.
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