Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coming Up: Tax-Free August Shopping

The new school year is just around the corner, and for millions of parents and students that means back-to-school shopping. Luckily, several states will be offering sales tax holidays in August. This year there are 17 states with tax holidays that apply to a number of items including clothing and basic school supplies. put together a good summary of the states offering tax-free shopping. I have included a portion of their article below, but you can find the full text at

Within the next five weeks 17 states with sales taxes will be offering "holidays" during which certain purchases can be made tax-free. Take a trip to the right mall at the right time and you can save up to 10% in tax (including local levies) and possibly more, since some retailers offer sales timed to capitalize on the attention sales tax holidays draw. (Five states--Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon--have no general sales taxes.)

The timing for these holidays is no accident. The average family will spend $606 on back-to-school shopping for K-12 students this year, up from $549 last year, according to the National Retail Federation. In fact, back-to-school is the second-biggest consumer spending event for retailers, behind the winter holidays.

Mississippi kicks off the tax-free shopping season on Friday, July 30, with a two-day period when clothing items costing less than $100--but not school supplies--will be free from the state's 7% sales tax. In August 15 states will hold holidays, generally covering such items as school supplies, clothing costing less than $100 per item and in some cases, computers. In high-income Connecticut, clothing and footwear priced at up to $300 will be exempt from the state's 6% state tax.

Sales tax holidays aren't all aimed at back-to-school shopping, however. In Louisiana, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, shoppers can buy all sorts of items, including furniture, costing up to $2,500 free of state sales tax. Then in September, at the start of dove hunting season, the state will offer a special sales tax holiday for hunting supplies. (Guns, ammunition and off-road vehicles, but not hunting dogs, are exempt.) South Carolina also will hold a "Second Amendment" holiday, exempting handguns, rifles and shotguns from sales tax on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving--during deer hunting season

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