Last Chance To Take Advantage Of Tax-Free Back-To-School Shopping In 6 States

While most states’ summer sales-tax holidays have come and gone, shoppers in six states — Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Texas — still have a chance to take advantage of tax-exempt shopping on a variety of things from clothing to school supplies.

Here are the states whose sales tax holidays are either ongoing or haven’t started yet.

Click on the name of each state for more detailed information.

Connecticut: August 15-21. Clothing and footwear less than $300 exempt.

Florida: August 13-15. Clothing, books and school supplies exempt (up to certain dollar amounts).

Illinois: Now through Aug. 15. Clothing, footwear and school supplies less than $100 exempt.

Maryland: Now through Aug. 14. Clothing and footwear $100 or less exempt.

Massachusetts: Aug. 14-15. Most retail products under $2,500 exempt. (Click link for full details)

Texas: August 20-22. Clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies less than $100.

Sales-Tax Holidays Coming []


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  1. chefboyardee says:

    Or, all of Delaware, since they have no sales tax on any purchases.

    • Chris Morran says:

      well, yes… but that wasn’t included as I — perhaps stupidly — assumed people who live in and around Delaware are well aware they don’t pay sales tax.

      • chefboyardee says:

        Generally yes, but you’d be surprised – when I moved back to PA from DE I was amazed at how many people didn’t know the “go over the border and buy your computer there” trick (which, for the record, is illegal if you don’t pay the sales tax on it in April, but nobody ever does).

        Hope that comment didn’t come across snarky, was trying to get the info in quickly so anyone who didn’t know could see it without scrolling through all the comments :)

        • chefboyardee says:

          Also, one Christmas, I saw cops pulling over out of state plates at the Christiana Mall (closest major mall to Philly over the DE border), even if they were going well below the speed limit. I wonder if they were looking for tax dodgers.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Why, is there a law against traveling across the state border to purchase goods from another state that has no sales tax?

            • exit322 says:

              Most states with sales taxes have what is called a “use tax” that is designed to get you to pay sales tax on taxable items in your state in which you didn’t pay taxes on.

              In Ohio, the Use Tax “form” is included on the IT-1040. Let’s say that not too many people actually fill out that part of the form.

          • huadpe says:

            It’s not tax dodging at that point though. They’d have to fail to report it on their tax returns for it to be illegal.

            • chefboyardee says:

              Yeah, I was kind of confused on how they planned to prosecute that myself – take their name and match it up in April? Seems unlikely. Maybe it was just a scare tactic :)

        • lilyHaze says:

          I grew up on the border (my parents own a business in DE). When I shop online with sales tax, I ship it to their business. It’s definitely worth it for computers (which I’ve bought at the manufacturer’s websites for years now) and B&M stores with online fronts like Staples/OfficeDepot.

  2. oldwiz65 says:

    Mass has tax holidaythis weekend aug 14-15 sat-sun.

  3. chiieddy says:

    Massachusetts tax free weekend is this coming Saturday and Sunday.

  4. bobosgirl says:

    Ummm… Oregon??? No tax at all, on anything?

  5. ophmarketing says:

    I’m sorry, but gimmicks like this are just irresponsible. Illinois is looking at a budget shortfall of over $13 billion. Eliminating income from sales tax is the LAST thing they should be doing.

    • yusefyk says:

      On the other hand, the benefits from not taxing clothing, footwear, and school supplies, and letting children use more of those things for school, probably outweighs the tax losses.

    • lilyHaze says:

      Maybe not on the state taxes side, but businesses definitely benefit from this. I unknowingly shopped last weekend during VA’s sales tax free time period and the shopping malls were crowded with people buying lots of stuff.

  6. babyruthless says:

    Sweet baby Jesus. I worked at the mall for too many years to have any interest at all in saving a few bucks in exchange for wanting to stab my eyes out.

    Also, the poor kids working at American Eagle were all still going strong when we tottered out of the mall at 1 AM. Horrible. Mall workers should get hazard pay for tax free weekend.

    • mrscoach says:

      I always try to ensure I don’t go shopping on tax free weekend. Last year it, unfortunately, fell at the same time as our monthly paychecks (work for a school, paid monthly) so I HAD to go to town to get things like food and such. Even the grocery stores were madhouses.

      You can’t pay me enough to venture around a mall on that weekend. The piddly amount you save on sales tax isn’t worth it. You don’t save that much, and hearing parents on tv says how much they saved on their 6 kids miss the point. How much would they have saved if they didn’t shop at the last minute, but hit sales instead and stocked up on school supplies throughout the year? Or, didn’t have SIX kids? Honestly, you saved $300 dollars? Tax rates are usually around 8.5 here, so they really had to spend a shitload to ‘save’ $300.

      *goes to note on calendar to stay far away from any shopping next weekend here in Texas*

      • Ragman says:

        I got a $10 off kids apparel and a 30% off everything (stackable) from Kohls that’s good this weekend. Sometimes the sales do line up.

        Some of the clothes I wear don’t ever go on sale, so tax free is the best time to buy. Preferably on the first night, before it gets crazy.

        • Ragman says:

          Ugghhh, I got the weekends mixed up again. Kohls’ sale is before tax free – and I was sitting here thinking how they seem to do a sale ahead of tax free every year.

  7. Exek says:

    always tax free in NH

    • NoWin says:

      Tax-free NH Rocks! (and I’m from Massachusetts…the state that will sue you in New Hampshire to collect its blood money from its citizens)

  8. humphrmi says:

    Just did the school supply run for two of our kids today. Got my “tax free” stuff – on about $170 worth of stuff, I kept about 9 bucks out of the State of Illinois coffers.

  9. jp7570-2 says:

    With most states and cities running at a budget deficit, I would imagine the thought of not collecting sales tax is harder to swallow these days. If things don’t improve, look for these perks to disappear.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      some of those states may have state income taxes, stores would pay more people to work on those days (maybe even overtime) so it may even out for those.

      The others are still only for a week at most, and they’ll get money for plenty of other things that aren’t in the tax free group.

      Like in Florida, I may go get some stuff that is tax free and while doing that may run across something that isn’t and buy it anyway since I’m saving the cash on the other items.

  10. RandomHookup says:

    The reality for most shoppers is that you can save the equivalent of the sales tax with just a good old fashioned sale. Saving the 6.25% here in Mass. isn’t really worth it unless it was something you were going to buy at that time without a sale anyway.

    • lilyHaze says:

      This is true. I’m pretty sure local stores don’t do as many sales (or wait to mark something down) during the tax-free holidays.

  11. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    It’s never seemed right to me to tax necessities like clothes, shoes, or groceries. Might as well tax medical care and prescriptions while they’re at it.

  12. tape says:

    Clothes are exempt in Massachusetts all the time anyway. And New Hampshire is 15 minutes away for me if I want to buy anything else tax-free any day I want.

  13. CalicoGal says:

    So on a $30 pair of slacks I’ll save $1.80? WOOOO woweee…whoop-de-doo

    Argh. I had planned a shopping trip for this evening before I knew about this … grrr.

  14. jj says:

    Ugh I hate that Texas’ weekend has been moved to so late in the month (the weekend before school starts). If I had intentions of using this for everything, I wouldn’t be able to because everything would be gone! Some retailers are already picked through for school supplies!

    I’ve purchased all my son’s school supplies, but I’m waiting to buy his sneakers and backpack until this next weekend. *sigh* It’s going to be a madhouse but the 8% on top of the sales they tend to have does help…