Is Your State Having a Tax Free Weekend in August?

Posted in Saving Tips
Sales tax holidays are becoming more commonplace as many states recognize the benefits provided to the average household as well as the local economy at large. During a tax free weekend, a broad range of merchandise is completely tax exempt, which means that each of your hard-earned dollars can go a lot further. These weekends are often scheduled in August and can be a big boon for families.

What Is Tax-Free Shopping?

Tax holidays are periods during which states reduce or even eliminate taxes in one or more sectors. In states that have sales tax, this reduction or exemption can apply to many different goods and services. Often, tax-free shopping is instituted temporarily, usually on an annual basis, and due to a particular motivation, such as lessening an unintended burden on the average consumer.

Is Everything Tax Exempt? 

It depends on the state and the impetus for the tax holiday. Some states do have tax-exempt periods that are meant to spur the local economy. In those cases, then all or at least most goods and services are exempt. Generally, however, the term tax free weekend refers to back to school. This is the period when families have to budget for school supplies and other school-oriented necessities.

Some states have a limit, such as individual purchases up to $100 or total purchases up top $2,000. Many participating states will have specific exceptions, such as cars, tobacco and dining out. Other states itemize specifically which goods are exempt. This can include:

• Clothes
• Bookbags
• Footwear
• Computers
• Pens and pencils

Are All of These Weekends in August? 

No but most are. This is because most school districts in the United States reopen after summer break in September. Some states opt for the end of July instead, and this may be because their schools tend to open late August, and this is also the period in which college students tend to return.

Do All States Participate? 

No. Note that some states, such as Oregon and New Hampshire, don’t have a sales tax and thus don’t need a tax free weekend for back to school. Of the 44 states that do have a sales tax, 17 participated in 2018, and there’s been a trend of at least one new state joining the fun each year.

How Do I Know If My State Is Taking Part?

Most states have a Department of Revenue, but the name will vary in some cases. This is the state government website on which the press release announcing the weekend is most likely to appear.