Understanding State Sales Tax Holidays: A Shopper's Guide

Understanding State Sales Tax Holidays: A Shopper’s Guide


State sales tax holidays are special periods when states temporarily exempt certain products from sales tax. These holidays aim to provide financial relief to consumers, encourage spending, and stimulate local economies. Typically, these holidays are scheduled around back-to-school seasons, hurricane preparedness, and energy-efficient purchases. Let’s explore what sales tax holidays are, which states participate, and the specific dates and offers you can take advantage of.

What Are State Sales Tax Holidays?

Sales tax holidays are designated days or weekends when specific items are sold without sales tax. These items usually include school supplies, clothing, footwear, emergency preparedness products, energy-efficient appliances, and sometimes even electronics. Each state has its own rules regarding eligible items and spending limits.

States Participating in Sales Tax Holidays

States that have 
Sales Tax Holidays

Here is a comprehensive list of states that participate in sales tax holidays, along with the dates and offers for 2024:

  1. Alabama

    • Dates: February 23-25 (Severe Weather Preparedness) and July 19-21 (Back to School)
    • Offers: No tax on items like generators, batteries, and weather radios in February; school supplies, clothing, and computers in July.
  2. Arkansas

    • Dates: August 3-4
    • Offers: Tax-free shopping on clothing and school supplies.
  3. Connecticut

    • Dates: August 18-24
    • Offers: Exemption on clothing and footwear under $100.
  4. Florida

    • Dates: July 27 – August 6 (Back to School) and May 31 – June 6 (Disaster Preparedness)
    • Offers: School supplies, clothing, and computers in July; batteries, flashlights, and generators in May.
  5. Iowa

    • Dates: August 2-3
    • Offers: Clothing and footwear under $100.
  6. Maryland

    • Dates: August 11-17
    • Offers: Clothing and footwear under $100, as well as backpacks under $40.
  7. Mississippi

    • Dates: July 26-27
    • Offers: Clothing and footwear under $100.
  8. Missouri

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: Clothing under $100, school supplies under $50, and computers under $1,500.
  9. New Mexico

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: School supplies, computers, and clothing.
  10. Ohio

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: Clothing under $75, school supplies under $20, and instructional materials under $20.
  11. Oklahoma

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: Clothing and footwear under $100.
  12. South Carolina

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: School supplies, clothing, and computers.
  13. Tennessee

    • Dates: July 26-28 (Back to School) and July 28-30 (Food, Food Ingredients, and Prepared Food)
    • Offers: School supplies and clothing in July; food and food ingredients.
  14. Texas

    • Dates: August 9-11
    • Offers: Clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks under $100.
  15. Virginia

    • Dates: August 2-4
    • Offers: School supplies under $20, clothing and footwear under $100, and hurricane and emergency preparedness items.

For more information on specific states and their detailed offers, visit their respective Department of Revenue websites.

Year-Round Sales Tax Savings

In addition to these periodic sales tax holidays, some states offer year-round sales tax exemptions on certain items, providing ongoing savings for residents:

  • Nebraska: No sales tax on food for home consumption, allowing residents to save on their grocery bills throughout the year. Save even more with couponing!
  • Minnesota: Exempts clothing from sales tax year-round, helping families save on everyday apparel.
  • New Jersey: No sales tax on clothing and footwear, providing consistent savings for shoppers.
  • New York: Clothing and footwear items under $110 are exempt from sales tax, offering year-round relief on these essentials.
  • Texas: Certain groceries, prescription medications, and non-prescription medications are exempt from sales tax.

Benefits of Sales Tax Holidays

Sales tax holidays provide several benefits to consumers and businesses alike:

  • Financial Relief: Families can save money on essential items, particularly during back-to-school shopping.
  • Increased Spending: These holidays often encourage increased consumer spending, boosting local economies.
  • Retailer Promotions: Retailers may offer additional discounts, making it an ideal time to make purchases.

Tips for Shopping During Sales Tax Holidays

  1. Plan Ahead: Make a list of needed items and check the eligible products.
  2. Budget Wisely: Stick to your budget to avoid overspending.
  3. Shop Early: Beat the crowds by shopping early in the holiday period.
  4. Check Limits: Be aware of price limits on tax-exempt items to maximize savings.

State sales tax holidays offer a great opportunity to save money on essential purchases. By understanding which states participate and the specific dates and offers, you can make the most of these tax-free periods. Additionally, take advantage of states that provide year-round sales tax exemptions on essential items for consistent savings. Happy shopping!

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