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16 states with tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping

August is just around the corner, which means one thing: Back-to-school shopping! While kids are excited to break open new supplies, some parents struggle with how to pay for it all. Luckily, tax-free weekends in states around the nation will help parents buy the clothes and supplies their children need for the upcoming school year.

In July and August, 16 states will host tax-free days where sales tax is temporarily suspended. In many cases, the tax exemption can be applied to clothes and supplies costing less than $100 per item.

The tax break won’t save shoppers a ton of money, but every penny counts when you’re stocking up on supplies for multiple children. According to American Express Spending and Savings Tracker, parents are expected to spend an average of $1,642 on back-to-school clothing and supplies for their families, up 33% from last year. In part, the increase can be credited to purchasing expensive electronics — with 92% of parents saying that their kids use tech for learning. 

Teachers also pay a hefty price for back-to-school. A 2015, survey from SheerID and Agile Education Marketing revealed that teachers spend an average of $490 of their own money on back to school supplies.

Unfortunately, everyone hasn’t adopted the tax-free holiday tradition. So for now, here are the 16 states where you’ll get a tax break this back-to-school shopping season.

Alabama

Dates: August 5-7

Some of the items that can be purchased without Alabama’s 4% sales tax are clothing and shoes under $100 per item, computers under $750 per item, school and art supplies under $50 per item and textbooks between $40 and $50. Handbags, cosmetics, sports shoes, cellphones and video games are excluded from the holiday.

Here is a list of participating cities and counties.

Arkansas

Dates: August 6-7

The standard 6% sales tax will be waived on clothing and footwear less than $100 per item, clothing accessories and equipment less than $50 per item and school supplies. Computers, peripheral equipment and software do not qualify for the tax exemption.

Here is a list of all tax-exempt items.

Connecticut

Date: August 21-August 27

Citizens of Connecticut will get an entire week to buy back-to-school items without the 6.35% sales tax. Applicable to most clothing and footwear less than $100.

Here is a list of all tax-exempt items.

Florida

Date: August 5-7

Last year, Florida’s tax-free holiday lasted one week. This year, it’s just three days. There are also some changes in purchase allowance. Shoppers will not have to pay the regular 6% sales tax on clothes costing less than $60 an item, compared to last year when the max was $100. They can also avoid taxes on shoes up to $60 and school supplies costing $15 or less. Computers won’t be included in the tax-exempt category as they were in 2015.

Here is a list of rules for Florida’s tax-free weekend.

Georgia

Date: July 30-31

At the end of July, Georgians can avoid the 4% sales tax on clothing and shoes costing less than $100, computers under $1,000 and school supplies costing $20 or less.

Here is a list of tax-exempt items.

Iowa

Dates: August 5-7

Shoppers can avoid the 6% sales tax on select clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item. Watches, jewelry and sporting equipment are not tax-exempt.

Here is a list of rules for tax-exempt items.

Maryland

Dates: August 14-20

Maryland’s 7% sales tax will be waived on clothing and footwear under $100. School supplies are not eligible for the tax-free week.

Here is a list of FAQs about Maryland’s tax-free week.

Mississippi

Dates: July 29-30

Enjoy no sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100. However, items like baseball cleats, sports helmets and hair accessories are still subject to a sales tax of 7%.

Here are the official guidelines for Mississippi’s tax-free weekend.

Missouri

Date: August 5-7

For two days in August, Missourians can avoid the 4.227% sales tax on clothing under $100, personal computers, and a wide variety of school supplies. Computer software under $350 will also be tax-exempt.

Here is a list of participating cities and counties.

New Mexico

Dates: August 5-7

For two days, New Mexico will suspend its 5.125% sales tax on clothing or shoes costing less than $100 per unit, computers under $1,000 and school supplies under $30 per unit.

Here is a list of tax-exempt items. 

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Ohio

Dates: August 5-7

Do you dislike the 6.24% sales tax in Ohio? Then you’re in luck. During the first weekend in August, clothing priced at $75 per item or less, school supplies costing $20 or less and school materials under $20 will be tax-free.

Here are the official guidelines for Ohio’s tax-free weekend.

Oklahoma

Dates: August 5-7

Oklahoma is getting in on the fun by waiving their 4.5% sales tax on footwear and clothing costing less than $100. Items sold online qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer pays for the item during the exemption window.

Here is a list of FAQs about Oklahoma’s tax-free weekend.

South Carolina

Dates: August 5-7

For one weekend, specific items are exempt from the 6% sales tax. This includes clothing, shoes, bed linens, book bags, notebooks and other school supplies. The Board of Economic Advisors estimates that suspending the sales tax will save shoppers $2.25 million.

Here is a list of tax-exempt items.

Tennessee

Dates: July 29-31

Tennessee has a pretty generous sales tax holiday. Shoppers can avoid the 7% sales tax on clothing costing $100 or less, computers under $1,500 and school supplies under $100.

Here are the official guidelines for Tennessee’s tax-free weekend.

Texas

Dates: August 5-7

By suspending its 8.25% sales tax, Texas officials predict that shoppers will save $8 for every $100 they spend from August 5-7. As in past years, the sales tax holiday includes most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100.

Here is a list of all tax-exempt items.

Virginia

Dates: August 5-7

In 2015, Virginia’s legislations decided to combine its three sales tax holidays into one-three day event. Shoppers won’t have to pay the 4.3% sales tax on; school supplies, clothing, and footwear; Hurricane and emergency preparedness items; and Energy Star and Water Sense Items. In the school category, you can avoid paying sales tax on clothing or footwear $100 or less, and supplies costing less than $20 or less per item.

Here are the official guidelines for Virginia’s tax-free weekend.

Does your state have a tax-free weekend? How much money did you save? Email us at yfmoneymailbag@yahoo.com.