Money Saving Tips

Tax-Free Sales Dates for Every State

Tax-Free Sales Dates for Every State
Written by Oana Schneider

As part of the general consuming public, every item that you purchase and every service that you pay for would have appropriate taxes. Even that $1 candy bar that you will buy from the grocery store would have a percentage of its price allocated to taxes. It is everyone’s duty to pay taxes and employees, at the end of the year, usually receive tax refunds.

The good news is that there are certain days in the year which the federal government considers as tax-free sales dates. The act of eliminating taxes on certain sales transactions are also called tax subsidies, tax reductions or tax abatements. The goal of offering a temporary reduction or elimination of taxes is to provide an incentive for business owners and consumers.

Tax-free sales dates have been implemented on a national level, sub-national, all the way to the local levels. Aside from sales taxes, there are also tax incentives given to real estate property owners; Value Added Tax incentives for tax-paying citizens; and income tax incentives for employees.

18 States with Tax-Free Sales Dates for 2015

So when did specific states start implementing tax-free sales dates on their governmental areas? It was in 1996 that the state of New York implemented their first ever tax free week. Most local governments actually declined to participate but others did. From there, thirteen other states followed suit where they implemented tax-free weekends, typically starting from Friday and lasting through Sunday.

Local governments knew that these are when consumers would be mostly spending their money to buy necessities, so the tax-free days would be their incentive to buy more. Although there are restrictions on certain items, consumers are otherwise free to purchase unlimited quantities of the products that they want to buy on a tax-free basis.

If you’re wondering when the tax-free sales dates are in your area, check out the list that we compiled below:

1. Alabama 

Dates: February 20 to 22
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: hurricane preparedness generators and supplies
(Access this link for more details)

Additional Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, computers, school supplies, books

The state of Alabama has two tax-free sales dates, both lasting for three days. First is the three-day tax-free sales dates which are applicable for supplies related to hurricane preparedness. 2015 is the fourth year that the annual sales tax holiday will be implemented in the state.

The goal is to allow residents to buy severe-weather preparedness supplies, the price tag of which are free of sate sales or use tax. Check out their website to see a list of the participating cities and counties, as well as the exempt items. There’s also a tax-free sales period for school supplies, books, clothes and computers.

 2. Arkansas

Dates: August 1 to 2
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: clothing and school supplies
(Access this link for more info)

The state of Arkansas holds a two-day tax-free sales period where residents can shop for clothes, school supplies, instructional materials, and art materials – free of state and local sales or use tax. All retailers in the state are encouraged to participate and there’s a maximum cost of $100 for school supplies.

3. Connecticut

Dates: August 16 to 22
Number of Days: 7
Items Included: clothing and footwear
(Click here for more)

If you live in Connecticut and you are shopping for clothes and footwear, do so from August 16 to 22. These are the dates that the state implemented for a tax-free holiday. This is the fifteenth year that the Department of Revenue Services has offered this incentive for buyers.

4. Florida

Dates: August 7 to 16
Number of Days: 10
Items Included: school supplies, clothing, supplies, computers
(Click here for more info)

For ten days, the government of Florida rules that no sales tax or local option tax will be collected. This applies to sales of clothing, footwear and certain accessories which are sold for $100 or less per item. For footwear, the cost should be $15 or less, and for computers or computer-related accessories, the amount is $750.

5. Georgia

Dates: July 31 to August 1
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: school supplies, clothing, supplies, computers
(More info right here)

Additional Dates: October 2 to 4
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: Energy Star/WaterSense products

In Georgia, you can buy school supplies, clothes, and computers from July 31 to August 1 without having to pay taxes up to a certain amount. Another tax-free sale period is held on October for products which have Energy Star and WaterSense ratings.

6. Iowa

Dates: August 7 to 8
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: clothing
(Click on this link for more info)

Since the year 2000, the state of Iowa has been implementing a sales tax holiday for select clothing and footwear items. As indicated on their website, it’s an annual event held every first Friday and Saturday of August, so you can shop ‘til you drop for clothes and shoes during this period without having to worry about added sales taxes.

7. Louisiana

Dates: May 30 to 31
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: hurricane preparedness
(Click here for more)

Additional Dates: August 7 to 8
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: all TPP

In Louisiana, the government encourages citizens to prepare for hurricanes by offering tax-free sales dates for supplies related to preparing for hurricanes. From August 7 to 8, there are also tax exemptions for TPPs or Tangible Personal Property items.

8. Maryland

Dates: February 14 to 16
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: Energy Star products
(Click on this link)

Additional Dates: August 9 to 15
Number of Days: 7
Items Included: clothing and footwear

If you’re planning to buy electrical appliances in Maryland, there are three days when you can do so tax-free. They should be Energy Star products and some examples are air conditioners, clothes washers, dryers, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, refrigerators, solar water heaters, dehumidifiers, CFLs, LEDs, and programmable thermostats. Another period where clothing and footwear can be bought sales tax-free is from August 9 to 15.

9. Massachusetts

Dates: August 15 to 16
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: all TPP
(Click here for more)

For the sales tax holiday weekend, all TPP purchases made from August 15 to 16 in Massachusetts are exempt from sales or use taxes.

10. Mississippi

Dates: July 31 to August 1
Number of Days: 2
Items Included: clothing and footwear
(Click on this link for more details)

Additional Dates: September 4 to 6
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies

According to the website of the Mississippi government, there’s a Fuels and Utilities Exemption period for certain agricultural and manufacturing businesses so that they can buy what they need on a tax-free basis. There’s also a period where clothing and footwear purchases can be bought without having to pay for sales or use tax.

11. Missouri

Dates: April 19 to 25
Number of Days: 7
Items Included: Energy Star products
(Follow this link for official information)

Additional Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, computers, school supplies

The state of Missouri implements a Show-me Green Sales Tax Holiday. This started in 2009 and for seven days, Energy Star-rated appliances will be exempt from sales taxes which are implemented by the state. Another three-day sales tax period applies for clothes, computers, and school supplies.

12. New Mexico

Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, computers, computer equipment, school supplies
(Visit this link for more)

The state of New Mexico has what they call a Back-to-School Tax Free Holiday. For three days, the state suspends the collection of gross receipts on the sale of qualifying items. Check out their website for more information.

13. Ohio

Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, school supplies, instructional material
(Click here for more)

The Department of Taxation of Ohio implements a tax-free sale period for clothes priced $75 per item or less; school supplies that cost $20 per item or less; and school instructional materials valued at $20 per item or less.

14. Oklahoma

Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing
(Click here for more)

Since 2007, Oklahoma has been holding a sales tax holiday which lasts for three days. During this period, certain clothes and shoe purchases can be made without having to pay for sales or use taxes.

15. South Carolina

Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3

Items Included: clothing, school supplies, computers
(Click here for more info)

This is the fifteenth year that South Carolina will be holding a sales tax holiday, where the 6% state sales and use tax will not be imposed on clothes and clothing accessories. Computers, printing supplies, software, bed & bath items can also be bought tax-free.

16. Tennessee

Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, school supplies, computers
(More info here)

During the Sales Tax Holiday, the government of Tennessee will not charge sales and use tax for the following items: clothes which are $100 or less; school supplies priced $100 or less; and computers valued $1,500 or less. Check out the governmental website for a list of exempt items.

17. Texas

Dates: May 23 to 25
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: Energy Star products, air conditioners
(Click here for more)

Additional Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, backpacks, school supplies

The Lone Star State holds an Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday every year and for 2015, it’s during the Memorial Day weekend. For the first period, products qualifying for sales and use tax exemptions are air conditioning units valued at $6,000 or less; refrigerators priced $2,000 or less; ceiling fans; light bulbs; clothes washers; dehumidifiers; dishwashers; and programmable thermostats. Another three day period of tax-free sales is held for clothes and school supplies.

18. Virginia

Dates: May 25 to 31
Number of Days: 7
Items Included: hurricane preparedness items, generators
(More info here)

Additional Dates: August 7 to 9
Number of Days: 3
Items Included: clothing, school supplies, Energy Star products, hurricane preparedness items, generators

Since 2006, the state of Virginia has been offering tax-free sales dates for residents purchasing clothes, school supplies, and Energy Star-rated products. They also have a period where hurricane preparedness items like generators can be sold free of sales and use taxes.

You will definitely save a lot of money buying the items that you need if you can legally purchase them tax-free, so it pays to determine if such a benefit is offered in your state.

If you are in a search of a county clerk telephone number, address, email and fax numbers and county clerk websites, on Countyoffice.org you can find more details. 

Find Government Offices in your County here. In each of 50 states of the United States’ 3,143 counties and county equivalents.

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

2 Comments

  • Thanks for posting these dates. I think that it is great to know when there is money off certain items, as it means that you can plan your shopping around the things that you need to buy. Nothing is more annoying than buying something, and then finding that it is a lot cheaper at another time, when you no longer need it. One of the key things about being frugal and saving money is that you should always try to think before you buy, and consider whether it is the best time for you. With these dates in mind you should be able to plan ahead a bit!

  • I tend to like the idea of all tangible personal property being included in the tax-free goods allowed to be purchased during these time frames, as Massachusetts does. I was used to that, having lived up there, but that isn’t how Texas, where I now live, handles the tax free holidays. I also don’t understand why Texas doesn’t have a pre-Hurricane Season tax free holiday, the way Alabama does. I do think it’s great to have tax free holidays, since it enables people who have lower incomes, as well as others, to save a little money.

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