Tax-free shopping for clothing is one of the joys of living in Pennsylvania. Also, I never pay tax on clothing when I shop in nearby New Jersey. Recently I learned that clothing items priced under $110 in New York City do not incur the city’s normal 8.875% sales tax rate. That’s a huge savings.
Here’s the good news for those of you living in places that have sales tax on these items–sales tax holidays are right around the corner. That is, August is the most popular month for states to offer tax-free shopping tied into back-to-school shopping.
I’ve put together an alphabetical list of the upcoming sales tax holidays in the following 16 states in the month of August. Tax-free shopping starts August 3rd in 11 of these 16 states!
Keep in mind that the dollar amounts included are the price per item maximum that are exempt from sales tax, unless explained otherwise. If you buy something more expensive, you will have to pay sales tax on the entire purchase.
Something else to keep in mind: now that some stores have brought back layaway, in certain states you can put something on layaway during this tax-free shopping time, and as long as the item fits the sales tax holiday criteria, you can pay for it over time, without paying sales tax, even if you make your final payment after the tax holiday is over. Be sure to read the fine print on each state’s tax website–you’ll find a link in each header to that state’s website page for more information.
- Alabama: August 3-5, 2012
You can shop for four (4) kinds of items in Alabama over the three day sales tax holiday and not pay sales tax. Those items are most normal clothing ($100), a single purchase of a computer ($750), school, art, and teacher supplies ($50), and books with an ISBN number ($30). Note: not every county and municipality in the state participates. Check the link above for a downloadable list of items that qualify for tax free shopping.
- Arkansas: August 4-5, 2012
Arkansas has a pretty comprehensive list of items that, should you buy them during this tax holiday, you will not pay tax. These include clothing ($100), clothing accessories or equipment($50), and art supplies, instructional materials and school supplies (though I couldn’t find a price limit for these three categories).
- Connecticut: August 19-25, 2012
Connecticut’s shopping holiday is pretty forward–you will not pay sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $300 during this period.
- Florida: August 3-5, 2012
No sales tax on clothing, footwear, and some accessories costing less than $75, and certain school supplies selling for less than $15. You can find a comprehensive list of what qualifies for tax-free shopping on the Florida Department of Revenue website (linked to above).
- Georgia: August 10-11, 2012
Georgia shoppers are in luck. After not offering a sales tax holiday in 2010 or 2011, there will be two tax-free shopping days in August. Three kinds of purchases qualify: 1) clothing and footwear ($100) 2) computers ($1,000 for a single purchase) 3) school supplies ($20).
- Iowa: August 3-4, 2012
Iowa shoppers take note–the Iowa sales tax holiday is on Friday and Saturday only and it is just for clothing and footwear costing $100 or less per item.
- Louisiana: August 3-4, 2012
During this tax holiday, up to $2,500 spent on nearly all consumer goods (save for cars) purchased will be tax free. (Local and parish taxes still apply.)
- Maryland: August 12-18, 2012
You’ve got nearly a full week to shop tax-free in Maryland for items retailing for $100 or less. And what you can buy–and not pay sales tax–isn’t limited to school-related purchases. The list of tax-exempt items ranges from adult diapers and baby clothes to school uniforms and windbreakers.
- Missouri: August 3-5, 2012
Five kinds of purchases fall under the Missouri sales tax holiday umbrella. They are computers ($3,500), computer peripherals, such as printers ($3,500), computer software ($350), clothing ($100), and school supplies ($50).
- New Mexico: August 3-5, 2012
The following will be tax-free in New Mexico: School supplies ($30, up from $15 last year; go New Mexico!), clothing and shoes ($100), computer-related hardware ($500), and computers–desktop, laptop, notebook, or tablet ($1,000).
- North Carolina: August 3-5, 2012
Here’s what’s on North Carolina’s list: clothing, footwear, and school supplies ($100); school instructional materials ($300); sports and recreational equipment ($50); computers ($3,500); and computer supplies ($250).
- Oklahoma: August 3-5, 2012
Oklahoma’s state sales tax holiday applies to shoes and clothing ($100) only.
- South Carolina: August 3-5, 2012
In South Carolina, nearly anything you buy there during the sales tax holiday will be exempt from the state’s regular 6% tax. However, check the state’s tax page via the link above to find a comprehensive list of what qualifies as a tax-free purchase and what doesn’t.
- Tennessee: August 3-5, 2012
You’ll avoid paying state sales tax when you purchase clothing ($100), school supplies ($100), and computers ($1,500) during the Tennessee sales tax holiday.
- Texas: August 17-19, 2012
In Texas purchases costing $100 on less clothing, backpacks, and school supplies all are tax free.
- Virginia: August 3-5, 2-12
Only clothing ($100) and school supplies ($20) are eligible during Virginia’s state sales tax holiday.