Here are 16 states holding back-to-school tax holidays in 2019, starting with the earliest.


man father choosing shirt with son boy during shopping at garments shop
Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock

When: July 19-21

During Alabama's tax holiday, the state's 4% sales tax won't apply to articles of clothing priced at $100 or less, school supplies costing $50 or less, or any bound book with a selling price of $30 or under.

And here's the best deal: Alabama consumers will pay no sales tax on purchases of computers or computer supplies (including printers) totaling $750 or less.

Officials say shoppers might still have to pay local sales tax during the holiday period.


Cute beautiful little girl with her mother to buy clothes in shop
nata-lunata / Shutterstock

When: July 26-27

Shoppers hitting stores in Mississippi get a two-day holiday from sales taxes on school supplies, clothing and footwear items priced below $100.

The state's Department of Revenue says that while belts and hats qualify as clothing, the tax break does not extend to skis, swim fins or roller blades.

The promotion spares Mississippians from the state's usual 7% sales tax.


Mother and daughter looking at laptop in multimedia store
goodluz / Shutterstock

When: July 26-28

The back-to-school tax holiday in Tennessee makes clothing, shoes, school supplies (including backpacks) and art supply items tax-free — if the price is $100 or less.

You also pay no tax on computers or tablets costing up to $1,500.

You can make your back-to-school savings even sweeter by paying with a cash-back credit card. Tennessee ordinarily charges a 7% sales tax.


The boy tries on clothes in the childrens clothing store
Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-3

The Hawkeye State's tax holiday gives Iowa shoppers two days of relief from state and local sales taxes on clothing and footwear items that cost less than $100.

Officials say the tax break does not extend to umbrellas, handkerchiefs, jewelry or specialty athletic shoes you wouldn't wear out on the street. But the list of eligible items does include diapers, bedroom slippers and wedding gowns.

If you're buying shoes that cost $120, officials say you can't claim you've really got two $60 items and hope to avoid the sales tax — it doesn't work that way. Sales taxes usually tack on an average 6.82% to purchases in Iowa, says the Tax Foundation.


Group of happy best friends with shopping bags in the city center - Tourists walking and having fun in the summer around the old town - University students during a break in a sunny day
View Apart / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

The back-to-school sales tax holiday in Missouri offers tax-free shopping when you buy clothing items that cost $100 or under, or make school supply purchases of up to $50.

But the savings don't stop there. You also will pay no tax on personal computers or peripheral items (like printers) costing up to $1,500 each, or on software valued at $350 or less.

Note that some Missouri cities and counties choose not to participate in the holiday. (Humbug!) In those cases, you still pay local sales taxes but not the state's 4.225% tax.

New Mexico

Back to school concept, Young asian mother or parent and little girl kid  buying school satchel or bag in store, Selective focus
Chaninny / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

New Mexico gives a three-day sales tax break on clothing and shoes priced at less than $100, and on standard school supply items that cost less than $30 each.

The tax holiday also means no sales tax on desktop, laptop, tablet or notebook computers costing less than $1,000.

If you're buying computer equipment — including a printer, hard drive or motherboard — you pay no tax if the price is under $500. During the holiday "bonanza," as the state calls it, New Mexicans are off the hook from sales taxes averaging 7.82%.


Buying school supplies at the supermarket. The young man buys a notebook in the store
nata-lunata / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

Ohioans are getting an opportunity for some tax-free retail therapy — maybe to help them get over a fresh 10.5-cent increase in the state's gasoline tax.

The sales tax holiday means no taxes on clothing items priced at $75 or less, or on school supplies and textbooks that cost $20 or under.

Ohioans ordinarily pay sales taxes averaging 7.17%, the Tax Foundation says.


Young Hispanic boy trying shoes at shoe store
Blend Images / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

In Oklahoma, the three-day tax holiday means no state or local sales taxes on clothing and footwear items priced at less than $100.

Goods included in the tax break include: aprons; diapers; belts; slippers; underwear; wedding apparel; bathing suits; and costumes (but not masks).

The usual sales taxes in Oklahoma average out to 8.92%.

South Carolina

mother with baby in shop
Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

South Carolina offers one of best back-to-school deals around.

The state's three-day tax holiday suspends state and local sales taxes on clothing, accessories, clothing and computers — regardless of the price. The tax break even extends to bed and bath items, including bed sheets, towels and shower curtains.

Sales taxes in the Palmetto State normally average 7.43%. South Carolina's Department of Revenue says in past years, holiday weekend shoppers have saved up to $3 million.


Salesman in red shirt and baseball cap is showing bearded client new chainsaw explaining details on laptop in power tools store.
Veres Production / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-4

Virginia's three-day sales tax holiday offers deals on not only back-to-school items but also hurricane preparedness gear, and energy- and water-saving products.

You pay no tax on clothing or shoes priced at $100 or less, or on individual school supplies that cost $20 or less.

Average 5.65% sales taxes also are suspended if you buy:

  • Portable generators costing $1,000 or less.
  • Gas-powered chainsaws priced at $350 or under.
  • Other hurricane supplies that cost $60 or less.
  • Energy Star appliances and WaterSense items (such as faucets, showerheads and toilets) costing $2,500 or under.


young beautiful woman with children in shop
nata-lunata / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 2-6

In Florida, back-to-school shoppers get a full five days to enjoy back-to-school sales tax savings.

During the holiday, clothing, accessories and shoes priced at up to $60 are tax-free. "Accessories" include purses, bibs, hunting vests, bicycle helmets, fanny packs and martial arts attire. "Shoes" include slippers and bowling shoes.

Shoppers also pay no sales tax on individual school supplies selling for $15 or less, or on computers and related gear (including monitors, printers and web cameras) costing up to $1,000. Sales taxes in the Sunshine State usually add an average 7.05%.


Portrait of smiling young mother with daughter reading textbook in book shop
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 3-4

Arkansas offers two days free of sales taxes on clothing items priced under $100 and "clothing accessories" (including handbags, briefcases, wallets, umbrellas and jewelry) that cost less than $50.

Shoppers also pay no tax on school supplies or instructional materials, including text books and reference books. Consumers in Arkansas ordinarily pay an average 9.43% in sales taxes.

Before you plan your back-to-school shopping trip, make sure you've got the right credit card for your shopping habits.


School uniform near sneakers and school supplies on orange background with an inscription school. Top view, Copy space.  outfit. Back to school.
Bondar Illia / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 9-11

Texas gives shoppers a three-day break from sales taxes on most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced at less than $100.

But the state draws the line at athletic shoes and protective gear that you wouldn't wear off the field — including golf cleats and football pads. That stuff is not tax-exempt.

The usual sales taxes paid in Texas add up to an average 8.19%.


girl in   store choosing   briefcase for   school.
Daria Chichkareva / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 11-17

Maryland's tax-free period lasts an entire week and offers savings when you buy clothes or shoes that cost $100 or less.

Items exempted from the usual 6% sales tax statewide include diapers, costumes, martial arts clothing, pajamas, bathrobes, chef's uniforms, hunting vests and pants, and even antique clothing.

Buying a book bag or backpack in Maryland? The first $40 of that purchase is tax-free, too.


HDR image, JC Penney storefront entrance customers, shopping mall - Peabody, Massachusetts USA - September 4, 2017
QualityHD / Shutterstock
Shoppers in Peabody, Massachusetts, hit a J.C. Penney for back-to-school.

When: Aug. 17-18

The sales tax holiday in Massachusetts couldn't be simpler. For two days, you don't pay the state's 6.25% sales tax on most items that cost $2,500 or less.

Buying a, $800 smartphone? There's no tax. A $2,100 high-end refrigerator? No tax! The weekend deal saves Massachusetts consumers an estimated $20 million, according to media reports.

Several types of purchases don't qualify for the sales tax holiday, including cars, motorboats, restaurant meals, utilities, alcohol, tobacco products and marijuana.


Teenager shopping for new clothes at the department stpre.
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock

When: Aug. 18-24

Connecticut's back-to-school tax holiday is the last on the calendar — and it's also one of the longest.

The Federation of Tax Administrators says shoppers get a weeklong break from sales taxes on purchases of clothing or footwear priced at less than $100.

The normal sales tax in the Nutmeg State is 6.35%. If you live in Connecticut — or in or near any of these states, for that matter — you'll want to put the tax holiday on your smartphone calendar now.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman


Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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