Mississippi

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

When: July 30-31

Shoppers 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 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.

Your credit cards are too tapped out to do much shopping? You might want to consider rolling your balances into a single lower-interest debt consolidation loan to pay off that debt faster and more affordably.

Tennessee

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

When: July 30-Aug. 1

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.

Florida

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

When: July 31-Aug. 9

In Florida, back-to-school shoppers get a full 10 days to enjoy back-to-school sales tax savings.

During the holiday, clothing, accessories and shoes priced up to $60 are tax-free. "Accessories" include purses, bibs, hunting vests, youth 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 around 7%, on average.

Iowa

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

When: Aug. 6-7

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

Iowa 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 in previous years, the list of eligible items did 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. State and local sales taxes can add 6% to 8% to purchases in Iowa.

Missouri

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. 6-8

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 of Missouri's less generous cities and counties choose not to participate in the holiday. 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. 6-8

During the tax "bonanza," as New Mexico likes to call it, back-to-school shoppers are off the hook from sales taxes that can exceed 9%.

The state 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 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.

Ohio

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

When: Aug. 6-8

The Buckeye State's 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 state and local sales taxes ranging from 6% on up to 8%.

Those percentages are much steeper than today's mortgage rates, now averaging just 2.78% for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. If you own your home and haven't refinanced in the last year, you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars in monthly savings.

Oklahoma

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

When: Aug. 6-8

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

Goods usually covered by the tax break have included: aprons; diapers; belts; slippers; underwear; wedding apparel; bathing suits; and costumes. The usual sales taxes in Oklahoma can reach as high as 11%.

Back-to-school shopping can be a good opportunity to teach your children about money. To make those lessons even more engaging, you might get them their own kid-friendly debit cards — to give them some practice with plastic, under your watchful eye.

South Carolina

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

When: Aug. 6-8

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

The state's three-day tax holiday, which dates back to 2000, 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 run from 6% on up to 9%, depending on the city. South Carolina's Department of Revenue says in past years, tax holiday weekend shoppers have saved up to $3 million.

Texas

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. 6-8

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%.

No matter where you live, a good way to give your budget a break is by doing some comparison shopping every time your car insurance comes up for renewal. You might easily save hundreds of dollars by reviewing prices from multiple insurance companies.

Virginia

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. 6-8

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.

Virginia's 5.3% in total 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.

Arkansas

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

When: Aug. 7-8

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 sales taxes that range up to 11.5%.

Been wanting to try your luck in the stock market but didn't think you had the means? You might start investing slowly while you shop for back-to-school. Just download a popular app that helps you build a diversified portfolio with nothing more than spare change from your everyday purchases.

Maryland

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

When: Aug. 8-14

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

Stuff that's exempted from the usual 6% sales tax statewide includes 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.

If you order and pay for eligible items online during the week, you won't pay taxes either. You can boost your savings on the web by using a free browser add-on that automatically searches for lower prices and coupons before you click "buy."

Massachusetts

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. 14-15

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 an $800 smartphone? There's no tax. A $2,100 refrigerator? Nope, 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.

Connecticut

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

When: Aug. 15-21

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

The Federation of Tax Administrators says the state's 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%, and the tax break could give you more money to invest or pay off debt. 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, and set yourself an alert.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman

Editor-in-Chief

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

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