Sales Tax Holiday 2011 is Underway

This post comes a little late, but we are right in the middle of Sales-Tax-Holiday Season! Many states had their sales tax holidays this past weekend, but Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas still have theirs coming up. Take a look at the table below and mark your calendars if you are a resident of any of these states or live close enough to one that it may be worth the trek.

Virginia’s tax holiday has already passed and DC did not have one this year, but if you’re a resident of either of these two places, Maryland’s tax holiday next week may be worth a visit. Likewise, New Yorkers may want to take a trip to Connecticut, and those living New England may find next weekend to be the perfect time to visit Massachusetts.

This year was Arkansas’ first year hosting a tax holiday, while Illinois residents will notice that their usual holiday has been canceled for 2011.

Also note that although the 17 states that are having a tax holiday this year scheduled it to coincide with the back-to-school shopping season, you do not have to be a student or have children going to school to take advantage of the offer. As long as you are buying a qualifying item (see the list below), be it clothing or computer supplies, your purchase should be tax free.
 

State Tax Holiday Dates Tax-Exempt Items
Alabama Aug 5-7 Clothes priced at $100 or less. School supplies priced at $50 or less. Books priced at $30 or less. A single purchase of up to $750 for computers, computer software and computer school supplies.
Arkansas Aug 6-7 Clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less. Accessories and equipment priced at $50 or less. School supplies, art supplies, and instructional material – no price limit.
Connecticut Aug 21-27 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $300. *Note: until very recently, clothing and footwear under $50 was tax-free year round; this was repealed on July 1, 2011, making this tax holiday an even better deal than usual.
Florida Aug 12-14 Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories priced at $75 or less. School supplies priced at $15 or less.
Iowa Aug 5-6 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100.
Louisiana Aug 5-6 The first $2,500 on the purchase price of most “tangible property” for personal use, excluding vehicles, meals, and services.
Maryland Aug 14-20 Clothing and footwear priced at up to $100.
Massachusetts Aug 13-14 Most tangible items priced at $2,500 or less, excluding vehicles, motorboats, meals, utility services, and tobacco.
Mississipi July 29-30 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100.
Missouri Aug 5-7 Clothing priced at up to $100. School supplies under $50 per purchase. Computer software priced at up to $350. Personal computers and computer peripheral devices priced at up to $3,500.
New Mexico Aug 5-7 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100. School supplies priced at less than $15. Computers priced at up to $1000 and computer hardware priced at up to $500.
North Carolina Aug 5-7 Clothing, footwear, and school supplies priced at up to $100. Sports and recreational materials priced at up to $50. School instructional materials priced at up to $300. Computers priced at up to $3,500 and computer supplies priced at up to $250.
Oklahoma Aug 5-7 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100.
South Carolina Aug 5-7 Clothing, footwear, computers, printers, computer software and printer supplies, and various bedding and bath items – no price limit.
Tennessee Aug 5-7 Clothing, footwear, and school supplies priced at up to $100. Computers priced at up to $1,500.
Texas Aug 19-21 Clothing, footwear, backpacks, and school supplies priced at less than $100.
Virginia Aug 5-7 Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100. School supplies priced at less than $20.
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Get Ready for Sales Tax Holiday Weekend 2009

Mark your calendars for shopping this weekend.  In several states this coming Friday, August 7th, kicks off a 2 or 3 day sales tax holiday, with back-to-school preparations in mind.  But this does not mean you have to be in school to benefit: most participating states are waiving sales taxes on any clothing purchase up to $100 (a maximum of $100 per item or per purchase, depending on the state; but if your state does the latter, just separate your items into more than one purchase under $100 if you can) and many are also including footwear and computers.  For a full list of states and items covered, visit the Federation of Tax Administrators’ website

Kiplinger.com also has a good summary, but the information for DC is outdated.  The early August tax holiday in the District, which is usually longer than the 2-3 standard, has been repealed (still no news on the November one) for fiscal reasons.  But DC residents need not miss out on the benefits – a short trip on the metro into Virginia over the weekend should do the trick.  The state of Virginia is waiving its (already lower than DC’s) sales tax from this Friday to Sunday on school supplies with a sales price of up to $20 and clothing and footwear items priced at up to $100, with an unlimited number of items or total cost.  A list of eligible and ineligible items is provided by the VA Department of Taxation.

With sales taxes ranging from 4% to almost 10%, purchases of eligible items in participating states will effectively come with quite a generous discount this weekend.  So if you were planning on buying clothes, computers, or other eligible items in the near future, this weekend looks like the perfect time to go shopping, rain or shine.