These 15 States Have Sales Tax Holidays in August

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  • Many states have sales tax holidays in August, especially during the first weekend of the month.
  • Shoppers can save money on clothing, school supplies, and even electrical items in certain states.
  • Make sure you understand which items are and are not exempt from tax during your state's tax holiday. 

Some states are skipping sales tax on big ticket electrical items as well as clothing and back-to-school essentials.

July and August are some of the most popular times of the year for sales tax holidays. These are set periods of time when you don't have to pay state sales tax on a particular type of spending. As the cost of living crisis deepens, getting a break on your sales taxes may help ease the pressure on your bank account. Especially if you have kids who need back to school items.

States with sales tax holidays in August

Here are the 15 states with sales tax holidays this month. For more information, check out the state website.

Arkansas: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 6-7)

Arkansas residents can spend up to $100 per item on clothing and footwear without paying sales tax during the first weekend of August. The state also allows tax-free shopping on clothing accessories and equipment such as briefcases and jewelry for up to $50 per item. Finally, shoppers can skip the sales tax on school supplies and certain electronic devices. 

Connecticut: Clothing and footwear (Aug. 21-27)

Connecticut's 22nd sales tax-free week begins on the third Sunday of August. Shoppers can buy certain clothing and footwear items worth up to $100 each. Be aware that some types of clothing are not exempt from tax, such as jewelry, party costumes, and roller skates.

Florida: Various items (July 25 to Aug. 7)

Florida is in the midst of a sales tax holiday frenzy. In addition to more than two weeks of back-to-school exemptions, it also has year (or two year) exemptions on other items. Here are the Florida tax holidays to watch out for:

  • Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item; school supplies up to $50 per item; computers and accessories up to $1,500 per item (July 25 to Aug. 7)
  • Children’s books (May 14 to Aug. 14)
  • Diapers and clothing for the under fives (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023)
  • New Energy Star appliances (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023)
  • Impact resistant doors and windows (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024)

Illinois: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-14)

Illinois isn't getting rid of taxes completely in August, but it is reducing its rates by 5% on certain clothing and footwear items worth less than $125. There's no threshold for school supplies. For 10 days, you'll only pay 1.25% in state sales tax on items that usually would have been taxed at 6.25%.

Iowa: Clothing and footwear (Aug. 5-6)

For two days only, select clothing and footwear worth up to $100 are available with no sales tax in Iowa. The sales tax holiday does not apply to watches, jewelry, ski and sports equipment, among other things.

Maryland: Clothing and footwear (Aug. 14-20)

Starting on the second Sunday of August, Maryland's tax-free week applies to items of clothing and footwear valued at $100 or less. The first $40 spent on a backpack or bookbag also qualifies for tax-free status. Other accessories are not included.

Massachusetts: Retail items for personal use (Aug. 13-14)

Massachusetts may only offer two days of tax-free purchases, but there are very few restrictions on the tax holiday. Most retail items of up to $2,500 bought for personal use qualify, though there are a few exceptions. These include meals, alcohol, cars and other vehicles, and utility bills. 

Missouri: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-7)

For three days, Missouri residents can skip sales tax as they get ready for the new school year. The tax holiday applies to the following items:

  • Items of clothing up to $100
  • School supplies of up to $50 per purchase
  • Computer software of up to $350
  • Computers and devices such as a microphone or mouse of up to $1,500
  • Calculators worth up to $150

New Mexico: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-7)

From clothing to computers and school supplies, New Mexico's sales tax holiday applies to a range of back-to-school items. Be aware that you'll still have to pay tax on things like watches, sports equipment, and office furniture. However, the following items are tax free:

  • Clothing or shoes that cost less than $100
  • Computers that cost less than $1,000 and related equipment up to $500
  • School supplies such as notebooks, stationery, bookbags, and calculators of up to $30 per item

Ohio: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-7) 

The first weekend of August is a popular time for sales tax holidays. Ohio's tax-free offers aren't as generous as some other states, but you can buy items of clothing worth up to $75 and school supplies worth up to $20 without paying state sales tax.

Oklahoma: Clothing (Aug. 5-7)

In Oklahoma, items of clothing and footwear worth less than $100 will be exempt from sales tax for three days. Athletic wear and shoes are not included in the tax holiday. 

South Carolina: Clothing, school supplies, bed and bath (Aug. 5-7)

Unlike most states, there are no price limits on South Carolina's sales tax holiday. Shoppers can purchase bed and bath items such as pillows, towels, and bedspreads tax free. The holiday also applies to a range of school supplies such as books and stationery, and computers and accessories. Most clothing and footwear are also exempt from tax. 

Texas: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-7)

Items of clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies priced under $100 all qualify for the tax-free holiday in Texas. Face masks are also exempt from tax for the three-day tax-free bonanza.

Virginia: Various items (Aug. 5-7)

Get ready for school or for hurricanes during Virginia's tax-free break. The exemption applies to a number of items, including clothing and electrical appliances. Here's the breakdown:

  • School supplies of up to $20 per item
  • Clothing and footwear of up to $100 per item
  • Portable generators of up to $1,000
  • Gas-powered chainsaws of up to $350
  • Other hurricane preparedness items of up to $60 
  • Energy Star or WaterSense products for personal use of up to $2,500

West Virginia: Clothing and school supplies (Aug. 5-8)

West Virginia's sales tax holiday encompasses a number of back-to-school purchases. School supplies that cost less than $50 and laptops and tablets up to $500 will be exempt from tax for four days. Plus, many items of clothing with a price tag of less than $125 and sports equipment that costs less than $150 can be bought without paying sales tax. 

Should you shop during your state's sales tax holiday?

The golden rule for any sale shopping is that it's only a bargain if you buy something you need or planned to buy anyway. Otherwise it's costing you money, not saving it. That applies to state sales tax holidays too. Set yourself a budget and make a list of items you need, as this will reduce the temptation to go extravagantly off script.

Make sure you read the small print. For example, in many states, if an item costs more than the set threshold, you will pay sales tax on the whole item. There are also rules about shops that discount items to sit below the tax-free limit and whether the cost of delivery is included if you're shopping online. It's important to know what is or is not included to avoid any nasty surprises. 

Finally, if you have a rewards credit card or are trying to qualify for a credit card sign-up bonus, think about what card you want to pay with. Don't take on credit card debt you can't pay off solely to benefit from a sales tax holiday -- any tax savings will likely be lost in the interest you pay on the balance. But as long as you pay off the balance when the bill is due, you might be able to earn rewards for your spending.

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