A tax-free weekend, also known as a sales tax holiday, is a period of time during which certain items are exempt from sales tax in a participating state. These weekends are often designed to coincide with specific shopping seasons, such as back-to-school shopping and the aim to provide consumers with an opportunity to save money on their purchases.
During a tax-free weekend, eligible items are temporarily exempt from the standard state or local sales tax. The specific rules, eligible items, and dates of the tax-free weekend vary from state to state. Common items that are often included in tax-free weekends include clothing, school supplies, electronics, and sometimes even larger items like energy-efficient appliances.
The tax-free weekend is not observed in all states, participating states are:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
9 Ways to Tax-Free Weekend: Maximizing Savings on Back-to-School
During a tax-free weekend, eligible items are temporarily exempt from the standard state or local sales tax. The specific rules, eligible items, and dates of the tax-free weekend vary from state to state.
Here are nine ways to maximize your savings during a tax-free weekend:
Create a shopping list of the items you need, including school supplies, clothing, and electronics. Research which items are eligible for tax exemption in your state during the tax-free weekend.
Know the Rules For Your State
Each state has its own rules and regulations for tax-free weekends. Some states exempt clothing and footwear up to a certain price limit, while others include electronics, school supplies, and other items. Make sure you understand what items qualify for tax exemption in your area.
Time Your Shopping
Tax-free weekends are usually scheduled during the late summer, just before the new school year begins. Plan your shopping trip for these designated dates to take advantage of the savings.
Stack Coupons and Discounts
Check if you can combine store coupons and discounts with the tax-free weekend savings. This can lead to even bigger discounts on your purchases. Look for additional coupons, store promotions, and discounts to stack with the tax-free savings. Many retailers offer extra incentives during tax-free weekends.
Shop Online During Tax-Free Weekend
Many online retailers also participate in tax-free weekends, even if you’re not physically located in a tax-free state. Check with your favorite online stores to see if they’re offering tax-free promotions during the event.
Buy in Bulk
If allowed, consider buying items in bulk during the tax-free weekend. This can be especially beneficial for school supplies that your child will need throughout the school year.
Tax-free weekends can get crowded, and popular items may sell out quickly. Start your shopping early in the day to ensure you get the items you need before they’re gone.
Don’t assume that every store will have the same prices during the tax-free weekend. Compare prices at different retailers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Focus on Essentials
Stick to purchasing necessary items during the tax-free weekend. While it’s tempting to buy non-essential items, the goal is to save money on essentials for the school year.
What to Buy During Tax-Free Weekend?
During a tax-free weekend, you can typically save money by purchasing certain items without having to pay sales tax. The specific items that are eligible for tax exemption can vary from state to state, but here are some common categories of items that are often included:
Clothing and Footwear
Many states include clothing and footwear as part of their tax-free weekend. This can be a great opportunity to buy back-to-school clothes for your children or even update your own wardrobe without paying sales tax.
RELATED: 3 Tips to Save Money on Kid Clothes
Items like pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, backpacks, calculators, and other school-related supplies are often eligible for tax exemption. This is a chance to stock up on the essentials for the upcoming school year.
Computers and Electronics
Some states extend the tax exemption to computers, tablets, and other electronic devices up to a certain price limit. If your state includes electronics, it’s a good time to buy laptops, tablets, or other devices for educational purposes.
Bedding and Linens
Certain states include bedding and linens in their tax-free weekends. This might be a good opportunity to purchase items like sheets, pillows, and blankets for dorm rooms or bedrooms.
In some states, textbooks and educational materials may be eligible for tax exemption. This can be especially helpful for college students.
If your state includes art supplies in the tax-free weekend, it’s a great chance to stock up on paints, brushes, sketchbooks, and other creative materials.
Some states extend the tax exemption to sports equipment and athletic apparel. This could be a good time to buy items like sneakers, cleats, or other sports gear.