Anyone planning to make big purchases in 2020 might want to wait for a sales tax-free weekend or sales tax-free week if your state offers one. What is a tax-free weekend? A tax-free weekend is a period of time — often a weekend, sometimes even a week — where tax is temporarily lowered or eliminated.
States often hold these “shopping holidays” at certain times of the year, such as during back-to-school shopping season or before hurricane season, but the sale items are not just limited to school supplies and emergency preparedness. Clothing, diapers, and in some states, computers, are on the list. Check online to see what your state allows to be purchased tax-free during this time.
- Back-to-School Tax-Free Days
- Hurricane Preparedness Tax-Free Days
- Which States Have Tax-Free Weekends in 2020?
- States Without Tax-Free Days in 2020
- More Ways To Save
Many states offer tax-free weekend sales exclusively for the back-to-school season. These sales are typically around July and August, just before the school year begins. Shoppers in some states can enjoy the tax-free sale of school supplies, certain types of clothing and computers on these designated days.
Residents of hurricane states should pay close attention to when their tax-free weekends are. Some states have tax-free days for hurricane preparedness-related purchases such as generators and emergency supplies. And some states have a specific Energy Star tax-free holiday in which energy-efficient products are declared tax free for a weekend. These typically take place before or during hurricane season — hopefully not during a hurricane. You can keep an eye out for upcoming dates for tax-free hurricane preparedness shopping in these states:
- Alabama: Feb. 21-23
- Texas: April 25-27
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It pays to know whether your state offers tax-free shopping days and no-tax weekends you can plan around to save money on your purchases this year. In case you’re wondering, “When is the tax-free weekend in my state?” — check out this list of tax-free days in 2020 that have been announced:
|States With Tax-Free Days|
|State||Tax-Free Days in 2020||What Is Included in Tax-Free Weekends and Weeks|
|Alabama||Feb. 21-23||Severe weather preparedness items, generators and power cords|
|July 17-19||Articles of clothing or footwear priced at $100 or less; select school supplies priced at $50 or less; computers and computer software priced at $750 or less; books priced at $30 or less|
|Arkansas||Aug. 1-2||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100; accessories under $50; select school supplies|
|Connecticut||Aug. 16-22||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|Iowa||Aug. 7-8||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|Maryland||Feb. 15-17||Energy Star products including air conditioners, washers, dryers, heat pumps and energy-friendly lighting|
|Aug. 9-15||Articles of clothing or footwear priced at $100 or less; the first $40 of a backpack purchase|
|Massachusetts||Aug. 15-16||All retail goods priced at $2,500 or less, except motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunication services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana and marijuana products|
|Mississippi||July 31-Aug. 1||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|Missouri||April 19-25||Energy Star products, up to $1,500 per item|
|Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less; computers priced at $1,500 or less; school supplies, up to $50 per purchase; graphing calculators priced at $150 or less; computer software priced at $350 or less|
|New Mexico||Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100; computers priced at $1,000 or less; computer equipment priced at $500 or less; school supplies under $30|
|Ohio||Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing priced at $75 or less; school supplies priced at $20 or less|
|Oklahoma||Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|South Carolina||Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing, accessories, footwear, computers, school supplies and select bedding|
|Tennessee||July 24-26||Articles of clothing priced at $100 or less; school supplies priced at $100 or less; computers priced at $1,500 or less|
|Texas||April 25-27||Portable generators priced at less than $3,000 an item; ladders and hurricane shutters priced at less than $300 an item; other emergency supplies priced at less than $75 an item|
|May 23-25||Energy Star products|
|Aug. 7-9||Articles of clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100|
|Virginia||Aug. 7-9||Encompasses all three tax-free weekends and includes school supplies, weather preparedness supplies and Energy Star products|
Additional tax-free weekends might be announced throughout the year.
Although many states have tax-free days to help you save a little money on seasonal items, there are some states that don’t offer a tax-free week or tax-free shopping day. But Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon are all states with no sales tax, so you don’t have to wait for a tax-free holiday to shop there. Alaska also does not have state sales tax, but local sales taxes might apply in some jurisdictions.
States that have not yet announced a tax-free weekend or holiday in 2020 include:
- District of Columbia
- Georgia — its last sales tax holiday was in 2016
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- Wisconsin — its last sales tax holiday was in 2018
- West Virginia
Some individuals might itemize sales tax deductions on their tax return or take a tax exemption to reduce taxable income with their shopping, but even if you’re not one of them you can offset your costs by shopping during a tax-free day or weekend in your state — or a neighboring one. There are also tax-free weekends online, so you can shop tax-free in the applicable states on many sites, including Amazon.com. You can save even more by looking out for tax-free weekend deals on coupon sites.
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Information was sourced from states’ websites and the Federation of Tax Administrators website and is accurate as of Jan. 30, 2020.