If you’re planning to make big purchases in 2017, you might want to wait for a tax-free weekend or sales tax-free week if your state offers one. States often hold these “holidays” at certain times of the year, such as during back-to-school shopping season or before hurricane season. You can save a significant amount of money by planning ahead for a tax holiday.
Some states hold tax-free days that allow shoppers to buy certain items without paying sales tax. Eligible items might include things like hurricane preparedness supplies, clothing, school necessities, computers and even hunting supplies. New York, a state known for having the highest state taxes, started the trend in 1997 — in 2016, 17 states held sales tax holidays.
If you don’t plan on itemizing sales tax deductions on your tax return or taking a tax exemption to reduce your taxable income, consider shopping during a tax-free day or weekend in your state — or a neighboring one — to offset costs. For example, some states — like Missouri — let shoppers purchase qualifying Energy Star-certified new appliances during a tax-free holiday. Because the Missouri state sales tax is 4.225 percent, that means you would save $42.25 on a $1,000 appliance.
Back-to-School Tax-Free Days
Many states offer tax-free days only during back-to-school season, typically in early- or mid-August before the school semester begins. Shoppers can buy school supplies, certain types of clothing and computers in some states without paying sales tax on these designated days.
Find Out: 50 Tax Write-Offs You Don’t Know About
Hurricane Preparedness Tax-Free Days
Some states have tax-free days for hurricane preparedness-related purchases, such as generators and other supplies. These typically take place before or during hurricane season — for instance, Alabama’s hurricane preparedness tax-free days for 2017 will take place from Feb. 24 to 26. Texas will hold its 2017 tax-free days for storm season supplies from April 22 to April 24 and shoppers will be able to avoid sales tax on generators and other supplies for extreme weather preparation.
States With Tax-Free Days
If you live in a state that offers tax-free shopping days, plan your purchases around those dates to save money this year. Here are the states offering tax-free days in 2017:
|State||Tax-Free Days in 2017||Eligible Items and Limitations|
|February: Severe weather preparedness supplies under $60, generators under $1,000|
August: Certain school supplies, books, computers, clothing
|Arkansas||Aug. 5-6||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100; school supplies|
|Connecticut||Aug. 20-26||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|Iowa||Aug. 4-5||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
|May: Purchases of $2,500 or less|
September: Firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies
|February: Select Energy Star products|
August: Qualifying articles of clothing or footwear under $100
|July: Articles of clothing or footwear under $100|
August: Firearms, ammunition, hunting supplies
|April: Select Energy Star products under $1,500|
August: Clothing, school supplies, computers
|New Mexico||Aug. 4-6||Articles of clothing or footwear under $100; computers, school supplies|
|South Carolina||Aug. 4-6||Clothing, computers, school supplies|
|Tennessee||July 28-30||Articles of clothing or footwear and school supplies under $100; computers under $1,500|
|April: Qualifying weather preparedness supplies including generators under $3,000 and storm devices under $300|
May: Select Energy Star products including air conditioners under $6,000
August: Articles of clothing or footwear, school supplies under $100
|Virginia||Aug. 4-6||Qualified school supplies under $20; articles of clothing or footwear under $100; select Energy Star, WaterSense, hurricane and emergency preparedness items|
States Without Tax-Free Days
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. However, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon never charge any state sales tax so you don’t have to wait for a tax-free holiday if you live in one of those states.
States that have not yet announced a tax-free weekend or holiday in 2017 include:
- District of Columbia
- Georgia — its last sales tax holiday was in 2016
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Ohio — its last sales tax holiday was in 2016.
- Oklahoma — its last sales tax holiday was in 2016
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia