Tax-Free Weekend: Score Big Savings on Back-to-School Essentials

Seventeen states offer a fantastic opportunity called the “tax-free weekend.” This sales tax holiday allows shoppers to make purchases without paying any sales tax. And with some states charging up to 7.25% in sales tax, these savings can really add up. In 2023, this tax-free extravaganza is happening in July in select states. So, if you’re like me and gearing up for back-to-school season with multiple kids needing clothing, shoes, school supplies, and maybe even computers, you’re looking at spending a significant chunk of change. That’s why I’m all about snagging savings wherever I can find them.

1. What Exactly is a “Tax-Free Weekend”?

During a “tax-free weekend” or sales tax holiday, certain qualifying items such as clothing, shoes, computers, and school supplies can be purchased without incurring sales tax. Each participating state sets its own spending limits, meaning you can shop till you drop without paying a single cent in sales tax. It’s worth noting that the term “tax-free holiday” can also include separate occasions focused on hurricane supplies and Energy Star product savings. However, for our purposes, we’ll only be discussing tax-free weekends that specifically offer back-to-school savings.

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2. Mark Your Calendar: When is Tax-Free Weekend?

To help you plan your shopping spree, we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet outlining the participating states and their corresponding tax-free weekend dates. Simply click the link provided to explore each state’s website for more details regarding the event.

3. Can You Enjoy Tax-Free Shopping Online?

Absolutely! As long as you make your qualifying online purchases while the sales tax holiday is in effect, you won’t have to worry about paying sales tax, even if your items arrive after the tax-free weekend is over. However, don’t just settle for any online deal. Explore our selection of the best online deals to maximize your savings!

4. Amazon and the Tax-Free Weekend Conundrum

While Amazon doesn’t have its own dedicated tax-free weekend, they are more than happy to comply with your state’s tax regulations. As a result, if you shop on Amazon during your state’s tax holiday weekend and purchase qualifying items, you won’t be charged sales tax. Keep in mind that Amazon automatically applies sales tax to items that don’t qualify for the tax-free weekend in your state. For more information on Amazon’s approach to sales tax holidays, take a look at their website. And don’t forget to explore our favorite Amazon deals!

5. Sales Tax Exemptions Beyond Back-to-School Shopping

Even if you don’t have school-age children, you can still take advantage of the tax holiday! States like Oklahoma and Texas include exemptions for baby clothes and diapers during their tax-free weekends. Before you head out to shop, be sure to check out our baby deals for even more savings!

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6. Make the Most of Tax-Free Weekends for Tech Purchases

Certain states, such as Florida, offer exemptions on computer purchases during tax-free weekends. In Florida, you can enjoy tax-free savings on computers up to a specific limit of $1,500. With a 6% sales tax rate, that’s potential savings of up to $90! However, if the computer you’re eyeing exceeds the limit, you’ll need to pay sales tax on the additional amount. Not to worry though, there are other states like New Mexico, Tennessee, and Missouri, each offering their own tax-free thresholds for computer purchases. Discover our top computer deals to find the perfect match for your needs.

7. Layaway and Tax-Free Weekends: A Winning Combination

In states like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and more, layaway purchases made during a tax-free weekend or new layaway orders set up during this period won’t be subject to sales tax. However, not all states consider layaway as qualifying purchases, so be sure to consult our tax-free weekend cheat sheet in Tip #2 to see if your state participates.

8. Check Your County’s Participation for Tax-Free Weekends

Some states, like Missouri, delegate the decision on participating in tax-free weekends to individual counties. Therefore, it’s essential to double-check if your county offers a sales tax holiday, even if your state does. If your county doesn’t participate, it could be an excellent opportunity for a shopping road trip to a nearby county that does!

9. Discover Weeklong Tax-Free Events

Believe it or not, Maryland, Florida, and Connecticut have extended their tax-free weekends into weeklong events! This means you have an entire week to shop for clothing and footwear without paying any sales tax. Don’t miss out on the best apparel deals during this extended opportunity.

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10. Live in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon? No Sales Tax Woes for You!

Lucky residents of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon get to enjoy a sales tax-free life all year round. We envy your tax-free shopping experiences and feel your pain whenever we have to buy something in a state with sales tax.

So, get ready for the upcoming tax-free weekends and take full advantage of the incredible savings offered on back-to-school essentials. Happy shopping!

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