Sixteen states offer sales tax holidays where state sales tax charges are temporarily dropped on back-to-school items and other qualifying products — according to each state’s tax holiday rules. The holidays can be brief, ranging from as little as two days to as long as a week.
Sales tax holidays timed for back-to-school shopping began as early as July 21 in Alabama, but for the other fifteen states the tax holidays take place from the end of July to the end of August, with most falling on the first weekend of August. These temporary tax exemptions only apply to specific items outlined by each state.
A number of states have revised the specific requirements for their programs over the years – including Florida, Maryland, Missouri and Connecticut – and some, like Georgia, have dropped its tax holiday program entirely.
Other State Sales Tax Holidays
Back-to-school season isn’t the only time certain states offer sales tax holidays. Some states such as Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia include items for hurricane and severe weather emergency preparation as part of their sales tax holidays, such as portable generators and batteries. Certain Energy Star appliances and WaterSense products, washers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, light bulbs, programmable thermostats and refrigerators may be eligible for tax breaks during sales tax holidays held in Maryland, Missouri, Texas and Virginia. Louisiana and Mississippi also have sales tax holidays for firearms and ammunition.