Back-to-School Shoppers Find Tax Relief in Sales Tax Holidays

Sales tax holidays are back!…in some states

As summer winds down, parents across the country are shifting their thoughts from lazy summer days to the back-to-school shopping frenzy. This August, several states are offering sales tax holidays where state sales tax charges are temporarily waived on back-to-school items and other qualifying products. These temporary tax exemptions only apply to specific items outlined by each state.

Where and when?

Consumers in some lucky states can make the most of their shopping dollars by taking advantage of these sales tax holidays this month.

States Offering Back-to-school Sales Tax Holidays in August 2019:


August 3-4

Clothing items under $100, clothing accessory or equipment under $50, school art supply, school instructional material, and school supply.


August 18-24

Clothing and footwear (not athletic or protective clothing or footwear, jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and similar items) that cost less than $100 per item.


August 2-6

Clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags that cost $60 or less, school supplies that cost $15 or less, and computers and accessories for home or personal use that cost $1,000 or less.


August 2-3

Clothing and footwear (not accessories, rentals, athletic or protective) with sales price of less than $100 per item.


August 11-17

Items of clothing (not accessories) and footwear with a taxable price of $100 or less.


August 17-18

Nonbusiness retail sale of tangible personal property with a price of up to $2,500 per item.


August 2-4

Noncommercial purchases of clothing (not accessories) with taxable value of $100 or less per item; school supplies up to $50 per purchase; computer software with taxable value of $350 or less; personal computers and computer peripherals up to $1,500; and graphing calculators with a taxable value of $150 or less. Localities may opt out. If less than 2% of retailer’s merchandise qualifies, retailer must offer a tax refund in lieu of tax holiday.

New Mexico

August 2-4

Footwear and clothing (not accessories or athletic or protective clothing) with sales price of less than $100 per item; school supplies with sales price of less than $30 per item; computers with sales price of $1,000 or less per item; computer peripherals with sales price of $500 or less per item; book bags, backpacks, maps and globes with sales price less than $100 per item; and handheld calculators with sales price of less than $200 per item. Retailers are not required to participate.


August 2-4

School supplies with a price of $20 or less, clothing with a price of $75 or less, and school instructional materials with a price of $20 or less.


August 2-4

Any article of clothing or footwear (excluding accessories, rentals, and athletic or protective clothing) that is designed to be worn on or about the human body and that has a sales price of less than $100.

South Carolina

August 2-4

Clothing (not rentals), clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers, printer supplies, computer software, bath wash clothes, bed linens, pillows, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs.


August 9-11

Clothing and footwear (not accessories, athletic, protective, or rentals), school supplies, and school backpacks with sales price of less than $100 per item.


August 2-4

School supplies and clothing: clothing and footwear with selling price of $100 or less per item, and school supplies with selling price of $20 or less per item.

Expertise to best understand sales and use tax events

Carol Kokinis-Graves, JD, is an attorney and senior state tax analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, specializing in tracking, analyzing and reporting issues regarding state and local sales and use taxes. She is also an expert in e-commerce transactions involving state taxes.

Kokinis-Graves can discuss specific sales tax holidays for each state, including:

  • 2019 effective dates
  • Qualifying items (school supplies, clothing, computers, software, etc.)
  • Dollar limits
  • How much shoppers may save

Kokinis-Graves is available for phone interviews to provide in-depth background and analysis on the sales tax holidays that may benefit regional audiences.


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