Tax-free weekends can save you big bucks when shopping. In this year of 2023, there are plenty of saving opportunities waiting for you in July and August, particularly if you are looking forward to the back-to-school season. However, the tax-free weekend 2023 varies by state and type of goods, such as energy-saving equipment or weather- and emergency-preparedness items.
So, to get the most out of the on-the-way sales tax holidays , here’s all you need to know!
- What Is Tax-Free Weekend 2023?
- Do You Qualify For The Sales Tax Holiday Exemption?
- Tax-Free Weekend 2023: When Does It Take Place?
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
- Where To Buy During The Tax-Free Weekend 2023?
- Ending Line
What Is Tax-Free Weekend 2023?
A sales tax holiday, or tax-free weekend, is a period of time (often in February, April, July, and August) during which some states abolish sales tax on specific types of products. While the no-tax benefits usually last for one single weekend, they sometimes last for longer (up to one week).
Tax-free weekends often restrict valid purchases by different conditions, such as price or categories. For instance, you can buy electronic devices that cost no more than $1,000 free of tax, but not any that costs more.
The length and eligibility of tax-free weekends vary by state, and not all states have one. Also, the state may impose no sales tax during that period, yet some stores may still need to levy a local or city sales tax.
Remember that many states have already not collected a sales tax. Though, local governments (for example, the county or city) can still put taxes within those states.
The good news is that consumers can enjoy online tax free weekend shopping, too! If you’re living in a state offering tax-free holidays, you can purchase things online and don’t have to pay any extra fees during these periods.
So, how can a retailer confirm you’re buying from the right place? They’ll check the delivery address you provide at the checkout.
If you’re living in a city where the sales tax holiday is occurring, and you submit your order within that time, you’ll see the tax automatically be removed from your bill.
Do You Qualify For The Sales Tax Holiday Exemption?
The tax exemption applies to only eligible retail products purchased for personal purposes by individuals. Purchases for business purposes by individuals or by businesses or corporations remain taxable.
Below is the list of things that DO NOT fall within the range of qualifying items and are still include tax in their prices:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Marijuana products
- Tobacco products
- Telecommunications services
- Motor vehicles
- And any item whose cost is above $2,500.
How about rentals? If you rent an eligible item for the tax exemption, your rental is free of tax for 30 days. Note that you must pay full for the rental during the period, and exempt rentals DON’T include motorboats or motor vehicles.
All corporations must be party to those weekends if they are open for selling things or business purposes during that time.
The sales tax holiday exemption doesn’t apply to products above $2,500 even when one is an exempt item. If you pay more than $2,500 for an item, your entire purchase will be subject to tax, not only the amount exceeding that threshold.
Tax-Free Weekend 2023: When Does It Take Place?
As mentioned, there are differences in how the sales tax exemption holiday works among different states. Here’s the general information about this special time of the year in 17 states taking part in it:
Residents can look forward to three Texas tax-free weekends throughout the year, each offering unique savings opportunities:
- April – Emergency Preparation Sales Tax Holiday
From April 22 to 24, 2023, Texans can stock up on eligible emergency-prep necessities for hurricane season without paying any taxes. This includes essential items to prepare and safeguard during potential emergencies.
Running from May 27 to 29, 2023, this tax-free weekend offers relief from sales tax on specific Energy Star® energy-efficient products and a wide range of items that promote water conservation in your home.
- August – Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday
From August 11 to 13, 2023, get ready for the new school year without paying sales tax on school supplies, clothing, and more. It’s the perfect opportunity to save on the best school supplies sales this back to school season.
Alabama offers two sales tax free weekends, and the first one, known as the Severe Weather Preparedness tax holiday.
This event takes place on the last full weekend of February, which will be from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26 in 2023.
During this time, residents can take advantage of tax-free shopping on specific items geared towards hurricane preparedness. Qualifying products include generators (up to $1,000) and supplies (up to $60).
The second Alabama Tax-Free Weekend 2023 occurs on the third Friday of July, ending on the following Sunday. For the year 2023, this will be from July 21 to July 23, providing a three-day sales tax free opportunity.
During this period, certain items are exempt from sales tax in Alabama, up to:
- $50 for school supplies
- $750 for computers
- $100 for clothing
- $20 for books
Mark your calendars for the tax-free shopping week in Connecticut, scheduled from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26.
Although the official details for 2022 are still displayed on the Department of Revenue Services site, Connecticut guarantees the sales tax holiday in 2023 to take place annually from the third Sunday of August until the following Saturday.
During this tax-free weekend 2023, Connecticut residents can enjoy exemption from sales tax on clothing and footwear priced under $100 per item.
It’s critical to note that no rebates will qualify for tax-free status. If an item’s price is brought below $100 through a rebate that is received at a later date, it won’t be eligible.
However, immediate discounts, such as coupons or promo codes, can be used to lower the item’s cost below $100, making it eligible for tax-free benefits.
In recent years, Florida has expanded its tax-free holidays, with some lasting a few days, others spanning a few weeks, and a handful even extending throughout the entire year.
These tax-free holidays predominantly take place during the spring and summer months, and a new addition was made in 2023, which is the Florida Freedom Summer Sales Tax Holiday.
Running from May 29, 2023, to September 4, 2023, this extended tax-free period provides ample time for shoppers to enjoy tax exemptions on select items.
As for the annual Florida Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, which typically occurs around the time of back-to-school shopping, the specific dates are July 24 to August 6. In 2022, it took place from July 25 to August 7.
Set the reminders for the tax-free weekend in Arkansas, starting from Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. and concluding on Aug. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
During this tax-free period, shoppers can take advantage of various tax exemptions, including:
- Clothing and footwear priced under $100 per item
- Accessories (including cosmetics!) under $50 per item
- Select electronic devices with no price limit
- Select school supplies with no price limit
- School art supplies with no price limit
However, certain items are restricted from the tax-free benefits, such as costumes and clothing used for sports. Nevertheless, it’s a great opportunity to stock up on tax-free items like diapers and cosmetics.
In the electronics category, there are no price restrictions, making it the perfect time for Arkansas residents to consider purchasing big-ticket items like laptops and tablets.
However, keep in mind that the electronics must be “devices commonly used by a student in the course of study,” so gaming consoles are not eligible for the tax exemption.
Maryland is a state known for offering multiple sales tax holidays throughout the year, providing shoppers with several opportunities to save on their purchases.
The first of these tax-free weekends is typically held around Valentine’s Day and is dedicated to Energy Star products. This event, known as Shop Maryland Energy Weekend, encourages residents to invest in energy-efficient items.
Another significant tax-free event in Maryland is the Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, which coincides with back-to-school shopping.
For the year 2023, Maryland’s tax-free week will run from August 13 to August 19, 2023. During this time, shoppers can enjoy tax exemptions on qualifying items, making it an ideal opportunity to save on back-to-school purchases and energy-efficient products.
Iowa-ians, don’t forget the upcoming tax-free weekend in which clothing or footwear priced under $100 per item will not be taxed. This event will run from Aug. 4 at 12:01 a.m. to Aug. 5 at 11:59 p.m.
Yet, be aware of the fine print: Backpacks are still taxable, as they do not fall under the category of clothing. If you’re uncertain about which items qualify as clothing, you can refer to the provided list for clarification.
Also, for those looking forward to BOGO free deals, please note that the total cost of both items determines whether they qualify for tax-free status.
For example, if the first pair costs $110 in a BOGO deal, you will have to pay tax, as you cannot average the cost and consider each pair to be just $55 for tax purposes.
Circle July 28 on your calendar, as it is the beginning of a tax-free shopping opportunity in Mississippi. From 12:01 a.m. on July 28 to midnight on July 29, you can enjoy tax exemptions on specific items.
During this tax-free period, clothing, school supplies, and footwear priced under $100 per item qualify for tax-free status. However, please note that backpacks are excluded from the tax-free benefits.
Unlike some other states, shipping costs for online orders in Mississippi are not considered in the sales price. That means shipping charges won’t affect an item’s tax-free status, and you can shop online without worrying about extra taxes due to shipping costs.
Similar to other states, Massachusetts sales tax holiday happens in the middle of August – on 12th and 13th. During this time, you can take advantage of great savings on various retail goods for personal use, as long as each item is priced at $2,500 or less.
However, some exclusions apply, including motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunication services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana, and marijuana products.
While most items over $2,500 are subject to taxation for the entire amount, there’s a slight exception when it comes to clothing.
In Massachusetts, the first $175 of an item of clothing is already tax exempt. Therefore, if you purchase a piece of clothing during Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend that costs more than $2,500, the first $175 will not be taxable.
This exception comes in handy, especially when shopping for higher-priced clothing items like designer suits.
Save the dates from Aug. 26 through Sept. 4, 2023, for an exciting tax-free shopping opportunity in New Jersey.
Residents can enjoy tax exemptions on computers with a sales price under $3,000, as well as computer supplies priced less than $1,000.
Additionally, there’s no threshold for tax-free purchases on art supplies, instruction materials, school supplies, and sport/recreational equipment.
What makes this event even more enticing is that it coincides with Labor Day Weekend sales, allowing you to maximize your savings.
The term “computer supplies” means computer storage media, personal digital assistants (excluding phones), printer supplies, printers, and more.
For those still seeking a destination for these products, check out our Staples school essentials review which refers you to a helpful office solution. This company can meet all your business & class needs, from printers and computers to school supplies.
Another state running two tax-free holidays in a year is Missouri. One is the Show Me Green Sales Tax Holiday which is dedicated to new energy-efficient Energy Star appliances exclusively.
This cleverly named event spans seven days, starting from April 19 and ending on April 25.
The other significant tax-free period is the Missouri Back to School Tax-Free Weekend 2023. As per Missouri state law, this holiday commences on the first Friday in August and extends through the following Sunday.
For 2023, the Missouri sales tax holiday was observed from Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6.
The Missouri Department of Revenue has provided a comprehensive list of eligible items for this sales tax holiday, including:
- Clothing with a taxable value of $100 or less
- Computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less
- School supplies – no more than $50/purchase
- Computer peripheral devices – no more than $3,500
- Personal computers – no more than $3,500
In New Mexico, the back-to-school tax-free holiday is known as the New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax Holiday. This event consistently takes place on the first full weekend in August, spanning from the first Friday to the first Sunday.
For the year 2023, the NM tax-free weekend falls on August 4-6, 2023. During this period, you can enjoy tax exemptions on various items, including:
- Shoes or Clothing priced at under $100/unit
- Notebook computers, tablets, laptop, or desktop with a price limit of $1,000
- Computer hardware with a price limit of $500
- School supplies intended for standard use like general-education classrooms priced less than $30/unit
In Oklahoma, the annual sales tax holiday spans over three days in August. For the year 2023, you can mark your calendar for August 4-6, 2023.
During this tax-free period, retailers are obligated to participate, and they cannot collect sales and use tax on qualified footwear and clothing items priced below $100.
It’s an excellent opportunity for shoppers to save on back-to-school essentials and other clothing purchases without having to worry about paying sales tax on eligible items.
Ohio residents can celebrate the fact that they no longer need to wonder about the tax-free weekend in Ohio, as this event has transformed into a permanent sales tax holiday in recent years.
Now officially known as the Ohio Tax-Free Weekend 2023, this sales tax holiday occurs annually on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of August. For 2023, it will run from Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6.
During this tax-free weekend, the Ohio Department of Taxation grants exemptions from sales and use tax on specific items, including:
- Clothing at $75 or less per item
- School supplies at $20 or less per item
- School instructional materials at $20 or less per item
In Tennessee, there are two tax-free weekends to look forward to in Summer 2023:
- Back-to-School (July 29-31):
During this weekend, you can enjoy tax exemptions on clothing and school supplies priced at $100 or less per item. Computers priced at $1,500 or less are also eligible for tax-free status.
Stay tuned for updates and prepare to make the most of back to school sales on clothing and shoes.
- Groceries (Aug. 1-Oct. 31):
For a period of three months, Tennessee residents will not be charged sales tax on food and food ingredients, providing significant savings on grocery purchases.
Note: For the back-to-school tax-free weekend, accessories and bags are not included in the tax exemptions. Additionally, printer supplies, software, and flash drives are not eligible in the “computers” category.
The South Carolina Tax-Free weekend lasts from Aug. 4 to Aug. 6. During this special event, you can enjoy tax exemptions on a wide range of items.
The list of tax-free items includes clothing, accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, software, printers, and bed & bath supplies.
It’s worth noting that South Carolina’s Tax-Free weekend stands out from others because it does not impose any dollar limits on eligible purchases.
Additionally, South Carolina uniquely includes a bed and bath category during the tax-free period. This category includes bath mats, bedding, towels, shower curtains, mattress pads, blankets, and more.
Starting in 2021, West Virginia introduced an annual sales tax holiday, providing a valuable opportunity to avoid paying the 6% West Virginia sales tax.
The West Virginia State sales tax holiday commences each year on the Friday before the first Sunday in August and concludes on the following Monday. For 2023, it happens on August 4-6, 2023.
During the West Virginia sales tax holiday, the following items qualify as tax-free purchases:
- Sports equipment at $150 or less
- Tablet computers and laptop at $500 or less
- School instruction materials at $20 or less
- School supplies at $50 or less
- Clothing at $125 or less
As of now, the specific date for the sales tax holiday 2023 in Virginia is yet to be determined. In 2022, it took place from Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. to Aug. 7 at 11:59 p.m. However, it’s important to note that the sales tax holiday in Virginia was set to expire in 2023.
Eligible items include school supplies at $20 or less per item and qualified clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less per item.
Speaking of which, JCPenney has just crossed our minds. This is our favorite online department store that sells shoes and clothing for the family and home decor stuff.
You can read our JCPenney Review to see why we suggest adding it to your list of stores for shopping on the upcoming tax-free holiday.
Additionally, you can also purchase hurricane-preparedness items and Energy Star and WaterSense products tax-free during this weekend.
Where To Buy During The Tax-Free Weekend 2023?
One of the most important tips for saving money on tax free holidays is to determine what you’re going to buy and where to shop.
Major home supply stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a vast array of items eligible for tax exemption, covering almost every category on the state’s list.
Keep in mind that specific types of rescue ladders are among the qualifying items, and these are commonly available at Home Depot and Lowe’s locations.
Electronics retailers such as Best Buy, along with Lowe’s and Home Depot, offer an extensive selection of Energy Star appliances. Additionally, they frequently run appliance sales, often offering discounts of up to 35%.
If you prefer shopping online, rest assured that major online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target also participate in duty-free holidays, allowing you to shop without incurring sales tax on qualifying items.
We’re lucky that our state doesn’t levy sales duty on certain types of goods. At the same time, we envy those living in states that have multiple tax holidays in a year and not having to pay sales tax on almost any product.
Generally, the tax-free weekend 2023 provides us valuable opportunities to make necessary purchases without minding the additional taxes.
So, are you ready for some well-deserved savings? Set your reminder & prepare the budget and energy for those on-the-way special dates!