The Top 5 Best State Tax Free Holidays

Back to school is on my mind. The months of July and August make my wallet hurt! Having 2 kids in college and one in middle school means trying to stretch every dollar to its max during the ‘Back to School’ rush.

This time of the year can feel like the ‘shopping warm up’ for the holiday season. For one child, it means purchasing dorm room accessories, with another child, it is items for the college apartment, and for the youngest, it is the endless school supply list. And, for all three, it is the time of the year to buy clothes, shoes, and electronic school necessities (aka computers and software).

The way I get through this time of the year, besides extreme budgeting, is to make my big ‘Back to School’ purchases during the State Tax Free Weekends. My philosophy is: if I have to purchase items for back to school, I might as well save a few extra dollars during a tax free weekend.

You might think State Tax Free Holidays are reserved for just school supplies but many states allow for an incredible array of items. Each state does have its own provisions for what is eligible during the tax free weekends. Here’s a link to see if and when your state is hosting a tax free holiday.

Here are my choices for the “Top 5 Best State Tax Free Holiday States”. They are examples of states that allow for purchases at generous levels for some type of computer equipment, along with clothing and schools supplies during their individual State Tax Free Holiday.

  1. If you are lucky enough to live in Georgia, during its 2015 Tax Free Holiday (July 31-Aug.1, 2015) you can purchase computers, computer components, and prewritten software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1000 or less per item, computers up to $1,000, clothing (including footwear) with a sale price of $100 or less per item, and school supplies up to $20 or less per item, without having to pay State Sales Tax on these purchases. Here’s a link for the state of Georgia to get more details about the holiday.
  2. The State of Tennessee Sales Tax Holiday (August 7-9, 2015) allows for clothing with a price of $100 or less per item, school and school art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item, and computers with a price of $1,500 or less per item. Here’s the link to see more on Tennessee’s sales tax holiday.
  3. Live in Louisiana? Lucky you! According to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday (August 7-8, 2015) provides an exemption from state sales tax on the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use. The holiday applies only to the 4 percent state sales tax. It does not apply to sales taxes levied by parishes, municipalities, school boards, and other political subdivisions of the state. Check out the link to see more details about the Sales Tax Holiday.
  4. The State of New Mexico, for the weekend (August 7-9, 2015), suspends collection of gross receipts tax on sales of qualifying items so you can buy the items tax free. According to New Mexico, to qualify for the deduction, “clothing or shoes must be priced at less than $100 per unit. The price limit for desktop, laptop, tablets or notebook computers is $1,000, and for related computer hardware it is $500. School supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms must be under $30 per unit.” There are some items specifically excluded in all categories and those items are always taxable.” Here’s New Mexico’s link to view more details about their holiday details.
  5. I’ve saved, what is, in my opinion, the most generous state for last. It is Missouri! If you shop during this state’s tax free holiday (August 7-9, 2015), purchases of up to $100 on clothing, school supplies up to $50 and personal computer purchases up to $3,500 are state sales tax exempt! According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, qualifying personal computers are: defined as “a laptop, desktop, or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, a display monitor, a keyboard, and devices designed for use in conjunction with a personal computer, such as a disk drive, memory module, compact disk drive, daughterboard, digitalizer, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, multimedia speaker, printer, scanner, single-user hardware, single-user operating system, soundcard, or video card.” To read more details about the Missouri State Sales Tax Holiday, follow this link.

After everything I’ve discovered about other State Tax Free Holidays, I think I may need to plan a short vacation to one of my ‘Top 5’ states to enjoy a ‘tax free holiday’ of my own. Don’t forget to check out the link  to find the State Tax Free Holiday near you!

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