You are currently viewing How to Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

How to Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

The current inflation spike is affecting every corner of the economy, and that includes back-to-school shopping. In fact, parents are projected to spend $661 per child to prepare for the coming school year – an 8% increase from 2021 and a whopping 27% increase from 2019.

If you’re looking to mitigate this cost increase, you might want to consider taking advantage of the “tax-free weekend” offered in many states. Let’s take a look at how these weekends work, which states offer them and what type of purchases are eligible.

What is a Tax-Free Weekend?

Most states charge sales tax, which is a tax levied on items you purchase. The more you spend, the more you’ll pay in taxes.

To help struggling consumers, many states offer a tax-free weekend during which they will not charge sales tax. Tax-free weekends are usually held right before school starts, so that parents and students can save on clothes, laptops, school supplies and other necessities. 

The tax holiday applies to both in-store and online purchases. If you purchase an item online, the tax discount will still apply even if the item is delivered after the holiday is over.

Every state has its own limits on what you can buy tax-free. For example, most states have a limit of $100 for each clothing item. If you buy a $125 winter coat, you’ll still have to pay taxes on it. 

However, in most states, adults can also save money during the tax-free weekend because the discount doesn’t just apply to children’s clothing and accessory items. They can also purchase electronics and office supplies without paying a sales tax. Teachers and childcare professionals can also buy classroom supplies during this time.

You don’t have to be a resident of the state to benefit from the tax holiday. If you live near a state with a tax-free weekend, you can still take advantage of the discount.

Before you hit the stores, you should ensure that the tax-free discount doesn’t lead you to buy more than you can actually afford. Write out what you truly need to buy beforehand. Remember, you’re not saving money if you end up spending more than you would have otherwise. 

Find Your State:

Alabama

Dates: July 15-17

Tax rate: 4%

Eligible items: 

  • School supplies $50 or less per item
  • Clothing $100 or less per item 
  • Computers $750 or less 

Learn more

Arkansas

Dates: Aug. 6-7

Tax rate: 6.5%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing items $100 or less
  • Clothing accessories $50 or less per item 
  • Certain school supplies including pencils, notebooks, binders and more

Learn more

Connecticut

Dates: Aug. 21-27

Tax rate: 6.35%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item

Learn more

Florida

Dates: July 25-Aug. 7

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items: 

  • School supplies $15 or less per item
  • Clothes or accessories $60 or less

Learn more

Iowa

Dates: Aug. 5-6

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothes and accessories $100 or less per item 

Learn more

Maryland

Dates: Aug. 14-20

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing and shoes $100 or less per item 
  • The first $40 of a backpack

Learn more

Massachusetts

Dates: Aug. 13-14

Tax rate: 6.25%

Eligible items: 

  • Certain retail goods worth $2,500 or less
  • Massachusetts always exempts the first $175 of a clothing item 

Learn more

Mississippi

Dates: July 29-30

Tax rate: 7%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing and shoes $100 or less per item

Learn more

Missouri

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 4.225%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothes $100 or less
  • School supplies $50 or less
  • Computers $1,500 or less
  • Software $350 or less
  • Graphing calculators $150 or less

Learn more

New Jersey

Dates: Aug. 27-Sept. 5

Tax rate: 6.625%

Eligible items:  

  • Clothes and shoes
  • School supplies
  • Certain computers and supplies
  • Instructional materials
  • Some sports and recreation equipment

Learn more

New Mexico

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.125%

Eligible items:  

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item
  • Computers $1,000 or less
  • Computer hardware $500 or less 
  • School supplies $30 or less per item

Learn more

Ohio

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.75%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothes $75 or less 
  • School supplies and instructional materials $20 or less

Learn more

Oklahoma 

Dates: Aug. 6-8

Tax rate: 4.5%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing or shoes $100 or less per item

Learn more

South Carolina

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 6%

Eligible items: 

  • School supplies, clothes and computers 

Learn more

Tennessee

Dates: July 29-31

Tax rate: 7%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing $100 or less
  • School and art supplies $100 or less
  • Computers $1,500 or less

Learn more

Texas

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 6.25%

Eligible items: 

  • Clothing, shoes, school supplies and backpacks $100 or less

Learn more

Virginia 

Dates: Aug. 5-7

Tax rate: 5.3%

Eligible items: 

  • School supplies $20 or less per item 
  • Clothes $100 or less per item

Learn more

NO SALES TAX HOLIDAY: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  • Previous Post

    Should I Amend My Tax Return for A Small Amount?

zinakumok

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Conscious Coins. More from zinakumok

6 responses to “How to Boost Your Back-to-School Savings”

Source link

Leave a Reply