Saving Money With a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

It’s not too early to get ready for back-to-school time across the USA. The majority of schools across the country are planning on reopening for full-time, in-person instruction in the fall. Yes, some will also offer remote learning options for families who wish to keep students home, but for a huge number, returning to a regular classroom is a big part of restoring life to normal once again.

Teacher with student at laptop bought during back-to-school sales tax holiday

That return means shopping around to get the clothing and supplies that your children will need for the upcoming school year. It’s always a big expense to get kids ready, especially if you have more than one. So knowing what, when, and where to shop for what you need is definitely necessary and that actually begins right now! Especially if you can take advantage of a back-to-school sales tax holiday.

If you can, get the list of the actual supplies that are required by your school and teacher in advance so that you can shop and be sure you’ve purchased exactly what is required!

Safety First!

By now, your school or district has most likely developed a COVID-19 instructional plan for the start of the school year. Now’s the time to familiarize yourself with your institution’s individual safety guidelines and prepare for any questions you may have. When in doubt, you can always review the latest operational strategy recommendations by the CDC. You will want to begin with the protocols that you know will be effective for your child to keep safe and for you and your family too. That involves things like proper fitting face masks (if necessary) and proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette. And, you must also make sure that all children stay home if they are feeling sick.

Once safety is assured, then it’s time to shop and shop and shop!

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Dates for 2021

With back to school shopping just around the corner, many states are offering tax-free shopping days or weekends.

Sixteen states still have sales tax holidays for this coming back-to-school shopping season (if you live in Alabama, you just missed it as it ended on July 18th or if you live in Puerto Rico, you just missed it as it ended on July 17th).

The average cost of back-to-school clothes and supplies will run $268 per child, according to KPMG’s Back to School 2021 survey. Footwear and school supplies are anticipated to be the biggest areas of back-to-school costs for families.

So here are the 16 states with sales tax holidays for back-to-school shopping that are still ahead of you. It’s important to double check that the county you live in is participating in your state’s tax free holiday.

Arkansas

Tax Holiday Dates: August 7-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item
Clothing accessories up to $50 per item
Electronics used by a student (mobile phone, computer, calculator, etc.)
School supplies, art supplies, and instructional materials

Connecticut

Tax Holiday Dates: August 15-21, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item

Florida

Tax Holiday Dates: July 31-August 9, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes and accessories up to $60 per item
School supplies up to $15 per item
Computers and computer accessories up to $1,000 in total

Iowa

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-7, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item

Maryland

Tax Holiday Dates: August 8-14, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item
Backpacks up to first $40 of item

Massachusetts

Tax Holiday Dates: August 14-15, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Any retail items $2,500 or less

Mississippi

Tax Holiday Dates: July 30-31, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes and school supplies up to $100 per item

Missouri

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item
School supplies up to $50 per purchase
Computer software up to $350 per purchase
Computers up to $1,500 per purchase
Computer accessories up to $1,500 per purchase
Graphing calculator up to $150 per purchase

New Mexico

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item
Computers and tablets up to $1,000 per purchase
Computer software up to $500 per purchase
School supplies up to $30 per item

Ohio

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $75 per item
School supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item

Oklahoma

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item

South Carolina

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes
Clothing accessories
School supplies
Computers, software, printers, and printer accessories
Select bed and bath linens
No dollar value limits on any items or purchases

Tennessee

Tax Holiday Dates: July 30-August 1, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes and school supplies up to $100 per item
Computers and tablets up to $1,500 per item

Texas

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes, school supplies, and backpacks up to $100 per item

Virginia

Tax Holiday Dates: August 6-8, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothes up to $100 per item
School supplies up to $20 per item
Hurricane and emergency preparedness products, varying from $60 to $1,000 per item
Energy Star and Water Sense products up to $2,500 per item

West Virginia

Tax Holiday Dates: July 30-August 2, 2021

What’s tax-free:
Clothing up to $125 per item
School supplies up to $50 per item
School instructional materials up to $20 per item
Laptops and tablets up to $500 per item
Sports equipment up to $150 per item

States with No Sales Tax

Some states have 0% sales taxes. They are Delaware, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, and Alaska. If you live close to any of these states, consider crossing the state lines and save up to 9% on your shopping bill.

Related Posts:
14 Ways to Save on Your Back to School Shopping (Plus Free College Checklist)
Save Money with Back to School Sales and Summer Clearances
Lunchtime is Saving Money Time on School Lunches

Where to Look for Sales

Don’t forget the great shopping that is available for back to school both in stores and online too.

JCPenney, Staples, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, and Kohl’s are just a few big names that are beginning their sales that can save you during this iconic shopping period.

Look for their ads and coupons savings and don’t forget to look in your local supermarkets, the dollar stores, and drug stores for school supplies too, often costing less than anywhere else offered. Combine that with your state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday and save even more. This may be an unusual back-to-school time, but sales are a given to get you and your children prepared for the new school year.

Final Thoughts

Since we are just in the middle of our summer, let’s not forget that after such a stressful year we need to take the time now to try to have fun and relax. The most important thing you can do in preparation for a fresh start to a new school year is to simply rest. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize what you will need for the year before diving right into next year’s school year.

Take the time right now for you and your children to enjoy themselves. Summer break, getting outside in the fresh air, swimming, bike riding, making artwork, playing video games, and dabbling in other hobbies and yes, even reading a good book too. All are perfect ways to relax.

No matter what you do, remember to take all the time you need to relax, recharge, and reflect so you can start the new school year with confidence.

When you enjoy your time off and recharge, you and your student(s) will be ready to take on the new school year. When you do, make sure you do it by saving money with a back-to-school sales tax holiday that will make all of this much easier on your life and budget!

How are you preparing for the 2021-2022 school year?

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