Parents

Back-to-school on a budget: Your guide to state tax holidays

Back to School shopping just got a whole lot less expensive, thanks to annual "Tax Holidays" in 18 American states. These breaks from state sales tax occur primarily in late August and cover fall essentials such as clothing and school supplies.

Updated for 2016: Click here to see the most recent list of states' tax holidays

"It's basically just a temporary exemption" from state sales tax, explained Mark Faggiano, founder of TaxJar, a company devoted to streamlining sales tax compliance for businesses.

17 states offered sales tax holidays in 2014, putting this year even closer to the all-time high of 19 states in 2010, according to the Tax Foundation. It's unclear whether the number of participating states will continue to rise.

Below is a list of upcoming tax holidays that include Back to School savings, based on data from the Federation of Tax Administrators and TaxJar. Happy shopping!

Alabama (August 7-9)

Clothing, $100 or less per item; single purchases of computers, computer software, school computer equipment, $750 or less; school supplies, school art supplies, and school instructional materials, $50 or less per item; books, $30 or less per book.

Connecticut (August 16-22)

Clothing and footwear, $300 or less per item.

Florida (August 7-16)

Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories, $100 or less per item; school supplies, $15 or less per item; personal computers and certain computer-related accessories, up to $750 of the sales price.

Iowa (August 7-8)

Clothing and footwear, $100 or less per item.

Louisiana (August 7-8)

Up to $2,500 of sales price of items of tangible personal property (excluding leases, vehicles or meals). Only the state sales tax is affected by the holiday, although St. Charles Parrish will waive its local sales tax during the same weekend.

Maryland (August 9-15)

Clothing and footwear, $100 or less per item.

Massachusetts (August 15-16)

Items that cost less than $2500.

Missouri (August 7-9)

Clothing, $100 or less per item; school supplies, $50 or less per purchase; computer software, $350 or less per purchase; personal computers and computer accessories up to $3,500.

Some localities may choose not to participate, and if less than 2 percent of a retailer’s merchandise qualifies, they must provide a tax refund instead of a tax holiday.

New Mexico (August 7-9)

Clothing and footwear, $100 or less per item; school supplies, $30 or less per item; computers, $1,000 or less per item; computer accessories, $500 or less per item; book bags, backpacks, maps and globes, $100 or less per item; and handheld calculators, $200 or less per item.

Participation is not mandatory for all retailers.

Ohio (August 7-9)

School supplies, $20 or less per item; clothing, $75 or less per item; school instructional materials, $20 or less per item.

Oklahoma (August 7-9)

Clothing and footwear, $100 or less per item.

South Carolina (August 7-9)

Clothing and footwear; clothing accessories; school supplies; computers and computer software; printers and printer supplies; bath wash clothes; bed linens; pillows; bath towels and bath rugs; shower curtains.

Tennessee (August 7-9)

Clothing, school supplies, and school art supplies, $100 or less per item; computers, $1,500 or less per item.

Texas (August 7-9)

Clothing, footwear, school supplies, and school backpacks,$100 or less per item.

Virginia (August 7-9)

Clothing and footwear, $100 or less per item; school supplies, $20 or less per item.

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