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Special section Save on back-to-school shopping

Tax-free shopping days can take the edge off the price of necessities. Here's how you can take advantage of them if they're offered in your state.

Introduction

Save on back-to-school shopping
 

Back to school shopping dominates the end of summer for parents of school-age kids, and gone are the days when a few pens, two shirts, a pair of pants and a new notebook would suffice.

In an effort to boost the economy and win brownie points with voters, lawmakers in some states ease the burden of these inevitable shopping trips with tax-free shopping days for school supplies. Most of the goodies your youngster needs to start the year off right can be had for just a little less money and hopefully, a little less parental stress.

Of course, it involves taxes, and that means it's complicated. Every state has its own rules on what can be purchased tax-free, but usually it includes school clothing, school supplies and computer-related gear.

Often there are limits on how much you can pay for an item and still have it be free of taxes.

Take a look at our story on the tax-free shopping days and the state-by-state breakdown of which states offer tax holidays and what the rules are.

While you're here, check out a story on tips for saving on back-to-school gear and a couple of calculators that help you determine the costs of raising a child and how much you need to save for college.

Save on back-to-school shopping
Sales tax holidays offer shopping bargains
  Plan back-to-school shopping carefully to take advantage of tax-free shopping days if they're offered in your state.
2008 tax holidays schedule
  Find out if your state offers tax breaks on back-to-school shopping and what the rules are for the discount.
5 tips for saving on back-to-school gear
  Get kids involved with back-to-school shopping by giving them a budget.
What will it take to save for a college education?
  The cost of college just keeps going up. Will you have enough money to afford it?
What is the cost of raising a child?
  How much do kids cost? A lot. Calculate the price for 18 years of joy.
-- Updated: July 24, 2008
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