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Special section Save on back-to-school shopping

Find out if your state offers tax breaks on back-to-school shopping and what the rules are for the discount.

2009 tax holiday schedule

2009 tax holiday schedule


  • Tax holiday dates: July 31 to Aug. 1
  • General exempt items: The Magnolia State holds its first-ever sales tax holiday this year, offering shoppers two days in which they don't have to pay state or city sales taxes on items of clothing and footwear priced at less than $100.
  • Notable exceptions: Accessories, including jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, backpacks, briefcases and similar items will still be taxed.

More information will be available in Mississippi's brochure for consumers and its guidelines for retailers.


  • Tax holiday dates: Aug. 7 to Aug. 9
  • General exempt items: Missouri will show shoppers a state sales-tax break on clothing and footwear items worth $100 or less; school supplies priced at $50 or less; personal computers bought for $3,500 or less; computer peripheral equipment also priced at $3,500 or less; and software costing $350 or less.
  • Notable exceptions: Many of the state's cities, counties and other taxing districts will continue to collect local sales-tax levies. In nonparticipating jurisdictions, only Missouri's 4.225 percent state sales tax will be excluded from eligible sales during that weekend.

More information is available on Missouri's sales tax holiday Web site.

New Mexico

  • Tax holiday dates: Aug. 7 to Aug. 9
  • General exempt items: Shoppers will find this state even more enchanting this weekend, when clothing, shoes, computers and associated peripherals and school supplies are sales-tax exempt. Eligible clothing must cost less than $100, computers less than $1,000 and peripherals less than $500. School supplies also are tax-exempt as long as they cost no more than $15 and are items that "students normally use in a standard classroom for educational purposes." Among the items specified are notebooks, paper, writing instruments and crayons.
  • Notable exceptions: The tax holiday law specifically excludes watches, radios, compact disc players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable desktop telephones, copiers, office equipment, furniture or fixtures. These items, say lawmakers, are not considered to be school supplies that students normally use in a standard classroom.

More information is available in New Mexico's sales-tax guidelines and its list of taxable and nontaxable items.

North Carolina

  • Tax holiday dates: Aug. 7 to Aug. 9
  • General exempt items: North Carolina's state tax will not be collected on clothing, footwear and students' school supplies costing $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreation equipment priced at $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less. The Tar Heel State will hold a second sales tax holiday Nov. 6 to Nov. 8 for Energy Star qualified products.
  • Notable exceptions: Some people view sewing or knitting as recreational. The hobby usually produces clothing. But the state specifically says that fabric, thread, yarn and "other such items purchased to make clothing" remain taxable this weekend.

More information is available on North Carolina's sales tax holiday Web page.

-- Updated: July 21, 2009
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