Family shopping back-to-school sales | Bloomberg/Getty Images

Kids may not be eager to go back to school just yet, but their families sure do love back-to-school sales tax holidays.

More than a dozen states have put these popular events on the summer 2017 calendar, spanning a weekend or more. During the holidays, states make typical back-to-school purchases exempt from sales taxes.

The most common tax-free items are clothing and school supplies. But some states offer broad definitions of what’s school-related, meaning shoppers could save substantial taxes on computers, along with related hardware and software.

Be sure to pay attention to the details. The individual states set precise rules on what is and isn’t tax-free, plus they offer guidance on rain checks, layaways and your ability to use coupons for extra savings. To cut your back-to-school costs even more, make your purchases on a cash-back credit card.


Alabama

Sales tax holiday: July 21-23

  • Books: $30 or less.
  • School supplies: $50 or less.
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computers and software: $750 or less.
  • Alabama cities and counties can opt out of the holiday. They also can participate on a limited basis, meaning only a portion of the locality’s total sales tax is dropped.

Arkansas

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 5-6

  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Apparel accessories: $50 or less.
  • School supplies: no dollar limit (most art materials are considered school supplies).

Connecticut

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 20-26

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • Custom orders of $100 or less placed and paid in full during the tax holiday week qualify for tax-free status even if the item is delivered after the holiday ends.

Florida

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • School supplies: $15 or less.
  • Clothing, footwear and accessories: $60 or less (items sold at theme parks or other entertainment complexes, hotels and airports are still taxed).
  • Personal computers and certain related accessories purchased for home or personal use: $750 or less

Iowa

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-5

  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.

Louisiana

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-5

  • Most consumer goods: The state sales tax is reduced from 5% to 3%, up to the first $2,500 of an item’s sale price.

Maryland

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 13-19

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • School supplies remain taxable.

Mississippi

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.
  • Mississippi counties and cities can opt out of the tax holiday, meaning local taxes may still be collected.

Missouri

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • School supplies: $50 or less.
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computer software: $350 or less.
  • Personal computers and peripheral devices: $1,500 or less.
  • Graphing calculators: $150 or less.
  • Local jurisdictions can opt out, meaning county, city and special district taxes may still be collected.

New Mexico

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • School supplies: $30 or less, or $100 or less, depending on the type of supply. (Classroom materials in the $30 per item category include: notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, staples, staplers, scissors and rulers. School supplies for the $100 or less threshold include backpacks, maps and globes.)
  • Clothing: $100 or less.
  • Computer peripheral devices: $500 or less.
  • Computers: $1,000 or less.

Ohio

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • Clothing: $75 or less.
  • School supplies and instructional materials: $20 or less.

Oklahoma

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.

South Carolina

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • Clothing, accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers and printer supplies, computer software, bed linens and bath accessories: No maximum price limit

Tennessee

Sales tax holiday: July 28-30

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less.
  • School supplies: $100 or less.
  • Computers: $1,500 or less.

Texas

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 11-13

  • Clothing and footwear: less than $100.
  • Backpacks: less than $100 (Backpacks with wheels are tax-free as long as they have straps that allow them to be worn as a traditional backpack).
  • School supplies: less than $100.

Virginia

Sales tax holiday: Aug. 4-6

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less
  • School supplies: $20 or less

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