Tax Breaks

2014 Sales Tax Holidays for Back-to-School Shopping

You can shop tax-free for clothing, computers, school supplies and more on certain days in these 16 states.

It might seem hard to believe that the back-to-school shopping season already is upon us. In some places, summer break just started a few weeks ago. But in many areas of the country, kids will be heading back to the classroom in early August. That means parents need to start finding room in their budgets now for paper, pencils, backpacks, clothing and other items.

One way to soften the blow of back-to-school shopping on your wallet is to take advantage of sales-tax holidays. This year at least 16 states will have sales-tax holidays in July or August that will allow consumers to make noncommercial purchases of certain school-related items such as clothing, computers and school supplies tax-free. Note that North Carolina drops off the list this year because its legislators repealed the state's tax holiday effective July 1.

Each state has its own rules about which items are exempt as well as price limits for items. Be sure you understand eligibility guidelines before you hit stores. As well, a few states allow localities to decide whether they want to participate in the sales-tax holiday. To find out which states will have sales-tax holidays and what will be exempt from taxes, see the list below.

JULY

Mississippi: July 25-26. Purchases of clothing and footwear less than $100 per item exempt. The cities of Crenshaw, Enterprise and Heidelberg aren't participating.More details.

AUGUST

Alabama: August 1-3. Purchases of computers (single purchase up to $750), clothing (up to $100 per item), school supplies ($50 per item) and books ($30 per item) exempt. See a complete list of tax-exempt items. Several localities plan to collect local sales taxes during the tax holiday but not state sales taxes.

Arkansas: August 2-3. Purchases of clothing and footwear less than $100 per item, clothing accessories less than $50 per item and school supplies are exempt. See a complete list of tax-exempt items.

Connecticut: August 17-23. Purchases of clothing and footwear less than $300 per item exempt. See examples of tax-free items.

Florida: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing (up to $100 per item), school supplies (up to $15 per item), and computers and computer accessories (applies to the first $750 per item) exempt. See a list of tax-exempt items.

Georgia: August 1-2. Purchases of clothing (up to $100 per item), computers and related accessories (up to $1,000 per item) and school supplies ($20 per item) exempt. More details.

Iowa: August 1-2. Purchases of clothing and footwear less than $100 per item exempt. See a complete list of tax-exempt items.

Louisiana: August 1-2. The exemption applies to the state sales tax on the first $2,500 of the purchase price of most individual items. Local sales taxes may apply. More details.

Maryland: August 10-16. Purchases of clothing and footwear $100 or less per item exempt. See a list of exempt items.

Missouri: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing (up to $100 per item), computers and computer peripherals (up to $3,500), computer software (up to $350) and school supplies (up to $50 per purchase) exempt. Local taxes may apply. More details.

New Mexico: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing (less than $100 per item), school supplies (less than $30 per item), computers ($1,000 limit) and computer hardware ($500 limit) exempt. See a list of tax-exempt items.

Oklahoma: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing and footwear less than $100 per item exempt. See a list of tax-exempt items.

South Carolina: August 1-3. All purchases of clothing, footwear, computers, linens and school supplies exempt. See a list of tax-exempt items.

Tennessee: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing ($100 or less per item), computers ($1,500 or less) and school supplies ($100 or less per item) exempt. More details.

Texas: August 8-10. Purchases of clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies less than $100 per item exempt. More details.

Virginia: August 1-3. Purchases of clothing and footwear ($100 or less per item) and school supplies ($20 or less per item) exempt. See a list of tax-exempt items.

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