The 2023 Maryland Tax-Free Week

The Maryland tax-free week can help you save money on back-to-school shopping.

A tablet computer is sitting on a backpack The backpack is hanging from a classroom chair The tablet has back 2 school written on it
(Image credit: Getty)

Update: The 2023 Maryland tax-free week has ended. Here are the highlights.

The 2023 Maryland tax-free week ran for seven full days. That’s longer than back-to-school tax holidays in most states, which typically only exempt items for two or three days. However, Maryland didn’t include electronics or school supplies in its tax holiday like some other state sales tax holidays do. 

Maryland tax-free week

Between August 13 and August 19, shoppers in Maryland didn't pay the state’s 6% sales tax on eligible purchases. That’s a savings of $6 on every $100 spent! But not all items qualified, and there were special rules.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up
  • Individual items must have been priced at $100 or less to qualify.
  • If an item cost more than $100, the entire amount was subject to sales tax (rather than just the amount over $100).
  • Sets that contained taxable and tax-exempt items were fully taxable, regardless of the price.
  • Only the first $40 of backpack purchases were tax-exempt.

What’s included in Maryland’s tax-free week 

Maryland exempted certain clothing and footwear purchases from sales tax during the tax-free week. Here are some of the items you didn't need to pay sales tax on. 

  • Shoes and boots
  • Belts
  • Sweaters and shirts
  • Jeans and slacks
  • Undergarments and robes

Additionally, eligible items placed on layaway during the tax holiday were tax-exempt, even if the layaway purchase was to be completed after the tax holiday. 

Tax on clothes in Maryland 

Maryland’s definition of eligible clothing and footwear excluded some items from the tax-free weekend. Accessories, including ties, headbands, jewelry and handbags, were still taxable. And even though belts were tax-exempt, belt buckles were still subject to sales tax when sold separately. That’s not all. You also had to pay tax on the purchases listed below.

  • Items used to make and repair clothing (for example, fabric and zippers) were still taxable.
  • Clothing alterations (tailoring services) were taxable.
  • Protective clothing items (for example, shoulder pads) were fully taxable.

There were rules for redeeming coupons, too. Manufacturer’s coupons that lowered a qualifying item’s price to $100 or less didn't qualify the item for the tax holiday. But a retailer’s coupon (store coupon) that reduced a price to $100 or less could qualify the item as tax-exempt.

Maryland tax-free online sales

Online orders were included in Maryland’s tax-free week. To buy tax-free online, all you needed to do was order and pay for your items during the Maryland sales tax holiday. 

Your order must have been shipped or accepted for shipment during the sales tax holiday, too. This just means your order didn't qualify as tax-exempt if you requested delayed shipment. Items did not need to be delivered to your home during the tax-free week to qualify.

Katelyn Washington
Tax Writer

Katelyn has more than 6 years’ experience working in tax and finance. While she specializes in tax content, Katelyn has also written for digital publications on topics including insurance, retirement and financial planning and has had financial advice commissioned by national print publications. She believes that knowledge is the key to success and enjoys helping others reach their goals by providing content that educates and informs.