Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend Guide for 2023

Here's everything you need to know about the annual Massachusetts tax-free weekend.

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Update: The annual Massachusetts tax-free weekend Has ended. Here are the highlights.

The Massachusetts tax-free weekend is a two-day event that allows shoppers to buy a wide variety of items without paying sales tax. That can result in savings of $6.25 on every $100 spent on eligible purchases. But not all items are tax-exempt during the Massachusetts sales tax holiday.

Massachusetts tax-free weekend  

The 2023 tax-free weekend in Massachusetts began on Saturday, August 12 and ran through Sunday, August 13. While Massachusetts exempted more items from sales tax than many other states do during their tax holidays, exclusions still applied. 

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For example, items must have been purchased for personal use to qualify. That means if you wanted to shop for your business, you still had to pay sales tax during the tax-free period. Additionally, some purchases were still taxable, even when purchased for personal use.

What items qualify for tax-free weekend in Massachusetts?

Most retail items were tax-exempt during the weekend. However, clothing items must have cost $175 or less to qualify, and other qualifying items must have cost $2,500 or less to be tax-free.  The tax treatment for items that exceed these price limitations was different.

  • For individual clothing items that exceed $175, only the amount over $175 was taxable.
  • For individual clothing items that exceed $2,500, only the first $175 was tax-free.
  • For individual non-clothing items (for example, computers) that exceed $2,500, the entire amount was taxable.

Massachusetts’ tax-free weekend included so many items that it’s easier to have a list of what didn't qualify for the sales tax holiday than for what did.  

Here are the items that were still taxable during the tax holiday, regardless of price: 

  • Meals that are normally taxable (for example, from restaurants)
  • Motor vehicles and motorboats
  • Gas, steam, and electricity
  • Tobacco and marijuana products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Layaway sales

Rentals of eligible items were tax-free for up to 30 days if paid for in full between August 12 and August 13.  

Massachusetts tax-free weekend for online shopping 

Online purchases were included in the 2023 Massachusetts tax-free weekend, but there were some rules you needed to follow. You must have placed and paid for your order during the sales tax holiday. And items must have been ordered during Eastern Daylight Time. Items didn't need to be delivered during the tax-free weekend to qualify as tax-free.

Does Amazon participate in Massachusetts’ tax-free weekend? 

Amazon participates in sales tax holidays, including Massachusetts’ tax free-weekend. According to the Amazon sales tax holidays webpage, tax will be automatically calculated on taxable items. So, you should have been able to tell what was taxable and what wasn't before you placed your order. 

For more information about Massachusetts' special tax holiday rules, shoppers can visit the state’s sales tax holiday FAQ webpage.

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.