| Savings & Tips
Happy African American family shopping for back to school clothes during tax-free weekend

Coming soon to states across the country is… #taxfreeweekend! This savings-friendly weekend comes around in late July or early August each year and is one of the best times to stock up on back-to-school supplies, clothing, electronics, and other household products. During this special time, a host of essential, and not-so-essential items (like girdles and capes for those of you who live in Georgia), can be purchased TAX-FREE!*

Parents, that’s good news for you! Get your shopping shoes on because you could expect to save nearly 10% on your family’s back-to-school gear (depending on the sales tax in your state). Currently kid-less? You could still save big on computers, diapers (why not stock up ahead of time?), shoes, clothing, and everyday basics like underwear and socks. Then stretch your savings even more with the tips below!

Tips for Saving More During Tax-Free Weekend 2016

1. Plan ahead & don’t forget! Mark your calendar so that you can 1) book a babysitter or arrange for your partner to stay home with the kids if need be, and 2) prepare your shopping list and coupons. There’s nothing worse for your blood pressure than trying to multi-task on the morning of such a huge savings opportunity. Plan ahead, stress less, and save a little more time and energy!

2. Know what’s tax exempt & what isn’t. If your state is participating in Tax Free Weekend (check below) review the list of items that will be tax exempt before making your shopping list. Your state may surprise you. In Georgia, for example, baby clothes and receiving blankets are tax exempt, but not baby bibs.

3. Make a list & layer on the savings. Once you’ve found your state below, use the state’s list of exempt items to make your list. Compare it to ads in Sunday’s paper, as well as advertised deals you may see in your email inbox or online to really double up on your savings. In 2015 for instance, Target advertised a free $5 gift card when you spent $25 on school supplies with a coupon in The Tennessean. Check your local newspaper for similar offers. With your list in hand and extra deals in tow, you’ll be one step ahead of the game!

4. Shop online. Your favorite online companies may also be participating in the tax-free holiday, if not by offering their merchandise tax-free, by offering other unique discounts. According to the Comptroller of Public Accounts in Texas, “Online stores rarely add sales tax to their purchases during tax holidays.” The giant online superstore Amazon, for one, has already committed to participating in some sales tax holidays! See Amazon’s sales tax holiday policy for more information.

Were you born to shop AND save? Find your state on the list below and get started with your tax-free weekend shopping list!

States Participating in Tax-Free Weekend 2016

Dates: August 5-7
Items: school supplies, computers, and clothing
For more information: Alabama Department of Revenue

Dates: August 6-7
Items: school supplies and clothing
For more information: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration

Dates: August 21-27
Items: clothing and footwear
For more information: Connecticut Department of Revenue Services

Dates: August 5-7
Items: school supplies and clothing
For more information: Florida News Release

Dates: July 30-31
Items: school supplies, clothing and computers
For more information: Georgia Department of Revenue

Dates: August 5-6
Items: clothing and footwear
For more information: Iowa Department of Revenue

Dates: August 5-7
Items: tangible personal property (reduction, not exemption)
For more information: Louisiana News Outlet

Did you know? Louisiana actually has a “Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax” holiday where hunting equipment and firearms are tax-free. It’s likely that the state will be repeating this unique event in 2016.

Dates: August 14-20
Items: clothing and footwear
For more information: Comptroller of Maryland

Dates: July 29-30
Items: clothing and footwear
For more information: Mississippi Department of Revenue

Dates: August 5-7
Items: clothing, school supplies, computer software and personal computers
For more information: Missouri Department of Revenue

New Mexico
Dates: August 5-7
Items: clothing, shoes, computers, computer hardware and school supplies
For more information: New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department

Dates: August 5-7
Items: school supplies and clothing
For more information: Ohio Department of Taxation

Dates: August 5-7
Items: clothing and shoes
For more information: Oklahoma Tax Commission

South Carolina
Dates: August 5-7
Items: clothing, handbags, shoes, school supplies and computers
For more information: South Carolina Department of Revenue

Dates: July 29-31
Items: school supplies, clothing and computers
For more information: Tennessee Department of Revenue

Dates: August 5-7
Items: most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks
For more information: Texas Comptroller’s Office

Dates: August 5-7
Items: school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ items
For more information: Virginia Department of Taxation


*Note that some states reduce sales tax, not eliminate it. Local and use tax may still apply depending on your state and city.

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