Budgeting & Saving

Back-to-School Shopping: Does Your State Have a Sales Tax Holiday?

It's back-to-school shopping season—and one of the best ways to save a little money on those purchases is to shop during your state's sales tax holiday when sales tax is waived on certain items. Not all states offer them, but keep an eye out, because your state may make a last-minute announcement.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives, for example, just passed a bill to suspend the state's 6.25% sales tax on items costing less than $2500 for Aug. 11 and 12. Both the State Senate and Governor Baker are expected to approve the bill.

The dates and rules for sales tax holidays vary by state, so pay attention to the parameters where you live. A sales tax holiday doesn't mean everything you buy is exempt from sales tax. Certain goods may not be eligible for the exemption, and a cap is common. For example, in Iowa, all clothing and footwear up to $100 are eligible for the sales tax exemption on Aug. 3 and 4 this year. But if an item costs $101, you'll pay sales tax on the full amount.

For a complete list of every state's sales tax holidays, visit the Federation for Tax Administrators' website, or see below.