As students of all ages prepare to return to classrooms around the country, the cost of back-to-school items can add up for families. To mitigate what can be a rather expensive time of the year for parents of school-aged children, many states offer a tax-free weekend in the summer.
Ohio’s sales tax holiday, during which customers pay no sales tax on certain clothing and school supplies, starts on Aug. 6 and runs through the weekend. Which other states provide a sales-tax holiday? What items qualify for the tax exemption in 2021?
States with tax holidays this weekend
Some states schedule their tax-free holidays for the summer months to coincide with families shopping for school necessities and clothing. A total of eight states are starting their sales tax-exempt weekend on Aug. 6.
Arkansas will have two days of sales tax exemption, Aug. 7–8. Florida offers a sales tax holiday from July 31–Aug. 9. Connecticut’s tax holiday is Aug. 15–21, while Massachusetts' sales tax holiday is Aug. 14–15.
On sales tax holidays, online purchases are also eligible for the tax exemption in those states. However, you might still pay local taxes.
States with no sales tax year-round
A handful of states don’t charge sales tax at any time during the year, so there isn't a need for a tax-free weekend or a sales tax holiday on particular items. The states without a sales tax are:
Tax-free items and limits
Only certain purchases are tax-free on sales tax holidays. Also, business and office purchases don't qualify. While some states include electronics (laptops, tablets, and accessories), others only include school supplies like notebooks, writing utensils, and backpacks.
Here are the details of tax holidays for different states:
Arkansas: Aug. 7–8, clothing and shoes under $100, school supplies including electronics with no limit
Florida: July 31–Aug. 9: clothing and footwear $60 or less, school supplies $15 or less, computers $1,000 or less
Iowa: Aug. 6–7: clothing and footwear under $100
Maryland: Aug. 8–14: clothing/footwear $100 or less, backpacks tax-exempt up to $40
Missouri: Aug. 6–8: clothing up to $100, school supplies under $50, certain electronics
New Mexico: Aug. 6–8: clothing/footwear under $100, school supplies under $30, computers under $1,000
Ohio: Aug. 6–8: clothing $75 or less, school supplies $20 or less
Oklahoma: Aug. 6–8: clothing/footwear less than $100
South Carolina: Aug. 6–8: tax-free clothing, footwear, school/art supplies with no price limit
Texas: Aug. 6–8: clothing, school supplies, and backpacks under $100
Virginia: Aug. 6–8: clothing/footwear $100 or less, school supplies $20 or less; hurricane and emergency preparedness items and energy-efficient appliances also included
Connecticut: Aug. 15–21: clothing/footwear under $100
Massachusetts: Aug. 14–15: most items up to $2,500. No sales tax on clothing under $175 (year-round).
Ohio states that the following items qualify as tax-exempt school supplies: binders, book bags, calculators, folders, highlighters, index cards, lunch boxes, paper, pencils, and similar items (see the website for the complete list). Other states might have varying guidelines.
The sales tax exemption is usually on a per-item basis. If you're buying multiple items of clothing or school supplies (as most people do), the tax exemption will apply to each item within the price limits.