Is your state’s duty free holiday this weekend? Here’s how to find out


As high inflation persists, 85% of buyers feel the pain during their back-to-school shopping, according to a recent CNET survey.

If you are looking for ways to to save money in the upcoming season, find out if your state is offering a tax-exempt period this summer. Also known as tax holidays, these weekend or week-long events eliminate or reduce national (and sometimes local) sales tax for certain categories of purchases. This year’s list of items includes books, computers, clothing and sports equipment, with 18 participating states in total (not counting the five states that never charge sales tax).

See the state-by-state map and descriptions below to find out if your state runs a sales tax exemption, when it happens, and which items are zero-rated. (The tax holidays in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee have already passed.)

For other ways to save money, find out if your state offers a gasoline tax exemption Where sending tax refund checks.

Duty Free Dates and Offers, by State

Appointment: July 15–17, 2002 (passed)

Zero-rated items:

  • Most clothes under $100 – including pants, shirts, shoes, coats and school uniforms – as well as diapers.
  • Sports and recreational equipment and clothing accessories are not included in the tax-free weekend.

Appointment: August 6 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • School accessories: $50 or less per item
  • Computers and selected school supplies
  • See the complete list of items on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Government website

Appointment: August 21 to 27, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item, excluding sports equipment and uniforms
  • See the full list of items on the Connecticut Department of Revenue website

Appointment: July 25 to August 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $60 or less per item
  • Selected accessories: $60 or less per item
  • School supplies: $15 or less per item
  • Computers: Tax exempt for the first $1,000 spent
  • See the full list of items on the Florida Department of Revenue website

Appointment: August 5 to 14, 2022

Tax Reduced Items

  • School supplies and clothing totaling less than $125 will receive a 5% reduction in sales tax
  • See the full list of items on the Illinois Department of Revenue website

Appointment: August 5 to 6, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item, excluding sports equipment, backpacks and purses
  • See the full list of items on the Iowa Department of Revenue website

Appointment: August 14 to 20, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • Backpacks: zero-rated for the first $40 spent
  • Check out the full list of items on the Maryland Comptroller’s website

Appointment: August 13 to 14, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Retail items purchased for personal use (commercial purchases excluded): $2,500 or less, excluding meals, motor vehicles, motor boats, gasoline, electricity, tobacco, marijuana products and alcoholic beverages).
  • See the full list of items on the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website

Appointment: July 29 to 30, 2022 (passed)

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • School supplies: $100 or less per item
  • See the full list of items on the Mississippi Department of Revenue website

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing: $100 or less per item
  • School supplies: $50 or less per item
  • Computer software: $350 or less per item
  • Personal computers: $1,500 or less per item
  • Graphing calculators: $150 or less per item
  • See the full list of articles on the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • Computers: $1,000 or less per item
  • Computer software: $500 or less per item
  • School supplies: $30 or less per item
  • View the full list of articles on the New Mexico Tax and Revenue website

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing: $75 or less per item
  • School supplies and books: $20 or less per item
  • See the full list of articles on the Ohio Department of Taxation website

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item, excluding sports equipment and uniforms
  • See the full list of articles on the Oklahoma Tax Commission website.

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothes and shoes
  • Select accessories
  • School supplies
  • Computers
  • See the complete list of items on the South Carolina Department of Revenue website.

Appointment: July 29 to 31, 2022 (passed)

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item, excluding handbags, jewelry and sporting goods
  • School and art supplies: $100 or less per item
  • Laptops, tablets and computers: $1,500 or less per item
  • See the full list of items on the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • School supplies: $100 or less per item
  • Check out the full list of items on the Texas Comptroller’s website

Appointment: August 5 to 7, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing and footwear: $100 or less per item
  • School supplies: $20 or less per item
  • Energy Star, WaterSense, and Hurricane Preparedness items (with qualification limits)
  • See the full list of articles on the Virginia Department of Taxation website.

Appointment: August 5 to 8, 2022

Zero-rated items

  • Clothing: $125 or less per item
  • Some school supplies: $50 or less per item
  • School books and teaching materials: $20 or less per item
  • Laptop and tablets: $500 or less per item
  • Sports equipment: $150 or less per item
  • See the full list of items on the West Virginia State Department of Taxation website.

States that never have sales tax

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon

Read more: 85% of Americans say inflation is slowing back-to-school shopping

A tax holiday, also known as a weekend or tax-free week, refers to a period during which qualifying items are exempt from sales tax. Some states hold duty-free holidays every year, and a few even hold multiple duty-free events throughout the year. Most states that participate in tax exemptions have an event in the summer that matches back-to-school shopping.

Do tax-free weekends include online sales?

Yes, online purchases for in-state residents made while on their sales tax holiday will be tax exempt, even through major online retailers like Amazon. Just be sure to follow your state’s guidelines for eligible items.

What happens if I purchase an eligible item that exceeds the dollar limit?

This varies by state. In Maryland, for example, the first $40 spent on a backpack is not taxable. If you were to spend $60 on a backpack, you would only be taxed for $20. However, in a state like Massachusetts, if you exceed the price limit – $2,500 for all qualifying purchases – the entire item is subject to sales tax. We recommend reviewing the full list of items and your state’s rules to plan accordingly.

Do all cities in a state with a tax holiday participate?

Most states require all cities and businesses within them to participate in a duty-free vacation. Alabama, Florida and Missouri do not.

Can you save money shopping during a tax break?

You can save money by avoiding sales tax during a tax holiday, especially in states with high average state and local sales tax rates, such as Tennessee (9.55%), Arkansas (9.51%) and Alabama (9.22%). That said, you’ll want to make sure you stick to a budget to avoid overspending and do your research on back-to-school deals. Some stores may offer lower prices on clothing, supplies, and computers than you might get by paying full price during a tax holiday.

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