Get Ready to Save With Back-to-School Tax-Free Weekends

If only school supplies were always tax-free!

Tax-Free Weekends

Back to school means shopping, shopping, shopping! To help you save a little money, many states have tax-free weekends in July or August on the items teachers and students need for the year ahead. Tax-exempt items vary by state, but most include clothing, shoes, and basic school supplies. Some states even allow you to skip the tax on computers, books, backpacks, and more. Not all states participate, but for those that do, these tax-free weekends are a great time for teachers to save. We’ll tell you all the states that do tax-free weekend. Then get our tips for making the most of these shopping days. 

2018 Tax-Free Weekends by State

Below are the dates and general tax exemptions for each state holding back-to-school tax-free weekends in 2018. States not listed either do not collect state sales tax or will not hold tax-free weekends in 2018. The exemptions shown are general guidelines; click the link for any state to view more details about qualifying items and other info.

Alabama, July 20–22

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $100 per item
  • Computers and software, up to $750 in a single purchase
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $50 per item
  • Books, up to $30 per item

Arkansas, August 4–5

  • Qualifying clothing, up to $100 per item
  • Accessories, up to $50 per item
  • School supplies, school art supplies, school instructional materials (no limits)

Connecticut, August 19–25

  • Qualifying clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item

Florida, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothes, footwear, and accessories, up to $60 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $15 per item

Iowa, August 3–4

  • Qualifying clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item

Louisiana, Cancelled

  • Louisiana’s annual August tax holiday will not be held in 2018, per legislation enacted July 1, 2018. Learn more here.

Maryland, August 12–18

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $100 per item
  • First $40 of a backpack or book bag purchase is tax-free

Mississippi, July 27–28

  • Qualifying clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item

Missouri, August 3–5

  • Clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item
  • School supplies, up to $50 per item
  • Computer software, up to $350 per item
  • Personal computers and accessories, up to $1500 per item
  • Graphing calculators, up to $150 per item

New Mexico, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $100 per item
  • Computers, up to $1000 per item
  • Qualifying computer equipment, up to $500 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $30 per item

Ohio, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $75 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies and instructional materials, up to $20 per item

Oklahoma, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $100 per item.

South Carolina, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories (no limits)
  • Qualifying school supplies and technology (no limits)
  • Qualifying bed and bath linens (no limits)

Tennessee, July 27–29

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $100 per item
  • School supplies and school art supplies, up to $100 per item
  • Computers, up to $1500 per item

Texas, August 10–12

  • Qualifying clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item
  • Backpacks, up to $100 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $100 per item

Virginia, August 3–5

  • Qualifying clothing and footwear, up to $100 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $20 per item
  • Note that hurricane-preparedness items, energy-saving appliances, and water-saving appliances are also tax-exempt this weekend

Wisconsin, August 1–5

  • Qualifying clothing, footwear, and accessories, up to $75 per item
  • Qualifying school supplies, up to $75 per item
  • Personal computers, up to $750 per item
  • Qualifying computer supplies, up to $250 per item

Shopping Tips to Maximize Your Savings

We know, you’re eager to get to the fun part … shopping! But before you set off, credit card in hand, take a couple of minutes to plan. (You’re a teacher and therefore great at planning!) We don’t want you to miss out on a single deal or spend a dollar more than you really need to, so check out these tips.

1. Stack your savings.

Tax-Free Weekends 3

To entice you to take advantage of these tax-free weekends, many stores will be offering their own sales and specials. Check out their ads and do a little comparison shopping in advance. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of other discount programs. Check out these articles before you go to make sure you’re getting every last penny’s worth!

2. Make a list.

Tax-Free Weekends 3

It’s easy to get a little wild when you shop a sale or tax-free weekend, so plan in advance. Comparison shop ads ahead of time and note the items that are truly good bargains. Decide whether it’s really worth it to go from store to store just to save a few cents. And most of all, don’t buy things you don’t need, which leads us to …

3. It’s only a bargain if it’s something you’ll use.

Tax-Free Weekends 3

We’ve all been there—eight bucks and no tax for 24 bottles of glue is too good to pass up—but is it more than you need? Be honest with yourself about what you actually will use, whether it’s a new pair of shoes or a gross of neon-colored pencils. (This list of 21 Essential Classroom Supplies is a good place to start.)

4. Consider a road trip.

Tax-Free Weekends 2

Depending on what you need and where you live, it might make sense to drive a bit and save. Not all states offer tax-free weekends, but if you live close to the border of one that does, it could be worth the time and effort to road trip for a shopping day. Just be sure to take into account the cost of gas and the value of your time. Pro tip: Recruit your favorite teacher BFFs to join you and split the cost of gas, then spend your savings on a lunch out you all deserve!

Do you have tips to help teachers save? Let us know in the comments or in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. 

Plus, check out travel discounts for teachers and Disney discounts for teachers.

Get Ready to Save With Back-to-School Tax-Free Weekends

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

Leave a reply

Happy Teacher Appreciation Month! Check out our special giveaways >>
+