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When Is Your State's Tax Free Weekend in 2016?

There are 17 states with tax free weekends this year, mostly for back-to-school shopping. But anyone looking for tech, supplies, or clothing can take advantage of the savings.

Summer vacation is dwindling, so it's time to start planning your back-to-school shopping, especially if your state has a tax free weekend coming up. During those weekends, participating stores will refrain from charging sales tax on select items — many of which cater to back-to-school needs. You don't even need to have a matriculating child to take advantage of the savings!

To find out if your state has a tax free weekend this summer, check out the chart below.

Tax Free Back-to-School Shopping

Tax free holidays first started in 1997 in New York, and since then they've grown into a popular event throughout the country. Some states even have multiple ones, for residents to purchase things like Energy Star or WaterSense items, hurricane preparedness items, or even hunting supplies.

However, the most commonly celebrated tax free weekends are the ones that serve as key back-to-school shopping events. They naturally go together, and not just because of the late summer timing; often, the items that qualify for tax free weekends are items that students of all ages need. Parents can save on clothing and shoes, school supplies of all kinds, computers, and other tech. Plus, if you're savvy, you can find back-to-school sales that are active during your state's tax free weekend, multiplying your potential savings.

Tax Free Weekends Aren't Just for Students

Obviously, you don't have to be a parent or a student in order to benefit from back-to-school sales and tax free holidays. Anybody who wants to add to their wardrobe, upgrade their tech, or score some office supplies can take advantage of the holiday.

If you remember only one thing while you hit the tax free weekend sales this year, it's this: Many states impose purchase limits on eligible items. Often, it's only items under a certain amount that will qualify for tax free perks.

You Won't Find Louisiana on the List this Year

While not technically tax free, Louisiana will have at least a discounted tax rate over August 5 and 6 on tangible personal property purchases less than $2,500. Unfortunately, it's not a short-term change. This lower rate of 3% is valid for all tax holidays from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. After that, a 0% sales tax holiday will resume for July 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.

When and Where Can You Find Tax Free Weekends, and What Items Qualify?

State Dates Eligible Items / Max Cost
Alabama August 5 - 7 Clothing: $100
Computers: $750
School supplies: $50
Books: $30
Arkansas August 6 - 7 School supplies: No limit
Clothing: $100
Clothing accessories and equipment: $50
Connecticut August 21 - 27 Clothing and footwear: $100
*Florida August 5 - 7 School supplies: $15
Clothing: $60
Georgia July 30 - 31 Clothing: $100
School supplies: $20
Computers: $1,000
Iowa August 5 - 6 Clothing and footwear: $100
Maryland August 14 - 20 Clothing and footwear: $100
*Massachusetts August 5 - 6 Clothing and footwear: $100
Mississippi July 29 - 30 Clothing and footwear: $100
Missouri August 5 - 7 Clothing: $100
School supplies: $50
Computer software: $350
Computers: $1,500
Computer peripherals: $1,500
Graphing calculators: $150
New Mexico August 5 - 7 School supplies: $30
Clothing: $100
Computers: $1,000
Computer equipment: $500
Ohio August 5 - 7 Clothing: $75
School supplies: $20
School instructional material: $20
*Oklahoma August 5 - 7 Clothing: $100
**South Carolina August 5 - 7 Clothing and accessories: No limit
School supplies: No limit
Computers and accessories: No limit
Bed and bath items: No limit
Tennessee July 29 - 31 Clothing: $100
School supplies: $100
Computers: $1,500
Texas August 5 - 7 Clothing and footwear: $100
Backpacks: $100
School supplies: $100
Virginia August 5 - 7 Clothing and footwear: $100
School supplies: $20

*Indicates states containing links to legal documents with details on Sales Tax holidays

**Indicates states that still have to confirm tax holidays for this year

Readers, do you shop the tax free weekends? Do you prefer to shop at office supply stores like Staples or Office Max, or do you go for big box retailers, clothing stores, or elsewhere? Sound off in the comments below!

Staff Writer

As a college student, Julie wrote for the college newspaper and freelanced for the website College Candy. Since then she has worked as freelancer through Textbroker and has written press releases, feature pages, and other miscellaneous pieces for a software company. She enjoys writing both as a hobby and a career, and is always working on some kind of story.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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