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A LOT of States Have Tax Free Shopping This Weekend

Calling all shoppers in Iowa, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia!
clothes in store

It's back-to-school season! From August 4 to August 6, several states will be exempting back-to-school items from sales tax, giving shoppers an opportunity to save on essentials. This weekend, shoppers in Iowa, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia can save on a variety of things.

Each state's holiday takes place on slightly different days and covers slightly different items. All shoppers in each state are eligible to participate in the sales tax holidays, so find your state and start making your list!

DealNews is keeping a close eye on all the state sales tax holidays, and there are still more to come after August 6. Check out the complete list here.


Iowa shoppers will have their sales tax holiday on Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5. Clothes and shoes under $100 (per item) will be exempt from sales and use taxes. Some items are not included, such as athletic gear, recreational clothing (like life jackets), and protective equipment.

SEE ALSO: When Is Your State's Tax Free Weekend in 2017?

The sales tax exemption applies to both internet orders and mail orders, as well as in-person shopping. You can use in-store coupons to bring the price below the cutoff, but not manufacturer coupons. For a more complete list of exempt and nonexempt items, consult Iowa's list.


Arkansas is running its tax holiday weekend on Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6. Included in the sale: clothing items under $100 per item, accessories under $50 per item, school supplies, art supplies, and instructional materials. Savvy shoppers looking to score a deal on sewing equipment are out of luck; needles, thread, and fabrics are not included. Also note that protective equipment and sports/recreational gear are still taxable.

As with most state tax holidays, Arkansas shoppers can take advantage of in-store sales and store coupons to bring an item's price below the cutoff, but manufacturer coupons and mail-in rebates won't be used in calculating whether an item is under the price cutoff. For more details, check out the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website.


Florida is one of several states with a sales tax holiday running from August 4 to 6. Here are some of the items that'll be exempt from sales and local option taxes: clothes, footwear, and certain accessories costing $60 or less per item; school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; and personal computers and computer-related accessories at $750 or less per item. If you purchase these products at a theme park, airport, entertainment complex, or public lodging establishment, however, you're out of luck — the holiday doesn't apply to sales of eligible items in these locations.

Certain Florida businesses don't have to participate in the tax holiday. If they decide not to take part, they must post a notice saying so.

Also note that certain businesses don't have to participate in the tax holiday. If they decide not to take part, they must post a notice saying so at each retail location. For more information about Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday, check out this PDF from the Florida Department of Revenue.


Missouri's holiday runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, or August 4 to 6. Sales tax exempt items include the following: clothing under $100 per item; school supply purchases of less than $50 per purchase; computer software costing less than $350; computers under $1,500; computer peripheral devices under $1,500; and graphing calculators under $150.

Shoppers should be aware that participation in the sales tax holiday is optional for cities, counties, and districts within Missouri, and many localities are choosing not to participate. For a complete list of areas that aren't participating, consult the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

New Mexico

New Mexico's sales tax holiday runs Friday, August 4, through Sunday, August 6. Shoppers will pay no sales or use taxes on clothing and shoes under $100 per item (excluding athletic gear and accessories); computers under $1,000; computer hardware under $500 (like monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and so on); and school supplies under $30 per item.

SEE ALSO: 5 Smart Ways to Shop Without Google Shopping

Shoppers can take advantage of rain checks and layaway deals, if the final payments are made during the weekend itself. For more details on New Mexico's tax free holiday, check out the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue website.


Ohio's sales tax holiday will last the entire 3-day weekend: August 4 to 6. Eligible categories include clothing under $75 per item (excluding the usual categories of accessories, recreational clothing, and athletic gear) and school supplies under $20 per item.

In-store sales and store coupons are eligible to reduce item prices below the cutoff; manufacturer coupons and mail-in rebates are not. Also, the state of Ohio would like you to know that you can't average an $80 buy one, get one free deal over both items and claim them as tax exempt. (This is generally true for most state sales tax holidays.) For details, check out the Ohio Department of Taxation website.


Like Ohioans, Oklahomans will get three full days of tax holidays, ranging from Friday, August 4, until Sunday, August 6. Unlike Ohio, the only exempt category in Oklahoma is clothing and shoes under $100, with the usual restrictions on athletic gear and protective clothing.

Shoppers may redeem previously issued rain checks during the tax holiday weekend and receive the exemption, but rain checks issued during the weekend and purchased later won't qualify for the exemption — so get in early! All Oklahoma localities are participating in the sales tax holiday. For the full details, check out the Oklahoma Tax Commission website.

South Carolina

South Carolina's sales tax holiday will run August 4 to 6. It'll cover clothing (including shoes and accessories), school supplies, computers, computer software, and printers. South Carolina's sales tax holiday includes bedroom and bathroom fabric items, as well — items such as towels, sheets, and pillowcases. Not covered: cell phones, music players, or eBook readers.

Uniquely, South Carolina hasn't listed an upper price limit on exemptions, so premium items will also be tax exempt.

Uniquely, South Carolina hasn't listed an upper price limit on exemptions, so premium items will also be tax exempt. For more details, check out the South Carolina Department of Revenue's website.


Virginia will also have a 3-day sales tax holiday, from August 4 until August 6. Shoppers will pay no state or local sales taxes on clothing and shoes costing less than $100 per item, or on school supplies under $20 per item.

What's more, Virginia is also including hurricane preparedness items in its sales tax holiday. Shoppers won't pay sales tax on portable generators under $1,000; chainsaws under $350; chainsaw accessories under $60; and an array of related hurricane-preparedness items. Unusually, under Virginia's program, retailers may choose to pay customers' sales tax on non-exempt items, meaning shoppers in the Old Dominion could score some unexpected deals.

Readers, what do you think about sales tax holidays? What's on your list for this tax free weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Contributing Writer

Sean is a freelance writer and photojournalist working in the Hampton Roads region. He has been a writer, adventure motorcyclist, drag racer, data nerd, shade-tree mechanic, and tornado chaser. Recommend good beers to him on Twitter at @wxgeek.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. 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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1 comment
Not Illinois they double the taxes for school supplies.