2008 Sales Tax Holidays are Coming

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Got kids? Don’t have kids, but need to do some shopping? Depending on where you live, there’s a tax “holiday” just around the corner!

Every year a large handful of states offer a state sales tax “holiday”, where you have a short window of opportunity to buy clothing, footwear, school supplies, household goods, electronics and personal items without paying sales tax. Here’s what’s coming up for this year:

  • Energy-efficient appliances don’t have anything to do with back-to-school, but they make for good copy! West Virginia will have a new sales tax holiday for energy-efficient products in September, followed by Georgia and Virginia in October, which have expanded existing holidays for these products to include water-efficient products. North Carolina is in the last stages of enacting legislation to create a new holiday in November to encourage energy-conscious purchases
  • Alabama. From August 1-3, 2008, the following are exempt: clothing costing $100 or less per article; a single purchase costing $750 or less of computers, software, and school computer supplies; noncommercial purchases of school supplies and instructional materials up to a sales price of $50 per item; and noncommercial purchases of books up to $30 each.
  • Connecticut. Clothing and footwear under $300 are exempt from August 17-23, 2008. The holiday exemption replaces the regular exemption for clothing and footwear costing less than $50, which remains in effect for all other periods, and it does not apply to athletic or protective clothing and footwear, jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, and watches.
  • District of Columbia. School supplies, clothing, accessory items, and shoes for $100 or less are exempt from sales tax from August 2-10, 2008. A second holiday is held every November for clothing, footwear, and accessories.
  • Georgia. From July 31-August 3, 2008, Georgia sales and use tax does not apply to certain school supplies (up to $20 per item); clothing and footwear (priced at $100 or less per article); and computers and computer-related accessories (for a single purchase of $1,500 or less).
  • Iowa. August 1-2, 2008. During the holiday, no sales tax, including school and local option sales taxes, will be collected on clothing or footwear that have a selling price of less than $100 per item. Certain accessories are excluded from the tax holiday.
  • Louisiana. The first $2,500 for most items of tangible personal property purchased from August 1-2, 2008, will be exempt. The holiday covers purchases by consumers for nonbusiness use, but does not apply to transactions involving vehicles, meals, taxable services, or leases or rentals of tangible personal property.
  • Missouri. From August 1-3, 2008, retail sales of the following are exempt from state sales tax: clothing and footwear (excluding certain accessories) costing $100 or less, school supplies costing $50 or less, computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less, and personal computers and computer peripheral devices sold for $3,500 or less.
  • New Mexico. From August 1-3, 2008 consumers get a break on clothing or shoes sold for less than $100 (excluding items primarily for athletic or protective use); computers (but not handheld computers) sold for no more than $1,000, and any associated monitor, speakers, printer, or related items sold for no more than $500; notebooks, paper, writing instruments, crayons, art supplies, paper clips, staples, staplers, scissors, and rulers priced under $15; and bookbags, backpacks, handheld calculators, maps, and globes priced under $100. Retailer participation is voluntary, though – so look carefully.
  • North Carolina. The sales and use tax holiday runs from August 1-3, 2008. Exempt items are clothing and school supplies with a sales price of $100 or less; school instructional materials of $300 or less; sports and recreation equipment with a sales price of $50 or less; computers with a sales price of $3,500 or less; and computer supplies costing $250 or less. Clothing accessories, protective equipment, furniture, and rentals are not exempt during the holiday.
  • Oklahoma.Sales of clothing and footwear costing less than $100 are exempt from August 1-3, 2008.
  • South Carolina. Clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers, printer supplies, computer software, and linens for the bed and bath are exempt from state and local sales tax from August 1-3, 2008. Certain items, including, but not limited to, jewelry, cosmetics, furniture, and items for use in a business are not exempt during the holiday.
  • Tennessee. Clothing and school supplies, including art supplies, costing $100 or less, and computers, other than those for use in a trade or business, costing $1,500 or less, are exempt between August 1-3, 2008.
  • Texas. From August 15-17, 2008, sales of most clothing, footwear, and school backpacks priced at less than $100 are exempt from state and local sales taxes. Clothing and footwear used primarily for athletic activities or for protective wear are ineligible for the exemption. Accessories and rentals of clothing also are excluded from the holiday.
  • Virginia. Sales of clothing and footwear costing $100 or less and school supplies costing $20 or less are exempt from August 1-3, 2008.Not playing this year: Florida, Massachusetts and Maryland all suspended their historical tax holidays this year, citing tight budgets. Maryland plans to bring theirs back as a week-long event, but not until August 2010.

    Energy-efficient holidays in 2009: Missouri (April), Texas (Memorial Day weekend), South Carolina (all of October).

    Others: Louisiana and Virginia hold tax holidays for hurricane-preparedness supplies in the spring. Florida used to, but opted out this year. Finally, in what must count as the most unusual holiday in the nation, the South Carolina Legislature defied the Governor again and enacted an annual holiday for sales of handguns, rifles, and shotguns during what it dubbed the “Second Amendment Weekend”: the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving.


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