Monday, August 19, 2013

Tax-Free Shopping

In August, several states choose to waive some taxes on school supplies to help parents prepare for children heading back to school. Although the idea is to help parents, even if one does not have school age children, she may be able to take advantage of this tax holiday to make a few purchases she needs.

Connecticut's tax-free week started yesterday, making clothing and shoe purchases under $300 tax-free until August 24th. Each state has different rules, and most have different dates, so for the full list, check the Department of Revenue for your state. During the tax-free period, it is wise to buy items that one needs -- some fugal people even hold off on buying all clothing until this time each year.

Most states will include clothing, but some states even include other supplies like computers, books, and other school supplies. I knew about these types of items, and that August is a great time to plan on buying them, but I did not know that some states have very different options. For instance, in Alabama, generators are tax-free in February. In Georgia, energy and water efficient items like washing machines are tax-free in October. North Carolina includes sports equipment in their tax-free items. While these states and their tax-free options are not much of a benefit to me, it certainly is worth checking to see when and what one's state will allow as tax-free -- and if possible, hold off until that time to make a purchase.

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