States’ Sales Tax Holidays Keep Wallets Full

Holidays Not Just for December

Who says holidays can only happen in December? Now that the holiday season is in full swing, make sure to be on the lookout for some of the smaller holidays throughout the year that keep your wallet a little thicker.

Sales taxes are one of the ways states across the U.S. bring in revenue. While sales tax rates vary across the country, some states have given their citizens a small gift with sales tax holidays, usually a two-day period where purchases for certain goods are sales tax-free.

The eligible goods range from those for hurricane season to school supplies like clothing, shoes and computers, and the savings can run a few percentage points of the total purchase. Here are some of the sales tax holidays that popped up in 2011:

  • Alabamans were able to buy a computer in August for up to $750 tax free. Same went for up to $100 in clothing and $30 in books.
  • Connecticut residents know how cold it gets in the fall, so when winter clothes are cheap in the summer, a sales tax holiday brings even more savings. From August 21 to 27, up to $300 in clothing and footwear were tax free.
  • Louisiana had perhaps one of the more generous tax holidays. In early August, up to $2,500 of tangible personal property could be bought tax free. A couple months later in September had a sales tax holiday for firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies. In May, up to $1,500 in goods for hurricane preparedness were subject to a holiday.
  • In Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, & Virginia electrical items with the Energy Star label could be bought tax free, with those states’ holidays spread out throughout the year.
  • If you’re looking to get away from the dry heat in Texas, make sure to buy your air conditioner during the right weekend. Up to $6,000 in costs for an AC could be bought tax free at the end of May.

More and more states have adopted tax holidays over the years, and they’re typically set for the summer months to help parents buy back-to-school items for their kids. Check with your state’s tax agency to find out if or when your state has a sales tax holiday.

If you owe back taxes to the IRS, don’t expect them to give you any type of holiday. While there are powerful programs to resolve tax debt with the help of an experienced tax attorney, very rarely are these programs publicized.

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