If you live in one of the sates below, mark your calendars. We’ve rounded up all the tax-free weekend, tax-free week and sales tax holidays for 2022, so you can get your back-to-school shopping done for less. Given the pressures inflation is exerting on all our budgets, tax-free weekends can be a smart time to shop and save.
Table of Contents
What are Tax-Free Weekends?
During tax-free weekends (weeks, in some cases), participating states cut sales tax on certain items and make back-to-school shopping a little more affordable. That means, if you shop a retailer in a state while that state is running its tax-free holiday, you’ll pay no sales tax. No paperwork or coupon is required, the pesky state sales tax will just be waived at checkout, assuming you make a valid purchase. All states offering tax-free weekends place some restrictions on what you can buy tax free.
And, yes, national retailers are required to participate in tax-free weekends in the states they do business in. So, as long as you’re shopping during your state’s tax-free weekend or tax-free week, you won’t pay sales tax at retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Target.
Note that some municipalities charge their own local taxes, and those are NOT always waived, even during tax-free weekend.
This year, 16 states are participating, along with five—Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon—that never charge sales tax.
When is Tax-Free Weekend?
It varies by state, but most states offering tax-free shopping events throw them in August. A few tax-free shopping weekends take place in July. Most of the tax holidays begin at 12:01 a.m. and end at midnight.
Note that some states, including Texas and Florida, also offer extra tax-free holidays for severe weather preparedness and eco-friendly purchases.
Tax-Free Weekend Dates By State for 2022
Alabama Tax-Free Weekend
When: July 15 at 12:01 a.m. – July 17 at midnight.
What’s Tax Free: Clothing $100 or less per item; computers $750 or less; school supplies $50 or less per item; books $30 or less per book. These thresholds are per ITEM, not per cart. So, for example, that means you can load up your cart with more than $100 of clothing, and it’s all tax free as long as each item is $100 or less.
Fine print: Some items are restricted, including gaming systems, handbags, helmets, sport clothing and more.
Arkansas Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 6 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 7 at 11:59 p.m.
What’s Tax Free: Clothing and footwear under $100 per item; accessories (including cosmetics!) under $50 per item; select electronic devices (no price limit); select school supplies (no price limit); and school art supplies (no price limit).
Fine Print: Some items are restricted, including costumes and clothing used for sports. But diapers ARE included in the tax-free weekend, making them a smart item to stock up on. Cosmetics are also tax free. Also make note: The electronics category has no price restrictions, so Arkansas residents should definitely hone in on those big-ticket items like laptops and tablets. However, the electronics must be “devices commonly used by a student in the course of study,” so no gaming consoles, folks.
Another bit of fine print to be aware of: If you use a store coupon to reduce the item’s price below the threshold, congrats — it’s now tax free. Not so for manufacturers’ coupons — if you use one of those, it’s the original price tag that determines whether an item is tax free.
Connecticut Tax-Free Weekend
When: April 10–April 16 AND Aug. 21- Aug. 22.
Connecticut switched up tax-free week for 2022 and now offers two of them. The original one (the annual tax-free week) still runs in August (the third Sunday through the following Saturday). In 2022, Connecticut added another bonus tax-free week in April.
What’s Tax Free: For both tax-free weeks, Connecticut residents won’t pay tax on clothing and footwear under $100 per item. There’s one difference, though. For the April week, wallets are tax free. For the August week, wallets are taxed. Keep that in mind if a wallet is on your shopping list.
Fine Print: No rebates! Even if the rebate would push the price down below $100, that doesn’t count, because you receive that rebate later. However, immediate discounts (like coupons or promo codes) can be used to push the cost of the item below $100, making it tax free.
Florida Tax-Free Weekend
When: July 1 – July 7 AND July 25 to Aug. 7
What’s Tax Free: Florida is holding two tax-free weeks this summer:
- Freedom Week: The first (July 1-7) is called Freedom Week. Florida’s governor enacted it in 2021, and it applies to outdoor recreational items: boating and water supplies under $25; the first $35 of the sales price for pool inflatables and toys; the first $75 of the sales price of coolers, oars and paddles; the first $500 of the sales price of kayaks and SO much more (seriously, read this list of all the summery stuff you can get tax free during Florida’s Freedom Week).
- Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday: The second is the more traditional sales-tax holiday for back-to-school shopping, which runs July 25 to Aug. 7. It includes clothing/footwear $100 or less per item; select school supplies $50 or less per item; learning aids and jigsaw puzzles $30 or less per item; personal computers $1,500 or less (for noncommercial use only).
Fine Print: If you use layaway or a buy now, pay later service, you can still get your stuff tax free if you ship your order during the sales tax holiday OR place an item on layaway during the sales tax holiday.
Iowa Tax Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 6 at 11:59 p.m.
What’s Tax Free: Clothing or footwear selling for less than $100 is not taxed over the weekend.
Fine Print: Note that backpacks are still taxable, as they don’t count as clothing. If you’re unsure of which items “count” as clothing, check out this list. A note for BOGO shoppers: If you’re using a buy one, get one free deal, it’s the cost of both items that determines if you get them tax free. For example, if boots are buy one, get one free, and the first pair costs $110, you’ll pay tax — you can’t average the cost and insist each pair is just $55.
Maryland Tax-Free Week
When: Aug. 14 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 20 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Clothing and footwear priced $100 or less; the first $40 of backpack or bookbag.
Fine Print: Shopping online? As long as your eligible item is paid for and the retailer accepts your order during the tax-free holiday for immediate, you’ll pay no taxes. So be wary if shopping something that’s out of stock.
Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend
When: TBD. Was Aug. 14 and 15 in 2021
What’s Tax Free: All retail goods for personal use priced at $2,500 or less, except motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunication services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana and marijuana products. Yes, you read that right. Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend is really just that flexible.
Fine Print: If you spend more than $2,500 per item, you’ll need to pay tax on the whole amount. But clothing is a (slight) exception: In the state of Massachusetts, the first $175 of an item of clothing is tax exempt anyway. So, if a piece of clothing you purchase during Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend is more than $2,500, the first $175 is not taxable. Keep that in mind when shopping those designer bags.
Mississippi Tax-Free Weekend
When: July 29 at 12:01 a.m. –July 30 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Clothing, school supplies and footwear costing less than $100 per item. Excludes backpacks.
Fine Print: See the full list of tax-free and taxable items. In Mississippi, layaway does not qualify for the tax-free holiday. But here’s an advantage Mississippi has: Unlike in some other states, shipping costs for online orders are not included in the sales price, meaning they won’t bump up an item outside of tax-free status.
Missouri Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 7 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Any article of clothing, including footwear, with a taxable value of $100 or less; school supplies not to exceed $50 per purchase; graphing calculators not to exceed $150; computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less; and personal computers less than $1,500.
Fine Print: See exemptions here. Also, note that in Missouri, some counties and cities can elect not to participate in the tax-free holiday.
New Mexico Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 7 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Clothing or shoes priced at less than $100 per item; computers at $1,000; related computer hardware at $500; and school supplies for under $30.
Fine Print: Note that retailers are not required to participate in New Mexico’s tax-free weekend, so ask before you shop. Check out a full list of exceptions here.
Ohio Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. – Aug. 7 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Clothing priced at $75 per item or less, school supplies or school instructional material priced at $20 per item or less and instructional materials less that $20 per item.
Fine Print: Most accessories are excluded from tax-free weekend, including hats and jewelry.
Oklahoma Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 6–Aug. 8
What’s Tax Free: Clothing and footwear priced under $100.
Fine Print: Accessories, athletic footwear and protective gear are excluded. As in most states, rainchecks are not valid. If an item sells out during Tax-Free Weekend, too bad.
South Carolina Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. –Aug. 7 at midnight
What’s Tax Free: Clothing, accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, software, printers and bed & bath supplies.
Fine Print: The South Carolina Tax-Free weekend is unique in that it has no dollar limits on eligible purchases. The bed and bath category (unique to the state) includes bath mats, bedding, towels, shower curtains, mattress pads, blankets and more — see a full list.
Tennessee Tax-Free Weekend
When: July 29 at 12:01 am. –July 31 at midnight AND Aug. 1 at 11:59 p.m. to Aug. 31 at midnight.
What’s Tax Free:
Summer 2022 holds two tax-free weekends for Tennessee:
- Back-to-School (July 29-31): Clothing and school supplies that cost $100 or less per item; and computers that are $1,500 or less.
- Groceries (Aug. 1-31): For an entire month, Tennessee residents pay no sales tax on food and food ingredients.
Fine Print: For the back-to-school tax-free weekend, accessories and bags are excluded. Meanwhile, printer supplies, software and flash drives are excluded from the “computers” category.
Texas Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5–Aug. 7
What’s Tax Free: Most clothing, footwear, school supplies, swimwear and backpacks priced at $100 or less are free from sales and use taxes.
Fine Print: Shopping online? As long as you enter your credit card info into an online shopping website during the Texas tax-free weekend, you’re all good. However, if your credit card is declined and you don’t re-submit in time, your purchase will be taxed.
Virginia Tax-Free Weekend
When: Aug. 5 at 12:01 a.m. –Aug. 7 at 11:59 p.m.
What’s Tax Free: School supplies at $20 or less per item; qualified clothing and footwear at $100 or less per item. Plus, you can also get hurricane-preparedness items and Energy Star and WaterSense products tax-free during the weekend.
Fine Print: Using a gift card? You can’t use it to reduce the cost of the item for tax-free purposes. For example, if you buy a $120 jacket and use a $25 gift card, the jacket is still taxed, even though you paid only $95.
Tips for Making the Most Out of Tax-Free Weekend
Live in a state that’s offering a sales tax holiday? Follow these tips to shop smart and avoid disappointment at checkout:
- Make a shopping list. At the end of the day, state sales taxes are about 4% to 10% (depending on whether local/municipal taxes are included in the state’s holiday). That translates into a $4 to $10 discount off $100. So don’t use tax-free weekend as an excuse to fill up your car with things you don’t need.
- Hone in on big-ticket items in some states. If your state includes pricey electronics and computers in its tax-free weekend, take full advantage. Even if your state sales tax amounts to just a 7% discount, that’s $70 off a $1,000 laptop. Take that, inflation.
- Know which items qualify for your state’s tax-free weekend. Depending on your state, tax-free weekend sales typically apply to only select categories of goods. Understanding which items qualify for the tax-free discount will eliminate a lot of headaches and unnecessary spending. For example, many states’ tax-free weekend sales take place around back-to-school time, so school supplies and school uniforms may qualify for tax-free status but a similar item, such as a backpack or laptop bag, may not. Best to know in advance.
- Show up early. All the smart shoppers in your state know it’s tax-free weekend. So shop as early as you can to maximize selection. Most states don’t offer tax-free rainchecks, so if an item you want sells out, you’re out of luck.
- Use coupons. Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of paying no sales tax that you forget to use coupons and promo codes. In some cases, these will also knock down the price of an item to within the tax-free threshold, in states that have one. Regardless, using a coupon and getting a tax-free “discount” lets you stack your savings. These stores are offering the best-back-to-school sales this year. And don’t forget to install our Deal Finder browser extension, which finds and automatically applies online promo codes for you.
- Shop tax-free weekend online. Is tax-free weekend also online? You bet. Don’t let crowds and the fuss of in-store shopping stop you from saving. All states participating in tax-free weekend 2022 will allow you to shop online for qualifying items if the following apply:
- You complete your purchase (including payment) during your state’s tax-free weekend.
- The retailer you shop online with is actively doing business in your state during tax-free weekend.
- Items you purchase qualify and meet the terms for tax-free status.
- You live in the participating state (this is usually determined by your shipping/billing address).
- Know that shipping costs make things tricky: Shipping costs do complicate matters. In some states, shipping costs don’t factor into the item’s cost, meaning you don’t have to worry about shipping fees bumping your item above the tax-free threshold. In some states, the opposite is true and you do have to worry about shipping costs messing with the tax-free status of your item. And, if you have both eligible and ineligible items in your online shopping cart, some states’ laws require the retailer to divvy up the shipping costs among all the items and … well … we’re confused, too. Know your state’s policy before you shop and, if things get complicated, consider placing an order of eligible items only.
States Not Participating in This Year
- Louisiana: Louisiana used to offer a tax-free weekend, but hasn’t for several years.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin has offered tax-free weekends in the past, but the legislature hasn’t approved such an event for this year.
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