Total Pageviews

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It\'s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Season


As July winds down, parents in some parts of the country (school starts in mid-August in our neck of the woods) are starting to think about back-to-school shopping.

Many states are holding “tax holidays,” during which they drop state sales-tax collections on back-to-school goods like clothes, shoes, school supplies and even computers. (Some communities still collect local sales taxes, though.) The CCH Group, a tax and accounting firm, has compiled a list of more than a dozen states offering back-to-school tax holidays and some examples of what items are exempt.

Arkansas, where I live, is holding such a holiday on the weekend of August 4-5. The state sales tax is 6 percent (some states' rates are as high as 7 percent, CCH notes), and city and county add-ons push it to more than 9 percent in my community. So a sales holiday can make a difference to those on a tight budget. During the Arkansas “holiday,” clothing und er $100, clothing accessories or equipment under $50, school supplies and art supplies are all exempt from the tax. An itemized list of items is posted on the state's Web site.

Connecticut's holiday, on Aug. 19-25, exempts clothing and footwear costing less than $300 per item. (Accessories, or athletic or protective clothing, aren't included.) North Carolina's event, meanwhile, on Aug. 3-5, exempts computers of $3,500 and under.

New York doesn't hold tax holidays, per se. But this year, it raised the ceiling - to $110, up from $55 - on the state sales tax exemption for items of clothing and footwear.

CCH suggests checking the Web site of your state's revenue department for dates and details.

Does your state hold a tax holiday? Do you coordinate your back-to-school shopping to take advantage of it?