Have some larger than average expenses coming up this year? Plan on buying some new appliances, computers, or worse yet an entire new wardrobe for your rapidly growing teenager? Don’t fret, I might be able to save you some cash. Before you head out to the mall or your nearest big-box store you may want to take a look at when (if) your state holds its annual “Sales Tax Holiday” in 2011 to save yourself a few bucks. Statewide sales tax holidays were first enacted in 1996 as a way to as give consumers a good incentive to shop at their local businesses. While most states normally restrict exemptions only up to a certain amount (say, $300), shoppers can actually buy an unlimited amount of these items free of taxes for the days that the holiday is in place.
Something to keep in mind, though — as with any internet shopping, residents of other states who purchase goods in places other than their state of record may be required to pay local taxes on their purchases. I’m not saying anyone does it, but it’s just something to think about come tax time.
Every year, the Federation of Tax Administrators publishes this tax holiday list, and this year’s list is available now for your perusal. Let’s check out a few states, along with their dates and what items qualify to be tax free those days.
Alabama – Clothing up to $100, computers up to $750, school supplies up to $50, and books to $30 are exempt from sales taxes on August 5-7, 2011
Connecticut – Clothing and footwear up to $300 is exempt August 21-27, 2011
Louisiana – Hurricane preparedness items up to $1,500 are exempt May 28-29, 2011
Maryland – Energy star products are exempt on February 19-21, 2011
North Carolina – Clothing and school supplies up to $100, instructional material up to $300, computers to $3,500, and sports equipment to $50 are exempt August 5-7, 2011
Texas – Energy star rated air conditioners up to $6,000, others up to $2,000 are exempt May 28-30, 2011
Virginia – Energy star products up to $2,500 are exempt October 7-10, 2011
A few years ago when I lived in New Mexico I took advantage of the sales tax holiday when I bought myself a new Apple MacBook computer. I was all prepared to buy it about a month before the holiday, but someone reminded me that it was coming up — and saved me almost $100 in the process! Because the computer was right around $1,000 I didn’t have to pay any sales tax on it. Pretty cool, right? It was totally worth the wait of a few weeks to save that kind of money. So if you have some expenses coming up, check out the list to see when your sales tax holiday is to potentially save yourself some dough.
The Federation of Tax Administrators says that the list may not be complete and up-to-date, so if your state isn’t yet listed there you may want to check back in a little bit or visit your state’s taxation and revenue website. To access the list for all states with published sales tax holidays as of this writing you can click through to the FTA website.
(photo credit: Vectorportal)