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Sales Tax 101

2021 Sales Tax Holidays

by Jennifer Dunn

Looking for more information on how to best prepare for sales tax holidays?

Download our sales tax holiday guide.

Every year about half the US states provide some sort of sales tax holiday. Sales tax holidays are designed to get people out to stores (or shopping online) by providing the incentive of tax free purchasing for a limited time. They are also designed to provide a break on necessities like emergency preparedness supplies during hurricane season or back to school shopping in the fall.

However, sales tax holidays wax and wane in popularity. Some states have a set annual sales tax holiday. Other states are required by law to renew their sales tax holidays every year. With states suffering due to COVID, will every state that normally holds a sales tax holiday still provide this shopping incentive?  

Not to worry! Throughout the year we update this post as states add (or remove) sales tax holidays from the calendar. As of this update, the following states are planning sales tax holidays in the coming year.

List of All Sales Tax Holidays in 2021

Find your state and mark your calendars for tax free shopping (and selling)!

Alabama Sales Tax Holidays 2021

February 26-28, 2021  – Alabama Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

  • Severe weather preparedness items costing $60 or less are not taxable during the sales tax holiday. Examples include batteries (including cell phones and chargers), duct tape, self-powered self-contained first-aid kit, non-electric can opener.
  • Two exceptions are portable generators and power cords used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage – these items are tax exempt during the holiday as long as they cost $1,000 or less.

July 16-18, 2021 – Alabama Back to School Sales Tax Holiday.  

  • Clothing with a sales price of $100 or less per item is not taxable during the sales tax holiday; the holiday excludes clothing items considered accessories or protective/recreational equipment such as swimwear.
  • Single purchases of computers, computer software, and school computer equipment costing less than $750 are not taxable.
  • Noncommercial purchases of school supplies, school art supplies and school instructional materials with a sales price of $50 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Noncommercial book purchases with a sales price of $30 or less per book are not taxable.

Arkansas Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 7-8, 2021 – Arkansas Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and footwear under $100 per item is not taxable during the sales tax holiday.
  • Clothing accessories or equipment, school art supplies, school instructional materials and school supplies under $50 per item are not taxable during the holiday.

Connecticut Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 15-21, 2021 – Connecticut Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Most clothing and footwear that costs less than $300 per item is not taxable during the holiday; however the sales tax holiday excludes athletic or protective clothing, jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and “similar items.”

Iowa Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-7, 2021 – Iowa Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and footwear with a sale price of less than $100 is not taxable during the holiday; However the sales tax holiday excludes accessories, clothing rentals, athletic and protective clothing.

Maryland Sales Tax Holidays 2021

February 13-15, 2021 – Maryland Green Sales Tax Holiday

  • Energy Star™ products including air conditioners, washers and dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard-size refrigerators, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, and solar water heaters are not taxable.

August 8-14, 2021 – Maryland Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and footwear less with a sale price of $100 or less are not taxable. This excludes accessories.

Mississippi Sales Tax Holidays 2021

July 30-July 31, 2021 – Mississippi Back to School Sales Tax Holiday 

  • Clothing or footwear with a sales price of under $100 per item are not taxable; excludes accessories, rentals, skis, swim fins or skates.

August 28-August 30, 2021Mississippi Firearms and Ammunition Sales (2nd Amendment) Tax Holiday

  • Firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies, including archery equipment are non-taxable.

Missouri Sales Tax Holidays 2021

April 19-25, 2021 – Missouri Energy Efficiency Sales Tax Holiday

  • Retail sales of Energy Star certified new appliances up to $1,500 per appliance are not taxable.

August 6-8, 2021 – Missouri Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Noncommercial purchases of clothing with a taxable value of $100 or less per item are not taxable; this excludes accessories.
  • School supplies up to $50 per purchase are not taxable.
  • Computer software with a taxable value of $350 or less is not taxable.
  • Personal computers and computer peripherals up to $1500 are not taxable.
  • Graphing calculators with a taxable value of $150 or less are not taxable.

Localities may opt-out of the Missouri Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. If less than 2% of a Missouri retailer’s merchandise qualifies for the sales tax holiday, then the retailer must offer a tax refund in lieu of a tax holiday.

New Mexico Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-8, 2021 – New Mexico Back to School Gross Receipts Tax Holiday

  • Footwear and clothing with a sales price of less than $100 per item; Excludes accessories and athletic or protective clothing.
  • School supplies with a sales price of less than $30 per item are not taxable.
  • Computers with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Computer peripherals with a sales price of $500 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Book bags, backpacks, maps and globes with a sales price of less than $100 per item are not taxable.
  • Handheld calculators with a sales price of less than $200 per item are not taxable.

Retailers are not required to participate in New Mexico sales tax holidays.

Ohio Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-8, 2021 – Ohio Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Articles of clothing priced at $75 or less, school supplies and school instructional materials priced at $20 or less are tax free during the holiday.

Oklahoma Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-8, 2021 – Oklahoma Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Articles of clothing “designed to be worn on or about the human body” with a sales price of less than $100 are tax exempt; Excludes accessories, rentals, athletic clothing and protective clothing.

South Carolina Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-8, 2021 – South Carolina Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and clothing accessories and footwear are not taxable; Excludes rentals.
  • School supplies are not taxable.
  • Computers, printers, printer supplies, and computer software are not taxable (excluding commercial purposes).
  • Bath washcloths, bed linens, pillows, bath towels, shower curtains and bath rugs are not taxable.

Tennessee Sales Tax Holidays 2021

July 30-August 1, 2021 – Tennessee Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing with a sales price of less than $100 is not taxable; Excludes accessories.
  • School supplies and school art supplies with a sales price of $100 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Computers with a sales price of $1,500 or less per item are not taxable.

Texas Sales Tax Holidays 2021

April 24-26, 2021 – Texas Emergency Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

  • Portable generators used to provide light or communications or to preserve perishable food in the event of a power outage, up to $3,000 per item are not taxable.
  • Storm protection devices specifically rated and marketed to protect windows with a sales price of less than $300 are not taxable.
  • Emergency or rescue ladders with a sales price of $300 or less are not taxable.
  • Reusable or artificial ice, portable, self-powered light sources, gasoline or diesel fuel containers, batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries), non-electric coolers or ice chests for food storage, tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, a ground anchor system or tie-down kit, mobile telephone batteries or battery chargers, portable self-powered radios (including two-way radios or weatherband radios), non-electric can openers with a sales price of $75 or less are not taxable.
  • Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors with a sales price of $75 or less are not taxable
  • Hatchets or axes with a sales price of $75 or less are not taxable.
  • Self-contained first aid kits with a sales price of $75 or less are not taxable.

May 29-31, 2021 – Texas Energy Efficiency Sales Tax Holiday

  • Energy Star air conditioners with a sales price up to $6,000 are not taxable.
  • Energy Star refrigerators, clothes washers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, and programmable thermostats with a sales price of up to $2,000 are not taxable.
  • Water efficient products: any product that displays a WaterSense.

August 6-8, 2021 – Texas Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and footwear with a sales price of less than $100 per item are not taxable; Excludes accessories, rentals, and athletic or protective clothing.
  • School supplies and school backpacks with a sales price of less than $100 per item are not taxable.

Virginia Sales Tax Holidays 2021

August 6-8, 2021 – Virginia Combined Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, Energy Efficiency Sales Tax Holiday & Emergency Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item are not taxable.
  • School supplies with a sales price of $20 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Portable generators $1,000 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Gas powered chainsaws $350 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Chainsaw accessories $60 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Other specified hurricane preparedness supplies $60 or less per item are not taxable.
  • Energy Star and WaterSense ™ for noncommercial home or personal use $2,500 or less per item are not taxable. 

West Virginia Sales Tax Holidays 2021

July 30-August 2, 2021 – Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

  • Clothing priced at $125 or less per item are not taxable
  • School supplies priced at $50 or less per item are not taxable
  • School instruction materials priced at $20 or less per item are not taxable
  • Laptop and tablet computers priced at $500 or less are not taxable (provided they are not purchased for business or trade use)
  • Sports equipment priced at $150 per item or less is not taxable (provided it is not purchased for trade or business use)

What Should Online Sellers Do About Sales Tax Holidays?

In most cases, online sellers should try their best to honor sales tax holidays. Exceptions include when states allow retailers or certain localities to opt-out of sales tax holidays. In this case, it’s your decision whether or not you honor sales tax holidays. As a matter of sales strategy, it’s a good idea to participate. Customers will generally be on the lookout for tax-free deals over the holiday. But, as you’ll see, some online platforms make it difficult to stop collecting sales tax on certain items over certain time periods.

Amazon Sales Tax Collection and Sales Tax Holidays

Amazon honors sales tax holidays on school supplies and will automatically turn off sales tax collection on certain items during sales tax holidays. This is provided that you’ve correctly set your item’s product tax codes.

For example, products with the product tax code “A_SCHL_SUPPLS” won’t be taxed during sales tax holidays in states with a “Back to School Sales Tax Holiday.”

This is one of many reasons why it’s so important to ensure that your Product Tax Codes are set up correctly on Amazon. You can read a guide to Amazon Product Tax Codes here.

Sales Tax Holidays and Your eCommerce Store

Run your own shopping cart or marketplace? The TaxJar API honors sales tax holidays. Just set your product codes and we’ll make sure you’re not charging sales tax on non-taxable products during sales tax holidays in 2021. Find out more today!

While we strive to keep this list of 2021 sales tax holidays up to date, keep in mind that sometimes states approve sales tax holidays mid-year. If you notice a missing sales tax holiday, let us know in the comments!

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