Sales Tax 101

When are the Sales Tax Holidays in 2015?

by Mark Faggiano

Sales Tax Holidays 2015

Looking for an up-to-date list of tax free weekends?

View the 2018 sales tax holidays here.

Governments are always trying strategies to drive the economy, and one of those strategies is the sales tax holiday.

Sales tax holidays are meant to stimulate the state’s economy by encouraging consumers to buy more, usually during big retail events like back to school or in preparation for warm or cold weather. While some detractors, like the Tax Foundation, maintain that sales tax holidays are a political ploy rather than an actual driver of the economy, they seem to be here to stay in many states.

This post will list 2015’s sales tax holidays and also go over what online sellers need to know about sales tax holidays.

2015 Sales Tax Holidays

Alabama – August 7-9: clothing (not accessories or protective or recreational equipment) with sales price of $100 or less per item; single purchases, with a sales price of $750 or less, of computers, computer software, school computer equipment; noncommercial purchases of school supplies, school art supplies, and school instructional materials with sales price of $50 or less per item; noncommercial book purchases with sales price of $30 of less per book.

February 20-22: severe weather preparedness items that cost $60 or less, except for portable generators and power cords used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage, which are covered as long as they cost $1,000 or less.

Arkansas – August 1-2: clothing items under $100, clothing accessory or equipment under $50, school art supply, school instructional material, and school supply.

Connecticut – August 16-22: clothing and footwear (not athletic or protective clothing or footwear, jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and similar items) that cost less than $300 per item.

Florida – August 7-16; Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $100 or less per item; Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories on the first $750 of the sales price, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use. Read more about this year’s Florida sales tax holiday here.

Georgia – July 31-August 1: (1) computers, computer components, and prewritten computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use having a sales price of $1,000 or less per item; (2) clothing having a sales price of $100 or less per item; and (3) school supplies, school art supplies, school computer supplies, and school instructional materials purchased for noncommercial use having a sales price of $20 or less per item.

Oct. 2-4: any Energy Star Qualified Product or WaterSense Product having a sales price of $1,500 or less per product that is purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

Iowa – August 7-8: clothing and footwear (not accessories, rentals, athletic or protective) with sales price of less than $100 per item.

Louisiana – May 30-31: first $1,500 of sales price of hurricane preparedness items. Excludes items purchased at airports, hotels, convenience stores, or entertainment complexes.

August 7-8: first $2,500 of sales price of noncommercial purchases (not leases) of items of tangible personal property (not vehicles or meals). Does not apply to local taxes. However, St. Charles Parish will waive its local Louisiana sales tax during the same weekend as the state holiday.

September 4-6: noncommercial purchases of firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies. Does not include purchases of animals for the use of hunting.

Maryland – February 14-16: Energy Star products and solar water heaters.

August 9-15: Items of clothing (not accessories) and footwear with a taxable price of $100 or less.

Massachusetts – August 15-16: Items that cost less than $2500.

Mississippi – July 31-August 1: Clothing or footwear (not accessories, rentals, or skis, swim fins, or skates) with sales price under $100 per item.

September 4-6: Firearms, ammunition, and hunting supplies, including archery equipment

Missouri – August 7-9: noncommercial purchases of clothing (not accessories) with taxable value of $100 or less per item; school supplies up to $50 per purchase; computer software with taxable value of $350 or less; and personal computers and computer peripherals up to $3,500. Localities may opt out. If less than 2% of retailer’s merchandise qualifies, retailer must offer a tax refund in lieu of tax holiday.

April 19-25: Retail sales of Energy Star certified new appliances of up to $1,500 per appliance.

New Mexico – August 7-9: footwear and clothing (not accessories or athletic or protective clothing) with sales price of less than $100 per item; school supplies with sales price of less than $30 per item; computers with sales price of $1,000 or less per item; computer peripherals with sales price of $500 or less per item; book bags, backpacks, maps and globes with sales price less than $100 per item; and handheld calculators with sales price of less than $200 per item. Retailers are not required to participate.

Ohio – Tax holiday takes place from August 7 through August 9, 2015. The following items will be exempt: school supplies with a price of $20 or less, clothing with a price of $75 or less, and school instructional materials with a price of $20 or less.

Oklahoma – August 7-9: items of clothing and footwear (not accessories, rentals, or special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic or protective use) with sales price of less than $100.

South Carolina – August 7-9: clothing (not rentals), clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, printers, printer supplies, computer software, bath wash clothes, bed linens, pillows, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs.

Tennessee – August 7-9: clothing (not accessories), school supplies, and school art supplies with sales price of $100 or less per item; computers with sales price of $1,500 or less per item.

Texas – May 23-25: the following Energy Star products: air conditioners (sales price up to $6,000), clothes washers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, incandescent or fluorescent lightbulbs, programmable thermostats, and refrigerators (sales price up to $2,000).

August 7-9: clothing and footwear (not accessories, athletic, protective, or rentals), school supplies, and school backpacks with sales price of less than $100 per item.

Virginia – August 7-9: clothing and footwear with selling price of $100 or less per item, and school supplies with selling price of $20 or less per item; portable generators with selling price of $1,000 or less and other hurricane preparedness items with selling price of $60 or less (expires on July 1, 2017); noncommercial purchases of Energy Star and WaterSense qualified products with a sales price of $2,500 or less per item (expires on July 1, 2017).

States with No Sales Tax Holidays in 2015

States not participating in Sales Tax Holidays are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

What Should Online Sellers Do About Sales Tax Holidays?

Online sellers should not collect sales tax on tax exempt items during sales tax holidays. Some channels will automatically turn of sales tax collection for you during this time. For example, Amazon will turn off sales tax collection for you for items coded as (A_SCHL_SUPPLIES) during sales tax holidays (you’ll need to be logged in to Seller Central to see this link.) But for the most part, it’s up to you as a seller to keep up with sales tax holidays and make sure you’re not charging your buyers sales tax on exempt items during sales tax holidays. The requirement to keep up with sales tax holidays is just another way that sales tax increases in complexity for online sellers.

Do you run a shopping cart and need to handle sales tax holidays? TaxJar’s SmartCalcs Sales Tax API can help. Try a 30-day free trial today!

While we strive to keep this list of 2015 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!

  • Beth

    NY State has a “permanent” tax holiday on clothing under $110; however, many NY localities still require local sales tax. Does TaxJar account for this? How?

  • Hi Beth, Are you using the TaxJar API? Unless you are, then TaxJar pulls in what you have already collected through your platform. So it’s up to you to make sure you are collecting the correct amount through Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc. – whatever platform you sell on. Unfortunately, it looks like only Amazon takes measures to ensure that sellers automatically comply with sales tax holidays. It looks like you’ll have to redo your sales tax settings on other channels yourself.

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  • Melissa Wheeler

    I just wanted to let you know that Florida has a 10-day tax-free holiday this year: August 7-16. 🙂 I hope this helps any Florida residents on this site. 🙂

  • lucy

    Can I use this for Pennsylvania?

    • Do you mean TaxJar? Yes you can!

      As for sales tax holidays, though, there aren’t any sales tax holidays in Pennsylvania this year (as of now.) I hope this helped!

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  • Holyoke

    Massachusetts just approved a sales tax holiday for August 15 & 16, 2015.

    • Thank you! We’ll get it added!

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  • krizt

    When is the no sales taxes in Illinois ? Do illinois have a tax free week or weekend ?

    • The reason a lot of economists and policymakers give is that they don’t make sense economically. They say that it doesn’t really promote the economy because it just shifts spending to one weekend or that the loss of tax revenue is too great relatively speaking. This is something your state legislature can decide and you can contact them if you’re interested in a sales tax holiday in Illinois.

  • Amanda

    Why do some states not participate in these tax free holidays? I live in Indiana and I moved from Texas. I always feel like I’m being gouged for money in the state of Indiana.

    • The reason a lot of economists and policymakers give is that they don’t make sense economically. They say that it doesn’t really promote the economy because it just shifts spending to one weekend or that the loss of tax revenue is too great relatively speaking. This is something your state legislature can decide and you can contact them if you’re interested in a sales tax holiday in your own state.

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