Tips for Saving More during Tax Holidays
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated September 01, 2021
According to the nonprofit tax foundation, in 1980, Ohio and Michigan gave their residents a one-time chance of skipping sales tax on automobile purchases. Recently, more than a dozen states offer sales tax holidays annually.
Although 45 states and the District of Columbia charge sales tax, more than a dozen states either reduce the amount or do not charge sales tax during the various weekends in summer.
What Does Sales Tax Holiday Mean?
Otherwise known as a tax-free weekend, a sales tax holiday is an exemption from state sales tax for a brief period. Usually, states deduct sales tax from school supplies, computer equipment, clothing, and footwear, some energy-efficient home appliances, and severe-weather preparedness kit. This period may be sales tax-free day, tax-free weekend, or a no-tax week in some states. Usually, most states declare their no-tax holidays in August in preparation for back-to-school shopping.
Although not all states have a sales tax holiday, the states that do, have their rules for exemptions. States rules for state tax holidays depend on;
- State tax holiday date
- Duration of the tax-free holiday (it could be a day or a week)
- Exempted items from the sales tax
- Amount limit of a tax-exempt purchase
- If the amount limit for total purchase or per item
If the state where you do business has a sales-tax-free weekend, you should know the rules.
Tips on Maximizing Sales Tax Holiday Savings
Don’t Drive Across Borders
It is easy to forget basic math during sales tax holidays. In most states, sales tax may fall by about 4 to 8%; this means that you save about $5 for every tax-free item worth $100. Although a $5 discount on a $100 item is quite significant, you may not purchase the item if the discount was advertised.
It’s not worth travelling far during sales tax holidays because the savings won’t be as much as you think. Once you factor in the cost of gas and motel – for super ambitious people, tax savings will be either be zero or negative. It is important to note that you shouldn’t spend more to save less money.
Always Compare Prices
Paying the full price of an item or settling for a lukewarm price is not advisable. Instead, check the price range of any item using a shopping robot. Checking prices helps you determine if an item is offered at a sensational price or not.
Know What Is Tax-Free or Not
The clothing category is broad. Some states are specific on clothing items that are tax-exempt during a sales tax holiday. For example, in Texas, during tax holidays, you may buy a tax-free belt. However, if you want to replace the buckle, you’ll have to pay tax. Computers and accessories are just the same. Some devices are still taxable in some states. It is advisable to check your state’s website to get a detailed list of items that are tax-free or not.
Make a list
After checking for tax-free items, you’ll find things you may need. Write down such things. Making a list ensures that you don’t forget to pick eligible tax-free items when you shop.
Follow your list
Retailers are smart people. During a tax holiday, retailers will markedly display many products that are not tax-exempt as bait. You don’t have to take the bait; all you need do is follow your list. You will spend your sales tax savings if you buy items on impulse.
Back To School Shopping During Tax-Free Holiday
For most families, back-to-school shopping is the most expensive time of the year.
In this section, we compile a list of essential products that do not take space. Space could be either your car or where you live. Kindly go through the checklist before packing.
Waterdrop Water Filter Pitcher
A Waterdrop pitcher comes in handy if you are living in a dorm. All you need to do to enjoy fresh, safe water without unwanted taste is fill a water filter pitcher with tap water. The Waterdrop filter has a multi-stage filter that allows a fast water flow, and the filter has a long lifespan. The pitcher’s multi-stage filtration technology effectively retains beneficial substances while filtering out harmful substances like chlorine, tastes, limescale, odors, and metals.
LED Eye-Caring Table Lamp
Dorms are known for bad. However, it would be best to have good lighting when reading or studying; therefore, you should get a lamp. It is best to get a lamp that allows cool and warm lighting to suit your needs for various activities. It is best to note that a good table lamp is a better choice than a floor lamp.
We understand if you spend a lot of money on a cloud-soft duvet or silky sheets – after all, you need a good night’s sleep when you are in college. However, suppose you want affordable, flat and fitted sheets as well as dust ruffle and pillowcases.
Although this is not a tip, teachers love it when you buy brands that they request. For parents, this may mean spending more money; however, you won’t be forced to buy the same items if the inferior ones don’t make it past thanksgiving.
Back to school for everyone is different. However, you are doing yours, we hope you take advantage of the tax-free weekend with your back-to-school shopping. Also, if you know the secrets of where all glue sticks go, kindly let us know!