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Believe it or not, back-to-school season is quickly approaching. While it’s most likely going to look a lot different this year, especially if you’ll be continuing remote learning, there are some things that are here to stay. One of those things you’ve been wondering about? Tax-free shopping. The good news: It’s happening, but it looks different in every state. According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, 16 states are participating this year. In addition, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon never charge sales tax. So, if you live in these states, maybe you can shop for the rest of us year round?

Tax-free holidays generally start toward the end of July and go through August and range from a couple days to about a week. You can expect to save on clothing, shoes, school supplies, and even big-ticket items like a computer — so save up now so you can majorly slash the price off of that shiny new laptop.

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And yes, you can shop online in most cases as long as you’re purchasing during your state’s tax-free holiday (the good news: Amazon’s included). Again, what items are included in this unofficial shopping holiday varies, so read on below to see what dates to mark on your calendar and what kinds of items to hold off on buying right now. Exclusions apply, so make sure to head to your specific state’s tax website for details.

Note that in general, clothing, footwear, and school supply price limits are typically per item. 

So, where should you shop?

If you’re purchasing any eligible item in your state, you should be able to shop from any retailer, but here are some stores to keep top of mind for all your back-to-school needs: Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, and Amazon.


Date: July 17-19

What: Clothing $100 or less, computers up to $750, school supplies up to $50, and books $30 or less.


Date: August 1-2

What: Clothing under $100, accessories under $50, and school supplies (no limit).


Date: August 16-22

What: Clothing and footwear under $100.


Date: August 7-9

What: Computers $1,000 or less, school supplies $15 or less, and clothing $60 or less.


Date: August 7-8

What: Clothing and footwear under $100.


Date: August 9-15

What: Clothing and footwear $100 or less and the first $40 of a backpack purchase.


Date: August 29-30

What: All retail items up to $2,500. Now’s the time to buy that wish-list item you’ve been saving up for.


Date: July 31-August 1

What: Clothing and footwear under $100.


Date: August 7-9

What: Clothing $100 or less, school supply purchase $50 or less, computer software $350 or less, and personal computers $3,500 or less.

New Mexico

Date: August 7-9

What: Clothing and shoes under $100, computers up to $1,000, computer hardware up to $50, and school supplies under $30.


Date: August 7-9

What: Clothing $75 or less and school supplies or instructional materials $20 or less.


Date:  August 7-9

What: Clothing and footwear $100 or less, not including accessories or athletic gear.

South Carolina

Date: August 7-9

What: School supplies, clothing and accessories, bed and bath, and computers.


Date: July 31-August 2

What: Clothing and school and art supplies $100 or less and computers $1,500 or less.


Date: August 7-9

What: Clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks $100 or less.


Date: August 7-9

What: School supplies $20 or less and clothing and footwear $100 or less. Some hurricane and emergency preparedness products as well as Energy Star and WaterSense products qualify too. Read more details here.

Can’t wait to shop? You now have one more item to shop for this back-to-school season, so get a head start by checking out these cute face masks for kids on Amazon

best kids face masks on amazon Amazon; Glitter: BudaiRomi/Shutterstock
best kids face masks on amazon Amazon; Glitter: BudaiRomi/Shutterstock

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

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