When to shop tax-free in 13 states

AUGUST DOES HAVE HOLIDAYS

Summer vacation may still be in full swing, but for residents of states offering tax-free shopping days, it pays to get into a back-to-school state of mind. Shopping during designated tax-free days can save on select clothing, school supplies, and even electronics -- and there's no rule that there must be a student in the household to take advantage. The following 13 states are offering tax-free shopping in the dog days of August. Eligible items vary and some states don't require all retailers to participate, so look closely at the fine print before hitting the mall.

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When to shop tax-free
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When to shop tax-free

ARKANSAS: AUG. 5-6

Clothing and footwear priced at less than $100 are tax-free, as are accessories and equipment such as jewelry and umbrellas under $50. All school supplies from a designated list, including art supplies and instructional materials of any price, are tax-free during the holiday, and all state retailers are required to participate.

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CONNECTICUT: AUG. 20-26

Clothing and footwear under $100 per item are eligible for tax exclusion for a full week in Connecticut. But a number of items, such as certain athletic gloves and shoes, aren't part of the holiday, so shop carefully. 

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FLORIDA: AUG. 4-6

Clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags with prices of $60 or less per item, as well as school supplies with prices of $15 or less, are on Florida's list of tax-free items. The holiday does not apply at theme parks, entertainment centers, hotels, or airports.

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IOWA: AUG. 4-5

Clothing items and footwear that cost less than $100 are exempt from state sales tax under Iowa's rules; accessories such as watches and jewelry are not. 

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LOUISIANA: AUG. 4-5

Special attention is paid to layaway items, rain checks, exchanges, and refunds and credits in Louisiana's detailed rules for its annual sales tax holiday. But generally, all "tangible personal property" that isn't for business purposes is exempt -- except for cars and meals. 

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MARYLAND: AUG. 13-19

For a full week, Maryland will not tax apparel or footwear that costs $100 or less, but accessories such as watches, jewelry, and umbrellas are not included in the tax holiday. Take a look at the full list before shopping. 

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MISSOURI: AUG. 4-6

Select "back-to-school" items, such as clothing under $100 (but not accessories) and certain school supplies and computers, are tax-free. But Missouri allows some counties, cities, and districts to opt out of the tax holiday weekend, so check the list of participating communities, as well as what's included, before shopping. 

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NEW MEXICO: AUG. 4-6

Clothing and footwear under $100, except for accessories, athletic clothing, and footwear, are exempt from sales tax. Also tax-free: school supplies under $30, computers, tablets, and ereaders up to $1,000; book bags, backpacks, and even maps under $100; and calculators less than $200. New Mexico does not require retailers to participate and some items are specifically excluded from the offer, so it's important to know the rules before heading to the register. 

Photo credit: Getty

OHIO: AUG. 4-6

Most school supplies and instructional materials that cost $20 or less and clothing that is $75 or less will be exempt from sales tax on these days in Ohio. But items such as accessories, sports or recreational equipment, and sewing supplies aren't on the list

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OKLAHOMA: AUG. 4-6

Most clothing and footwear costing less than $100 is exempt from sales tax during the holiday, and all retailers in the state are required to participate. As in some other states, accessories such as jewelry and handbags, special clothing, and athletic footwear aren't part of the holiday.  

Photo credit: Getty

SOUTH CAROLINA: AUG. 4-6

South Carolina is the only state that places no price limits on tax-free items. Everything from clothing and school supplies to bed and bath items and computers are included in the holiday, as are some items excluded in other states, such as handbags. Certain items, such as jewelry, are still off the list.  

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TEXAS: AUG. 11-13

Clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks under $100 are going to be exempt from taxes in Texas. This includes items sold online or by phone and merchandise bought on layaway. All told, the rules are expected to save shoppers about $8 for every $100 they spend.  

Photo credit: Getty

VIRGINIA: AUG. 4-6

Select clothing and footwear under $100 are included in the tax-free holiday, as are school supplies that cost $20 or less. Additionally, some items that relate to hurricane and emergency preparedness, as well as energy savings, are tax-free. Examples include portable generators costing less than $1,000, gas-powered chainsaws under $350, and a number of Energy Star and WaterSense items for installation in a home. 

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