Love them or hate them, sales tax holidays are here to stay, at least for another year. Sales tax holidays are important, both for consumers wishing to save money, and retailers who are encouraged and may be required to participate.
Each year, the list of sales tax holidays changes, as some states add tax-free dates, and others cancel them. It’s an ongoing process of legislation among states, so we’ll do our best to keep this page updated throughout 2017. We’ve linked to resources where possible, but sometimes these haven’t yet been updated for the current year, and in that case we’ve marked the resources as being from a previous year.
So without further ado, the following table outlines the 2017 Sales Tax Holidays on a state-by-state basis.
|Alabama||Weather Preparedness||February 24 – 26, 2017||
|Alabama||Back to School||July 21 – 23, 2017||
|Arkansas||Back to School||August 5 – 6, 2017||
|Connecticut||Back to School||August 20 – 26, 2017||
|Florida||Weather Preparedness||June 4 – 6, 2017|
|Florida||Back to School||August 4 – 6, 2017||
|Iowa||Back to School||August 4 – 5, 2017||
|Louisiana||Weather Preparedness||May 27 – 28, 2017||
|Louisiana||Back to School / General||August 4 – 5, 2017||
|Louisiana||Second Amendment||September 1-3, 2017||
|Maryland||Energy Star||February 18 – 20, 2017||
|Maryland||Back to School||August 13 – 19, 2017|
|Mississippi||Back to School||July 28 – 29 2017||
|Mississippi||Second Amendment||August 25 – 27, 2017||
|Missouri||Energy Star||April 19 – 25, 2017||
|Missouri||Back to School||August 4 – 6, 2017||
|New Mexico||Back to School||August 4 – 6, 2017||
|Ohio||Back to School||August 4 – 6, 2017||
|South Carolina||Back to School||August 4 – 6, 2017|
|Tennessee||Back to School||July 28 – 30, 2017||
|Texas||Weather Preparedness||April 22 – 24, 2017||
|Texas||Energy Star and Water Efficient Products||May 27 – 29, 2017||
|Texas||Back to School||August 11 – 13, 2017||
States Without Sales Tax HolidaysThe following states do not currently have a planned sales tax holiday: Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, 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, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Some of these used to have sales tax free weekends/holidays but cancelled them in recent years:
- Massachusetts cancelled their sales tax holiday in 2016, stating that it was too expensive.
- North Carolina cancelled theirs in 2014. Legislators considered adding it back in 2016 but it did not pass.
Several of the states listed above as not having a holiday – including Georgia, Virginia, and Oklahoma – have had various sales tax holidays in the past and may again pass legislation to approve them for 2017. At this time, however, there are no firm sales tax holidays in these states. (We will update this page as legislation passes and additional holidays are approved.)
Other states are considering new sales tax holidays.
- Arkansas – Senator Bart Hester has proposed a sales tax holiday on the sale of guns and ammunition in Arkansas. The proposal is Senate Bill 126, which he called a "Second Amendment Appreciation Weekend."
- Indiana – House Bill 1063 and Senate Bill 53 would both create a back to school sales tax holiday for Indiana. The tax free weekend would include school supplies and clothing under a certain threshold. The two bills differ in the price thresholds, as well as the month that the holiday would take place. SB 53 proposes the holiday for August 4-6 2017, for items of clothing priced at $35 or less, and school supplies that cost $20 or less. HB 1063 proposes the holiday for the second Friday of July 2017 and July 2018 through the following Sunday, and exempts school supplies $15 or less, or clothing items priced at $75 or lower.
- Nebraska – Sen. Rick Kolowski of Omaha has introduced LB361 that would create a back-to-school sales tax holiday, aiming to keep shoppers from heading to Iowa to make their purchases. (Iowa currently has a sales tax holiday.) The bill would exempt clothing and footwear.
- New Mexico – This state is actually looking to get rid of their tax holiday.
- Ohio – Ohio had a sales tax holiday prior to the start of the school year in both 2015 and 2016. The 2017 bill was signed into law on 6/13/2017.
- Rhode Island – Rep. Joseph Solomon Jr. (D-Warwick), is trying to create a tax-free weekend on August 12-13, 2017. A similar measure failed last year. The proposal would exempt most tangible personal property under $2500 from sales tax.
- Tennessee – Tennessee is also considering a second-amendment tax holiday, in addition to the back-to-school one they already have.
- Texas – Although Texas already has three sales tax holidays, there is a new proposal to exempt guns and most hunting supplies. The proposal is Senate Bill 133, introduced by Sen. Brandon Creighton of Conroe. It would take effect just prior to the opening of hunting season.
- Virginia – Senator Scott Surovell wants to extend the back-to-school tax free weekend to include computers. Note that this holiday is assumed but not yet official as of this writing.
- Washington – House Bill 1457 from Rep. Morgan Irwin would establish a back-to-school sales tax holiday for the state of Washington. If passed, it will exempt clothing items that don’t exceed $100 and school supplies of $10 or less from sales tax during the holiday.
- Wisconsin – Governor Scott Walker wants to create a Wisconsin back-to-school sales tax holiday in August. It would apply to school supplies, clothing, and computers, and would create an estimated $11 million in lost sales tax revenue.
Tips for Retailers
Retailers in these states should know whether or not they are required to participate in the sales tax holidays, and plan accordingly. This includes modifying tax calculations on their website or in-store as needed, and classifying exempt items properly. The use of sales tax software like our TaxTools product can help simplify the process and help you make sure you’re in compliance with tax holiday laws and regulations.
Breaking it Down
If you analyze the list above, you’ll notice that there are really only 4 main types of tax holidays. These are:
- Back to School Sales Tax Holidays – These are the most prevalent among all states. The holiday generally happens just before school-age children are set to return to the classroom in the fall. What gets exempted from sales tax differs by state, but includes school supplies and, often, clothing and shoes. Sometimes computers and software are also included.
- Energy Star Appliance Sales Tax Holidays – This holiday encourages consumers to decrease their use of energy resources by purchasing appliances that use reduced electricity or water.
- Second Amendment Sales Tax Holidays – Despite the political divide over gun rights, several states exempt these items from sales and use tax with a holiday. In general these coincide with the approach of hunting season.
- Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays – This type of holiday exempts items that people would need when power goes out, severe storms hit, and during other emergencies. Think batteries, flashlights, and power generators.