19 States Offering Back to School Sales Tax Holidays in 2022

In an effort to offset the high cost of back-to-school shopping, these states are offering sales tax holidays for school supplies.
Last updated Aug. 25, 2022 | By Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore | Edited By Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore
first grader choosing backpack in store for school

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With all the talk of inflation this summer, the idea of taking the annual trip to the store to load up on notebooks, new clothes, and even electronics as the back-to-school shopping season approaches may seem a bit daunting.

However, a number of states across the U.S. have sales tax holidays to help families save on back-to-school shopping. A tax holiday is a period of time where sales tax is waived, or reduced, on a specific category of items.

In most states, the back-to-school sales tax holidays last a few days in the summer and waive taxes on items like office supplies, clothing, computers, or books. For many, this could be a good strategy for dealing with inflation.

Here are the states and territories that offer back-to-school tax breaks and what items are included during these holidays.

Alabama

JackF/Adobe young woman and girl in clothes store

When: July 15-17, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing up to $100, computers up to $750, school supplies up to $50 and books up to $30

Arkansas

RomanR/Adobe different school supplies on a wooden table

When: August 6-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: School supplies, electronic devices, clothing up to $100 per item, and clothing accessories (like handbags and watches) up to $50 per item

Connecticut

JackF/Adobe  positive teenager buying sneakers during shopping in shoe shop

When: August 21-27, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item, excluding some items like accessories and athletic clothing

Florida

Korta/Adobe sale of laptops in store

When: July 25-August 7, 2022

What’s not taxed: School supplies up to $50, personal computers and computer accessories up to $1,500, learning aids up to $30, clothing (including footwear and some other accessories) up to $100 per item

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Illinois

manit/Adobe  hands choosing school stationery in the supermarket

When: August 5-14, 2022

What’s not taxed: The state will reduce taxes during this period by 5% (from 6.25% to 1.25%) on qualifying clothing up to $125 per item, footwear up to $125 per item, and school supplies

Iowa

galitskaya/Adobe The boy tries on clothes in the childrens clothing store

When: August 5-6, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item

Maryland

Chinnapong/Adobe girl carrying backpack holding hands with mom

When: August 14-20, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item and the first $40 of backpack/bookbag sales

Mississippi

Kittiphan/Adobe young woman received online shopping parcel opening boxes

When: July 29-30, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing, footwear, and school supplies up to $100 per item

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Missouri

mrmohock/Adobe calculator and laptop with tablet on white desk

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing up to $100 per item, personal computers or devices for a computer up to $1,500, basic school supplies up to $50 per item, graphing calculators up to $150, and computer software up to $350

New Jersey

Wayhome Studio/Adobe  student in glasses looking through book in his hands

When: August 27-September 5, 2022

What’s not taxed: School supplies and art supplies, instructional materials (like reference books, maps, and textbooks), computers, and computer supplies such as printers and storage equipment

New Mexico

chas53/Adobe Backpack With School Supplies on a Blackboard

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing and footwear up to $100 per item, computers up to $1,000, computer hardware up to $500, and school supplies up to $30 per item

Ohio

georgerudy/Adobe Young people at the book shop

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing (which includes footwear) up to $75 per item, school supplies up to $20 per item, and school instructional materials (like reference books or textbooks) up to $20 per item

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Oklahoma

freepeoplea/Adobe woman with daughter buying shoes

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: All clothing and footwear up to $100 per item

Puerto Rico

vectorfusionart/Adobe Smiling school kids running in corridor

When: July 15-16, 2022

What’s not taxed: School uniforms or other clothing items (like shoes) that are worn with uniforms and schools supplies, including art and music supplies

South Carolina

Nomad_Soul/Adobe Young woman choosing towel in bed linen store

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing and accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers, software, printers, as well as certain bed and bath supplies (like blankets, sheets, and towels)

Tennessee

undrey/Adobe Home studio for artist

When: July 29-31, 2022

What’s not taxed: Clothing up to $100 per item, school and art supplies up to $100 per item, and personal computers up to $1,500

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Texas

Angelov/Adobe Happy children ready for primary school

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks up to $100 per item

Virginia

Pixsooz/Adobe Hand completing Emergency Preparation List by Equipment

When: August 5-7, 2022

What’s not taxed: Qualifying school supplies up to $20 per item, clothing and footwear up to $100 per item, as well as hurricane and emergency preparedness items (such as portable generators and gas-powered chainsaws), and Energy Star or Watersense products for home use

West Virginia

kucherav/Adobe man using laptop to work remotely from home

When: August 5-8, 2022

What’s not taxed: Certain articles of clothing up to $125 per item, school supplies up to $50 per item, school instruction material up to $20 per item, laptop and tablet computers up to $500 per item, and some sports equipment up to $150 per item

States with no sales tax

Friends Stock/Adobe woman with credit card buying coffee at cafe

Five states across the U.S. — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon — never charge sales tax, making them great shopping options if you’re looking to save money.

Several other states — including Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island — don’t tax most clothing items, making them solid options as well. 

However, there are some other tax rules that apply. For example, New York will tax clothing purchases (at the 4% state tax rate) if an item costs more than $110.

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Bottom line

New Africa/Adobe Family with little boy choosing school stationery in supermarket

A May survey from accounting firm KPMG found that parents planned to spend $268 on average per child during the back-to-school season this year. That’s up from $247 last year, with many parents blaming inflation for the jump.

However, if you live in a state that’s offering a tax holiday, or if you can get to one, saving a few cents on every dollar could really reduce your financial stress during this hectic shopping season.

Before you shop, be sure to check which items are included in your state’s tax holiday. For example, some states have different rules on exactly which items qualify as “clothing” or “accessories” purchases, so it’s helpful to know before you go.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.