Save Money on Back to School With Sales Tax Holidays

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Now that summer is mostly over, it’s time to start thinking about shopping for back to school. One of the ways to save money is to shop for school supplies when there is a sales tax holiday.

Many states offer sales tax holidays on school supplies. Depending on the sales tax rate in the state, and how much you spend on school supplies, you could see big savings.

Check to see whether your state offers a sales tax holiday. If your state doesn’t offer a sales tax holiday, check with the surrounding states to find out whether or not there are other sales tax holidays. Even if you can’t buy something in your home state, you might be able to cross state lines and save money that way.

Here are two things to keep in mind as you shop for school supplies during a sales tax holiday:

  1. Only certain supplies might be included. You may be able to receive a break on clothing, but not on accessories. Look at which items, from computers to books, are included in the sales tax holiday.
  2. There might be limits on how much of the cost of an item is exempt. Many sales tax holidays come with a per-item exemption. On clothing and other “regular” school supplies, the limit is often $100 per item. So, for maximum impact, you want to make sure that each item you get is less than $100. More expensive items, like computers, might have a higher limit. You pay sales tax on any amount above the limit. So if the per-item limit is $100, and the item costs $120, you will pay sales tax on $20 of that item.

You might find other restrictions. The Federation of Tax Administrators has a list of sales tax holidays around the country, as well as their dates and links to each state’s terms.

Tips for Better Back to School Shopping During Sales Tax Holidays

You can improve your success, and save more money overall, by following a few tips when it comes to shopping during sales tax holidays. Here are some strategies to employ:

  • Make a list: First, make a list of the supplies that you need. Go through your home, and note items that can be used again. Many times, you already have some of the supplies that you need.
  • Pay attention to other sales: In many cases, stores offer back to school sales during the sales tax holiday. That way, you can get more bang for your buck. Identify stores that are holding sales, and maybe offer coupons.
  • Plan your route: Figure out a route that makes sense for you, and plan out your shopping trip in a way that will maximize your savings — and not cost you too much in gas.
  • Stick to your plan: Make sure you stick to your plan. Avoid impulse spending, and stay with what you had on your list. One of the ways that people waste money is through impulse spending. Buy only what you need, and try to make sure that you are exempt on as many things as possible.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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