Back-to-school tax holidays: Tax-free shopping comes to 16 states this summer. Here's who is giving a tax break.

Kelly Tyko USA TODAY Published 6:00 AM EDT Jul 15, 2020 Students might not be going back to school in person this fall, but back-to-school sales tax holidays are still happening.

Like last year, 16 states are holding sales tax holidays to help families get ready for the upcoming school year. The savings, which are usually on clothes and school supplies, are open to all. Many school districts across the nation are still working on plans for the upcoming school year with some including Los Angeles and San Diego announcing they will start the year online due to the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19.

Alabama’s holiday is first, with a three-day holiday kicking off Friday. Mississippi and Tennessee start their annual holidays July 31. Thirteen other states offer tax-free shopping in stores and online in August with the bulk happening the first weekend of the month. Target’s teacher discount is coming back: Here’s how educators, including home school teachers can save 15%

Future of malls amid COVID-19: Can shopping malls survive the coronavirus pandemic and a new slate of permanent store closings? Tennessee, which also includes smartphones, televisions and video game consoles in its three-day tax holiday, doubled the price thresholds this year. It has a second sales tax holiday for food and drink sales at restaurants in August.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense economic strain on Tennessee families,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a news release. “These sales tax holidays will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and support Tennessee businesses.” Five states – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon – don’t have a sales tax, according to the Tax Foundation.

Most clothing also is tax-free year-round in states including Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Tax holidays 2020

Not every town and county are participating in the sales tax holidays, nor will every item be tax-free. Online shopping also is exempt from tax during the days. For some states, local taxes still apply.

Alabama sales tax weekend

Dates: July 17-19

What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing and footwear: £100 or less
  • Technology: Single purchases £750 or less of computers, computer software and school computer supplies
  • School supplies: £50 or less
  • Books: £30 or less

Full list: www.revenue.alabama.gov/sales-use/sales-tax-holidays

Arkansas sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

1-2 What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing and footwear: Less than £100
  • Clothing accessories or equipment: Less than £50
  • Select school supplies, school art supplies and instructional materials: No limit

Full list: www.dfa.arkansas.gov

Connecticut tax-free week

Dates: Aug.

16-22 What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than £100

Full list: www.ct.gov/DRS

Florida sales tax holiday 

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax free:

  • Clothing, footwear and accessories: £60 or less
  • School supplies: £15 or less
  • Computers and accessories: £1,000 or less per item

Full list: www.floridarevenue.com/backtoschool

Iowa sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-8 What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than £100

Full list: https://tax.iowa.gov/iowas-annual-sales-tax-holiday

Maryland tax-free week

Dates: Aug.

9-15 What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing and footwear: £100 or less
  • Backpacks: The first £40 is tax-exempt

Full list: www.marylandtaxes.gov

Massachusetts sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

29-30 What’s tax-free: Almost everything that costs up to £2,500. In Massachusetts, there is no sales tax on clothes under £175 year round.

More information: www.mass.gov

Mississippi sales tax holiday

Dates: July 31-Aug.

1 What’s tax-free: Clothing, footwear and school supplies, less than £100 per item Full list: www.dor.ms.gov

Mississippi’s sales tax holiday 2020: What you need to know

Missouri sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing: Up to £100
  • School supplies: Not to exceed £50 per purchase
  • Personal computers: Up to £1,500
  • Computer software: Up to £350
  • Graphing calculators: Up to £150

Full list: https://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/

New Mexico tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing and footwear: Less than £100
  • Computers: £1,000 or less
  • Computer-related items: Up to £500
  • School supplies: Less than £30

Full list: www.tax.newmexico.gov

Ohio sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free:

  • Clothing: £75 or less
  • School supplies and instructional materials: £20 or less

Full list: https://tax.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/tax/home/news/sales-tax-holiday

Oklahoma sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than £100

Full list: www.ok.gov/tax

South Carolina sales tax holiday 

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free: 

  • Clothing: No limit
  • School supplies: No limit
  • Computers, computer parts and accessories, printers, ink: No limit
  • Books and musical instruments: Tax-free if “used for school assignments.”
  • Bed and bath: No limit, includes blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, towels, etc.

Full list: www.dor.sc.gov/taxfreeweekend

Tennessee sales tax holiday

Dates: July 31-Aug.

2 What’s tax-free: 

  • Clothing and shoes: £200 or less
  • School supplies: £200 or less
  • Computers, tablets, smart phones, televisions, video game consoles: £3,000 or less

Full list: www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday.html

Texas sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free: 

  • Clothing and footwear: Less than £100
  • School supplies and backpacks: Less than £100

Full list: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490/

Virginia sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug.

7-9 What’s tax-free: 

  • Clothing and footwear: £100 or less
  • School supplies: £20 or less
  • Hurricane and emergency preparedness products: Portable generators up to £1,000; gas-powered chainsaws £350 or less; other specified hurricane preparedness items, £60 or less per item. 
  • Energy Star and WaterSense products: £2,500 or less per item

Full list: www.tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday

Contributing: Mary Hance, Nashville Tennessean

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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