Take advantage of tax free shopping this weekend


tax-free-stamp

Save some money this weekend! In Massachusetts, the 6.25% sales tax is being waived as a tax holiday over Aug. 15-16, an annual tradition that goes back more than a decade. Buy almost any purchase of goods tax-free if they have a price tag of $2,500 or less – excluding motor vehicles, motor boats, tobacco, gas or meals. Connecticut also kicks off a tax-free week from Aug 16 through Aug. 22, but it’s limited to clothing items of $100 or less. (Note – in prior years, it was good for clothing items of $300 or less.)

In both states, you can purchase multiple items, as long as no individual item exceeds the limit. You can also get the tax breaks at online retailers.

We encourage you to do some research and shop local. Retailers typically sweeten the pot by adding their own discounts and sales to coordinate with these tax-free holidays — some deals are very generous! But remember, whether you shop in your community or online, be a smart and cautious shopper: identity thieves don’t take holidays.

2015 Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday Weekend – Aug. 15-16

You can learn the ins and outs of the 2015 Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday Weekend at the Department of Revenue site. Here’s a quick summary:

“The Act provides that the sales tax holiday will occur on August 15 and 16, 2015 and on those days, non-business sales at retail of single items of tangible personal property costing $2,500 or less are exempt from sales and use taxes, subject to certain exclusions. The following do not qualify for the sales tax holiday exemption and remain subject to tax: all motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunications services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products and any single item whose price is in excess of $2,500. “

The posting provides quite a bit of detail about the rules – check it out if you have questions about the particulars. Here are some other resources:

Massachusetts sales tax holiday weekend 2015: Your guide to skipping the state’s sales tax

Retailers to extend tax-free weekend

2015 Connecticut Tax-Free Week – Aug. 16 through 22

The Hartford Courant offers a good explainer of how the holiday works, along with some Q&A: What’s Tax-Free, What’s Not During CT’s Tax-Free Week.

“The new state budget, which took effect July 1, waives the 6.35 percent sales tax on most clothing items, shoes and boots priced under $100 during this period. Since 2000, the tax exemption has applied to items priced under $300.”

The Courant notes that sales tax is exempted for Connecticut residents who shop online or by phone if purchased during tax-free week, regardless of when purchases are delivered. Items placed on layaway during the week are also tax-free. But out-of-state residents need to shop in Connecticut stores to get the break.

Here’s another resource to learn more:
Connecticut tax free week 2015: Your guide to state’s annual clothing sales tax break

If you are traveling and will miss the Massachusetts and Connecticut sales, residents can shop online. Plus, several states offer tax-free weekends – check them out to see if they coincide with your travels.