Monday, July 30, 2012

Get Ready for Tax-Free Weekend!


It’s almost here for 16 states, and already past for Mississippi. (Sorry!) Tax-free weekend, the weekend in the USA that targets families with school-age children and college-age adults with the promise of tax-free, education-related merchandise, is scheduled for the first weekend in August before most schools have gotten back to business. If your state participates in this event, you may be able to save a few pennies on pencils and paper and other school items. I always made goodie bags for our first day of home school, and my kids always looked forward to them. I included colorful pencils, erasers, notepads, crayons, activity pads, etc. Buying those items during the tax-free holiday helped me prepare early and put more thought into their gifts. Otherwise, it was often a last-minute dash to the five-and-dollar store to collect items for their bags! Oh, if you love educational games, pick a new one up this weekend and start your school year off with some fun!

If you are in the market for something more expensive to begin with, a new computer, for instance, you can save a lot more! However, tax-free sales will NOT apply to phones and E-book readers, so check before you make a purchase that you would not be making if it weren’t for the promise of no sales tax. 

I’ve had my eye on some large plastic storage bins (marketed for college students), and I’ve just been waiting for the coming weekend before making my purchase.  

Because stores are competing for customers, you may find some really good sales on top of the lack of sales tax. If you are able to shop for your curricula locally, as I could, you can save even more. I know many homeschooling families shop online, and I did that as well, but a local homeschool warehouse made it easy to stop in and check the shelves for special deals, and they participate in the tax-free weekend too.

What makes this weekend extra special is that other stores sometimes participate as well, hoping to lure shoppers to spend (and save) on non-education-related items. They may offer discounts to match the tax-free notion. So if you haven't rounded up all your supplies yet, make that list today, count your cash (you don't want to blow your budget, no matter what kind of bargains are available), and take advantage of the deals in your area! 

This is the list of states and dates for 2012 tax-free back-to-school shopping:

Alabama Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
Arkansas Tax Free WeekendAugust 4-5, 2012
Connecticut Tax Free WeekendAugust 19-25, 2012
Florida Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
Georgia Tax Free WeekendAugust 10-11, 2012
Iowa Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-4, 2012
Louisiana Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-4, 2012
Maryland Tax Free WeekendAugust 12-18, 2012
Mississippi Tax Free WeekendJuly 27-28, 2012
Missouri Tax Free WeekendAugust, 3-5, 2012
New Mexico Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
North Carolina Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
Oklahoma Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
South Carolina Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
Tennessee Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012
Texas Tax Free WeekendAugust 17-19, 2012
Virginia Tax Free WeekendAugust 3-5, 2012


If your state isn’t on the list, all hope is not lost unless you live too far to travel to a bordering state that IS on the list. I made this suggestion last year, and it bears repeating: contact your state representatives and ask them to work toward bringing the tax-free weekend to your state; maybe you could turn it into a homeschool project and have your children write letters making the request! 

If your state isn’t listed but is participating in the tax-free holiday, please let me know so that I can update this list!

Happy homeschool shopping!

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