Learn

Personal Resource Center

Save money with back-to-school sales tax holidays in the Southeast

sales tax holidays Georgia Alabama Florida South Carolina Tennessee
apple icon
Tip: Parents may save $50 or more per child by doing their back-to-school shopping during a state sales tax holiday.

Alabama 2019 Tax Holiday

  • Dates: The Alabama tax holiday will take place the weekend of July 19-21, 2019.
  • Tax-exempt items: Clothing that costs $100 or less per item, computers, computer software, computer supplies, school supplies (including school art supplies and school instructional materials), and books that cost $30 or less each.
  • Non-tax-exempt items: Jewelry, hair accessories, sporting equipment, video games and newspapers, magazines and more.

For a complete list of exempt and non-exempt items, see this Alabama Department of Revenue page.2

  • Local sales taxes: Check this list of participating localities that will also waive the local sales tax during the state tax holiday.3
  • Typical savings: The average combined state and local sales tax rate in Alabama is 9.14%, one of the highest in the country.4 The average Alabama parent, if shopping in a city or town that also waives the local sales tax, could save about $63 on a $685 back-to-school shopping trip. (The state sales tax in Alabama is 4%, so even if you shop in a locality that is not waiving local taxes, you would still save more than $27.)

Florida 2019 Tax Holiday

  • Dates: The Florida tax holiday will take place the weekend of August 2-4, 2019.
  • Tax-exempt items: Clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags (including backpacks, handbags, diaper bags, and fanny packs) with a sales price of $60 or less per item, and school supplies with a sales prices of $15 or less per item. Also exempt: the first $1,000 of the sales price for personal computers and related computer accessories purchased for non-commercial use.6
  • Non-tax-exempt items: Briefcases, suitcases, garment bags, watches, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, skis, swim fins, rollerblades, and skates.6
  • Local sales taxes: The Florida sales tax holiday covers both state and local taxes.
  • Typical savings: The average combined state and local sales tax rate in Florida is 7.05%.4 The average Florida parent could save about $48 on a $685 back-to-school shopping trip.

Tennessee 2019 Tax Holiday

  • Dates: the Tennessee tax holiday will take place from July 26-28, 2019.7
  • Tax-exempt items: Clothing that costs $100 or less per item, school supplies, school art supplies, and computers that cost $1,500 or less.
  • Non-tax-exempt items: Cell phones, cosmetics, sports equipment, sunglasses, and more.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue provides complete lists of tax-exempt8 and non-exempt9 items.

  • Locations: The Tennessee sales tax holiday covers both state and local taxes.
  • Typical savings: The average combined state and local sales tax rate in Tennessee is 9.47%.The average Tennessee parent could save almost $65 on a $685 back-to-school shopping trip.

South Carolina 2019 Tax Holiday

  • Dates: The South Carolina tax holiday10 will take place August 2-4, 2019.
  • Tax-exempt items: Clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, school supplies, computers and software, printers and printer supplies, bath cloths and towels, bedding and pillows, shower curtains, bath rugs, and bath mats.
  • Non-tax-exempt items: Jewelry, cosmetics, eye wear, furniture, and layaway purchases.
  • The South Carolina Department of Revenue10 provides a list of tax-exempt and non-tax-exempt items.
  • Locations: The South Carolina sales tax holiday covers both state and local taxes.
  • Typical savings: The average combined state and local sales tax rate in South Carolina is 7.43%.4 The average South Carolina parent could save about $50 on a $685 back-to-school shopping trip.

As you can see, state sales tax holidays offer a smart way for financially savvy families to save while getting the kids ready to go back to school.

Want to learn more ways to save money for your family? Take a look at this article on creating a family budget.

Important Disclosure Information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. National Retail Federation, "Back-to-school and college spending to reach $82.8 billion,"https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/back-school-and-college-spending-reach-828-billion, accessed June 9, 2019. Back
  2. Alabama Department of Revenue, "2019 Sales Tax Holiday," https://revenue.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/STHolidayQuickRefSheet19.pdf, accessed June 8, 2019. Back
  3. Alabama Department of Revenue, "Alabama 2019 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday Participating Localities," https://revenue.alabama.gov/sales-use/sales-tax-holidays/alabama-back-to-school-sales-tax-holiday-participating-localities, accessed June 8, 2019. Back
  4. Tax Foundation, "State and Local Sales Tax Rates, 2019," https://taxfoundation.org/sales-tax-rates-2019, accessed June 9, 2019. Back
  5. FLgov.com, "Governor Ron DeSantis Signs CS/HB 7123,"https://www.flgov.com/2019/05/15/governor-ron-desantis-signs-cs-hb-7123/, accessed June 9, 2019. Back
  6. Florida Department of Revenue, "Tax Information Publication: 2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday," https://revenuelaw.floridarevenue.com/LawLibraryDocuments/2018/06/TIP-121808_TIP%2018A01-07%20FINAL%20RLL.pdf, accessed June 11, 2019. Back
  7. Tennessee Department of Revenue, "Sales Tax Holiday," https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday.html, accessed June 8, 2019. Back
  8. Tennessee Department of Revenue, "Sales Tax Holiday Alphabetical Directory: Exempt Items," https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/revenue/documents/taxes/sales/salestaxholiday/STH_Alpha_List_2015_exempt.pdf, accessed June 8, 2019. Back
  9. Tennessee Department of Revenue, "Sales Tax Holiday Alphabetical Directory: TaxableItems," https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/revenue/documents/taxes/sales/salestaxholiday/STH_Alpha_List_2015_taxable.pdf, accessed June 8, 2019. Back
  10. South Carolina Department of Revenue, "SC Sales Tax-Free Weekend 2019," https://dor.sc.gov/taxfreeweekend, accessed July 9, 2019. Back