MA Sales Tax Holiday 8/13 – 8/14/11: Is it worth it?

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This weekend 8/13 – 8/14/11 , Massachusetts will have a Tax Break Holiday.  See when your state is participating here.

Many non-business retail items costing $2,500 or less are exempt from the sales tax, but some items –motor vehicles, motorboats, meals, telecommunications services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, and anything else costing more than $2,500 – are not.There is no sales tax on beer, wine and alcohol during the holiday. There is also no sales tax on single items of clothing that cost up to $2,500.

My question is… IS IT WORTH IT???

(Re-published from my last year post…)

I know we are saving the 6 – 7 % sales tax, but would you race to the store to buy something you did not have the money for if they advertised 6-7% savings??  HELL NO you would not.  So why does every one rush out during Tax Holidays?

They do because they “believe” they are saving big.  They think, I was going to buy this big ticket item – laptop, iPod, iPhone, flat screen tv –  in 6 months, but I can save on the tax if I buy it now.  What they do not always consider is that during these holidays, even though the stores have sales, they may not be getting the best price.  You are saving 6-7 % now, but you could have saved 20% – 50% if you waited for a clearance sale.

Now I am not saying there are not going to be great deals to be had.  I am sure there will be some great sales on Back-To-School items, notebooks, backpacks, books, where you can buy now and save.  BUT I am saying you need to do your homework.  Find out what the price trends have been – especially for big ticket items.

Do not be swept away by all the perceived savings.  Running out NOW and charging something you do not have the money for in order to save 6-7% is not logical.  Think about it… you do not have cash so you charge that new computer NOW to save on the tax.  Now you are paying 11-25% interest (or whatever the going rate is) in order to save 6 – 7 % – YOU ARE LOSING MONEY!

If you have the money and were planning the purchase then have at it – every little savings helps.  I just want everyone to use your brain before you see $$ in your eyes and get in over your head on purchases that are not and should not be in your budgets!  Don’t buy stuff you cannot afford!

Let us know if you have heard of any great tax holiday sales…

So what do you think… Is it worth it?  Have you gotten any great TAX FREE savings during past tax holidays?


  1. I thought there was no sales tax on clothes anyway?

  2. There is normally sales tax on single items of clothing over $250 (a $251 dress would have sales tax, but if you spent $251 at a clothing store on multiple items, no sales tax).

  3. What r u all talking about?

    I always pay taxes in MA on my clothing; I just
    got my nieces school pants for their uniforms
    last weekend and paid tax there too;

    it was not over $250, I live in Boston so I always pay tax on clothing
    not always on shoes though,

    which I don’t get bc sometimes I do pay.

    Kidsfoot locker last weekend I paid taxes on a girl’s
    shoe for the first time ever. It was $95.00 a pair plus tax.

    • Peter: You got cheated. I hope you saved your receipt. Report it to the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue. Yes, some businesses do this. In Maryland a cell phone service provider added to everyone’s bill a cell phone tax that had been proposed in the state legislature but never passed.

      But my main point is that businesses will raise their prices a couple of weeks before the sales tax holiday, so that customers are tricked into thinking they got a bargain. You’ll usually pay more on a sales tax holiday.

    • Here is what is stated on http: //
      Sales of food and clothing:
      Sales of food for human consumption, other than meals sold by a restaurant, generally are tax-exempt. Sales of individual items of clothing costing $175 or less also generally are exempt. (Sales tax is due only on the amount over $175 per item.)

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