Massachusetts sales tax-free weekend begins Saturday Aug. 17 and will run through Sunday Aug. 18. Consumers will be able to buy most clothing and footwear items under $100 without having to pay the state 6.25 percent sales tax.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney started the plan as a way to help stimulate the economy in 2004. Almost every year since then, legislators have designated one or two days for tax-free shopping. After a two year hiatus in 2016 and 2017, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law requiring one weekend every August to be set aside as a sales tax holiday, which costs the state around $25 million each time it’s enacted.
This year the holiday weekend is set for Saturday Aug. 17 and Sunday, Aug. 18.
There is a limit to what can be bought tax free during the week. It only applies to items that cost up to $2,500. The sales tax will still be theres when you pick up check at the restaurant, cars, boats, and other vehicles. It also won’t apply to your gas pump tax, any utilities or tobacco products, marijuana or alcohol.
Proponents of tax-free holidays say it helps working families stretch their dollars, and it helps local businesses get shoppers.
Who qualifies for the sales tax holiday?
The sales tax holiday applies to individuals purchasing retail items for personal use only, according to the state website. Purchases by corporations or other businesses—or purchases by individuals for business use—remain taxable.
What about internet sales?
Yes. If you order and pay for an eligible item over the internet on the sales tax holiday, Eastern Daylight Time, that item will qualify for the sales tax holiday exemption, according to the state website. No sales tax is due on that purchase, even if delivery of the item occurs after the sales tax holiday weekend.