States Offering Tax-Free Back-to-School Shopping

PHOTO: A tax free sign is seen in this undated file photo. Getty Images
A tax free sign is seen in this undated file photo.

Gearing up for the start of the school year, more than a dozen states are offering tax-free shopping for parents and their kids.

There are 17 states holding sales tax holidays this year, and 13 begin theirs this weekend to appeal to the back-to-school crowd.

Shoppers should check for tax-free spending limitations in their state. In Missouri, there's a list of dozens of cities and counties that are choosing not to provide sales tax exemptions on back-to-school purchases like clothing, computers and school supplies. Florida's sale will last more than one week, starting Friday and running through Sunday, Aug. 16.

PHOTO:School supplies displayed on a shelf are seen in this undated file photo. Getty Images
PHOTO:School supplies displayed on a shelf are seen in this undated file photo.

The tax-free holiday can be an opportunity to save 6 to 9 percent, depending on your state, on back-to-school purchases you would be making anyway, Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com, told ABC News.

"Keep in mind that your biggest savings are going to be on tech needs like laptops, desktops and tablets," James said.

For example, New Mexico gives you tax breaks on clothing up to $100, computers up to $1,000, computer accessories up to $500 and school supplies up to $30.

"It’s pretty easy to spend $30 on school supplies making the savings fairly negligible, but when buying clothes and computers, it’s a great weekend to buy and save some money," James said.

Regina Conway, consumer expert with Slickdeals, told ABC News it's important to make a list before you shop and to do your research online.

"In some cases, the tax savings may not outweigh the deals you can find during other store promotions," she said. "Pick the essential items that your child will need and do a price search for those items before you head to the store. When in store, do a quick search on your mobile phone before making the purchase to confirm that you're getting the best deal."

Retailers and other states that aren't participating in the holiday are trying to compete with sellers across state borders. The New York State Tax Department issued a reminder to parents and college students Tuesday that "Every Day is a New York Sales Tax Holiday," because clothing and footwear sold for less than $110 is always exempt from the state's 4 percent sales tax.

Here's where you can find more information about some of the upcoming sales tax holidays:

1. Alabama (12:01 a.m. to Sunday)

Alabama Department of Revenue

2. Florida (Friday through Sunday, Aug. 16)

Floriday Department of Revenue information

3. Iowa (Friday and Saturday)

Iowa Department of Revenue

4. Louisiana (Friday and Saturday)

Louisiana Department of Revenue

5. Maryland (Sunday through Saturday, Aug. 15)

Comptroller of Maryland

6. Missouri (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

Missouri Department of Revenue

7. New Mexico (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue

8. Ohio (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

Ohio Department of Taxation

9. Oklahoma (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

Oklahoma Tax Commission

10. South Carolina (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

South Carolina Department of Revenue

11. Tennessee (12:01 a.m. Friday through Sunday)

Tennessee Department of Revenue

12. Texas (Friday through Sunday)

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

13. Virginia (Friday through Sunday)

Virginia Department of Taxation