What is Tax-Free Weekend? (Also known as the Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday)
You may have heard chatter about it in the past but this year is the first year that the MA state government planned ahead to assure a sales tax holiday weekend. In 2018, after a two-year hiatus, the sales tax holiday came back and it is here to stay based on the Grand Bargain signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018. This new legislation established the MA Tax holiday will happen annually and the date will be determined by June 15th each year, rather than late July as it had been previously.
Why should you care?
For large purchases, such as furniture, the Massachusetts Sales Tax Holiday could yield some significant savings. If there are big-ticket items for your home that you have been scoping out, now might be a great time to pull the trigger but there are a few things to consider.
Here’s everything to know about the Mass tax-free weekend, including dates and rules.
When is the sales tax holiday for 2019?
This year the annual sales tax holiday dates are set for August 17th and 18th. This is about a week later than the 2018 dates, so it gives shoppers a bit more time to prepare and scope out their wishlist of items.
Who participates in the sales tax holiday?
Any retailer, in-store or online, may forgo the sales tax on a purchase (some additional rules apply so please read on) if the purchase is made during any EST hours on August 17th and 18th. This is specific to the purchase, so in our case the item does not have to be delivered on that date, just the order placed.
What’s included or excluded from tax-free purchases? And are there any limits on how many tax-free purchases you can make?
The tax holiday in mass applies to individuals purchasing for themselves rather than businesses or corporations. Read: splurge on yourself! Individual items under $2,500 are included. Again, in our case, some items may fall above that threshold but talk to your design consultant about what other offers might be available for those pieces. While there is a limit on the cost per item, there is NO LIMIT on the number of items you can purchase during this time.
Most vehicles, boats, services, and tobacco and alcohol products are not included – please see the state website for more details.
It has been noted that shoppers across the state save almost $20 million PER YEAR during this one weekend of waiving the Massachusetts state sales tax.
Anything else I should know?
New this year, meals are tax-free over the holiday weekend, with the exclusion of alcohol. UPDATE: As of 8/1 the decision to include meals was reversed due to the complication around separating meals from alcohol.
Any purchase must be made in full on August 17th or 18th, which would exclude layaways and some rentals.
If you have any other questions reference the ma.gov website for specifics or talk to your local retailer – they know the ins and outs and often offer additional savings over this busy shopping period.
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Looking for more reading?
- Interior Design Trend Forecast 2019
- Customer Testimonial: Megan Lynch
- Furnishing a Summer Home: Curating Your Style
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