The state of Georgia was scheduled to offering its 2017 back-to-school tax-free weekend July 29–30. But that was before state lawmakers failed to pass the legislation necessary to keep the tax-free weekend as scheduled. Georgia lawmakers said that ending the annual tax-free weekends will save the state tens of millions of dollars. Other groups have said that the tax-free weekends incentivize retailers to increase their prices precisely when they know parents will be shopping and that the move results in less savings for the consumer and no income for the state.
While Georgia residents won't have the opportunity to get back-to-school goods tax-free in their state, tax free weekends are still in effect in neighboring states like South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama.
Georgia's Past Tax-Free Weekend Events
Georgia's tax-free weekend is usually scheduled just in time for back-to-school shopping. Items included are fairly wide-ranging, and include:
- Clothing and Footwear < $100: Clothing and footwear, no sales tax unless item is over $100.
- Computers and Computer related items < $1000: Computers, computer components, and prewritten computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a price $1,000 or less.
- School supplies > $20: School supplies, school art supplies, school computer supplies, and school instructional materials purchased for noncommercial use costing $20 or less.
Specific items that are exempt from the tax-free savings are not yet on the Georgia DOR website, but it's a good idea to check for details before you head off to the stores.
In previous years, a second event was scheduled in the fall. The fall tax-free event applied to:
- Energy Star products with maximum sale price of $1,500.00
- WaterSense Products with maximum sale price of $1,500.00
Smart Shopping Strategies for Georgia's Tax-Free Weekend
The best way to save even more during tax-free week is to use common sense shopping tactics.
This means comparing prices at different stores, which you can do online, and also using coupons—in combination with the tax-free benefit—whenever possible.
In addition, don't make the mistake of buying items that you don't need just because of the sales tax holiday. After all, Georgia's base sales tax rate is 4%, with a local surtax cap of 8%, so that's the maximum amount you would be saving by shopping during the tax-free weekend. In some cases, you'll get a better deal by shopping sales that take place before or after the designated tax-free weekend in Georgia. So make sure you do your "homework" before spending that hard-earned cash.
Keep in mind, too, that not all general merchandise items are included in the sales tax holiday. For example, cell phones, belt buckles, costume masks, and equipment and accessories used to make clothing are exempt from Georgia's sales tax holiday.
Where to Save Big During Georgia's Tax-Free Weekend
Lots of people will flock to outlet centers during the tax holiday. But smart shoppers won't rule out local stores, which may run special promotions to coincide with the upcoming tax-free weekend. Don't skimp on quality standards, either. Getting a great deal on clothing that tears or pills after just a few washes isn't worth the savings.
Additional Tax-Free Shopping Resources for Georgia Shoppers
Use these resources to get even more out of your back-to-school shopping:
- Find a Tax Free Week in a State Near Georgia
- Save Even More During Tax FrTax-Freeee Weekend
- Tax-Free Shopping Tips