Each year, the state of Missouri offers at least one three-day tax holiday intended for back-to-school buyers. In some years, it also runs a "Show Me Green" tax holiday for purchases related to energy conservation.
Local jurisdictions may also choose to participate in the holidays by waving their own taxes in addition to the state taxes. If your local jurisdiction didn't participate last year, though, chances are it won't participate this year as a new ordinance must be passed to opt for the special discount.
Back-to-School Tax Holidays
The state of Missouri offers a sales tax holiday that starts at midnight on the first Friday in August and ends at midnight on the following Sunday. For example, in 2018 the dates will be August 3 through 5.
Tax-free buying in Missouri means a discount of 4.225 percent. Since this is a "back to school" tax holiday, only selected items such as school supplies, computers, and clothing are discounted.
Missouri's Tax-Free Weekend for back-to-school supplies and clothing applies to the following items:
- Clothing: Any article having a taxable value of $100 or less.
- School Supplies: Not to exceed $50 per purchase.
- Computer Software: A taxable value of $350 or less.
- Personal Computers: Not to exceed $1,500.
- Computer Peripheral Devices: Not to exceed $1,500.
- Graphing Calculators: Not to exceed $150.
It's helpful to know that Missouri defines all of these categories quite broadly.
For example, "clothing" not only includes off-the-shelf items but also fabric and other materials used to make school clothing or uniforms.
Similarly, computer-related purchases can include printers, disk drives, scanners, soundboards, and other related items that may be useful outside of the school setting.
If you're self-employed, for example, these tax holidays may be a great way to stretch your dollars.
"Show Me Green" Tax Holidays
Starting in 2009, the state of Missouri offered the "Show Me Green" sales tax holiday. This seven-day event applies only to Energy Star products that cost up to $1,500. Energy Star is an efficiency certification used to designate energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and heaters.
Missouri's "Show Me Green" Sales Tax Holiday typically runs from April 19 through 25. While this has been a regular event, it's worth checking the website for updated information to ensure it's going on this year. After all, even a 4 percent discount on a refrigerator can add up to a good deal of money.
Smart Shopping Strategies
Remember to use common sense when you shop. That's the best way to save even more during a tax-free weekend. For example, compare prices online before you go shopping, and try to use coupons whenever you can.
Additionally, don't make the mistake of buying anything you don't need just because of the sales tax holiday. After all, the sales tax rate in Missouri is only 4.225 percent, so that's the amount—plus any local sales tax, if applicable—that you would be saving by shopping during this particular weekend.
It's entirely possible that you'll find greater savings by shopping either before or after the actual sales tax holiday, so pay attention to sales circulars and advertisements for your favorite retailers.
Keep in mind, as well, that not all cities and counties in Missouri participate in the annual tax-free weekend each year. You will want to check with your local government to find out whether you can expect the sales tax savings in the area where you live. If you don't live near Missouri, you may be able to find a tax-free weekend in a state near you.