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 waiving their own taxes in addition to waiving 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 into 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. Tax-free buying in Missouri means a discount of 4.225%. Because 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 – 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 includes fabric and other materials used to make school clothing or uniforms.
Similarly, computer-related purchases can include printers, disk drives, scanners, sound boards, 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
In 2016, the state of Missouri offered the "Show Me Green" sales tax holiday.
This two-day event applied only to Energy Star products costing up to $1,500. Energy Star is an efficiency certification used to designate energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and heaters. In 2016, Missouri's "Show Me Green" Sales Tax Holiday ran from April 19-25. It's not clear whether this will be a regular event, but it's well worth checking the web for updated information as even a 4% discount on a refrigerator can add up to a good deal of money.
Smart Shopping Strategies for Tax-Free Weekend:
Remember to use common sense when you shop. That's the best way to save even more during tax-free weekend. For example, compare prices online before you go shopping, and try to use coupons whenever you can.
In addition, 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%, so that's the amount - plus any local sales tax, if applicable - that you would be saving by shopping during the tax-free 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 event each year, so you'll need 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.