Sales Tax Holidays & Tax Free Weekend Dates

When we talk about “holidays” here on HolidayShoppingHours.com, it’s usually in reference to holiday hours at your favorite stores and restaurants. But there’s a different sort of “holiday” coming up that you’ll want to be aware of.

In late July and throughout August, many states hold back to school sales tax holidays or tax free weekends. During specific dates, certain items are allowed to be sold without sales tax being collected. Typically, the eligible items include clothes, shoes, and school supplies. Some states also allow computers and computer accessories as tax-free items. In Connecticut and Maryland, you have an entire week to ax the tax. On the other hand, Florida has reduced their 2016 sales tax holiday from 10 to just 3 days.

Here are the dates to be aware of for the back to school sales tax holidays and tax free weekends.

Friday, July 29: Mississippi, Tennessee
Saturday, July 30: Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee

Sunday, July 31: Georgia, Tennessee
Friday, August 5: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana (2% rate reduction only), Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia
Saturday, August 6: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana (2% rate reduction only), Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia

Sunday, August 7: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas


Sunday, August 14: Maryland
Monday, August 15: Maryland
Tuesday, August 16: Maryland
Wednesday, August 17: Maryland
Thursday, August 18: Maryland
Friday, August 19: Maryland
Saturday, August 20: Maryland

Sunday, August 21: Connecticut
Monday, August 22: Connecticut
Tuesday, August 23: Connecticut
Wednesday, August 24: Connecticut
Thursday, August 25: Connecticut
Friday, August 26: Connecticut
Saturday, August 27: Connecticut

Friday, September 2: Louisiana & Mississippi Second Amendment & hunting supplies
Saturday, September 3: Louisiana & Mississippi Second Amendment & hunting supplies
Sunday, September 4: Louisiana & Mississippi Second Amendment & hunting supplies

Friday, September 30: Georgia Energy Star & WaterSense appliances
Saturday, October 1: Georgia Energy Star & WaterSense appliances
Sunday, October 2: Georgia Energy Star & WaterSense appliances

These states will NOT be having a sales tax holiday or tax free weekend this year:

Alaska (no state sales tax), Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware (no state sales tax), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana (no state sales tax), Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire (no state sales tax), New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon (no state sales tax), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Several stores hold special sales to coincide with the back to school sales tax holiday. Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Sports Authority, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Dillard’s, hhgregg, Belk, Best Buy, Shoe Carnival, Famous Footwear, Sears, Kmart, Old Navy, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Stein Mart, Sears, JCPenney, Kmart, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Trader Joe’s, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Carson’s, Herberger’s, Bergner’s, Bon-Ton, The Boston Store, Younkers, and Elder-Beerman are all good places to look for back to school deals during the 2016 state sales tax holidays.

Complete List of U.S. & Canada Holidays

If you’re looking for special holiday sales and deals, you need to know about all the holidays! Everyone knows when Christmas Day and Easter Sunday occur, but what about Earth Day or Stepfamily Day? Given today’s “challenging” economy, stores, restaurants, and shopping malls will use any holiday they can find to hold special sales, promotions, and events. This includes the minor, lesser-known holidays.

Here’s a complete list of 2016-2017 holidays which are celebrated in the United States and Canada. If I’ve forgotten one, please let me know via the comment section below:

Friday, July 29, 2016 – National Chicken Wing Day
Saturday, July 30, 2016 – National Cheesecake Day
Monday, August 1, 2016 – Civic Holiday (Canada: Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario)
Monday, August 1, 2016 – Heritage Day (Canada: Alberta)
Monday, August 1, 2016 – Natal Day (Canada: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island)
Monday, August 1, 2016 – New Brunswick Day (Canada: New Brunswick)
Monday, August 1, 2016 – Saskatchewan Day (Canada: Saskatchewan)
Monday, August 15, 2016 – Discovery Day (Canada: Yukon)
Monday, September 5, 2016 – Labor Day
Monday, September 5, 2016 – Labour Day (Canada)
Sunday, September 11, 2016 – Grandparents’ Day
Sunday, September 11, 2016 – Patriot Day (9/11)
Friday, September 16, 2016 – Stepfamily Day
Friday, September 16, 2016 – Citizenship Day aka Constitution Day
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Native Americans’ Day (California)
Monday, October 10, 2016 – Columbus Day
Monday, October 10, 2016 – Native Americans’ Day (South Dakota)
Monday, October 10, 2016 – Indigenous People’s Day (parts of California, Minnesota, Washington)
Monday, October 10, 2016 – Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
Saturday, October 15, 2016 – Sweetest Day
Monday, October 17, 2016 – Boss’s Day
Friday, October 28, 2016 – Nevada Day
Monday, October 31, 2016 – Halloween
Sunday, November 6, 2016 – Daylight Saving Time Ends
Friday, November 11, 2016 – Veterans’ Day
Friday, November 11, 2016 – Remembrance Day (Canada)
Thursday, November 24, 2016 – Thanksgiving Day (United States)
Friday, November 25, 2016 – Black Friday
Monday, November 28, 2016 – Cyber Monday
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Saturday, December 24, 2016 – Hanukkah begins at sunset
Saturday, December 24, 2016 – Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 25, 2016 – Christmas Day
Monday, December 26, 2016 – Kwanzaa begins
Monday, December 26, 2016 – Boxing Day (Canada)
Saturday, December 31, 2016 – New Year’s Eve
Saturday, December 31, 2016 – Hanukkah ends at nightfall
Saturday, December 31, 2016 – Kwanzaa ends

Sunday, January 1, 2017 – New Year’s Day
Monday, January 16, 2017 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a/k/a MLK Day
Thursday, February 2, 2017 – Groundhog Day
Sunday, February 12, 2017 – Abe Lincoln’s Birthday
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – Valentine’s Day
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Presidents Day & George Washington’s Birthday
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Family Day (Canada: Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan)
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Islander Day (Canada: Prince Edward Island)
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Louis Riel Day (Canada: Manitoba)
Monday, February 20, 2017 – Nova Scotia Heritage Day (Canada: Nova Scotia)
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday (New Orleans & Gulf Coast)
Sunday, March 12, 2017 – Daylight Saving Time Begins
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 – Pi Day
Friday, March 17, 2017 – St. Patrick’s Day
Thursday, March 23, 2017 – National Puppy Day
Monday, March 27, 2017 – Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day (Hawaii)
Thursday, March 30, 2017 – National Doctors’ Day
Saturday, April 1, 2017 – April Fools’ Day
Sunday, April 9, 2017 – Palm Sunday
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – National 8-Track Tape Day
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – National Pet Day
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – National Submarine Day
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – National Barber Shop Quartet Day
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – National Cheese Fondue Day
Friday, April 14, 2017 – Good Friday
Saturday, April 15, 2017 – Record Store Day
Sunday, April 16, 2017 – Easter Sunday
Monday, April 17, 2017 – Easter Monday
Monday, April 17, 2017 – Tax Day (many deals and freebies at stores and restaurants)
Saturday, April 22, 2017 – Earth Day
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – Administrative Professionals’ Day aka Secretaries’ Day
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 – National Teacher Appreciation Day
Thursday, May 4, 2017 – Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You!)
Friday, May 5, 2017 – Cinco de Mayo (big day for Mexican restaurant deals!)
Saturday, May 6, 2017 – Free Comic Book Day
Sunday, May 14, 2017 – Mother’s Day
Sunday, June 4, 2017 – Pentecost Sunday
Monday, June 5, 2017 – Pentecost Monday
Saturday, May 20, 2017 – Armed Forces Day
Monday, May 22, 2017 – Victoria Day (Canada except Quebec)
Monday, May 22, 2017 – National Patriots’ Day (Canada: Quebec)
Monday, May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day
Friday, June 2, 2017 – National Doughnut Day
Sunday, June 11, 2017 – King Kamehameha Day (Hawaii)
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – Flag Day
Sunday, June 18, 2017 – Father’s Day
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – National Aboriginal Day (Canada: Northwest Territories)
Saturday, June 24, 2017 – St. Jean Baptiste Day (Canada: Quebec)
Monday, June 26, 2017 – Discovery Day (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Saturday, July 1, 2017 – Canada Day (Canada)
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – Independence Day aka “The Fourth of July”
Sunday, July 9, 2017 – Nunavut Day (Canada: Nunavut)
Friday, July 14, 2017 – Bastille Day
Sunday, July 23, 2017 – National Hot Dog Day
Sunday, July 23, 2017 – Parents’ Day
Monday, July 24, 2017 – Pioneer Day (Utah)

Check around for special sales and promotional events in your area which are held on these holidays. Also, be aware of early/late opening and closing times for stores, restaurants, and shopping malls on specific holidays. Any holiday is an excuse for a sale, often with extended holiday hours of operation. As always, call ahead to confirm open/closed status and hours before heading out.

Open or Closed on Labor Day Monday September 5

For 2016, Labor Day happens on Monday, September 5th. If you’re planning on spending the day shopping or dining out, I have great news: most stores, restaurants, shopping centers, and malls are open on Labor Day. However, some may be operating on holiday schedule with limited or reduced hours of operation. Some businesses are closed on Labor Day in order to give their employees the day off. Here’s a quick rundown of what is open and what is closed on September 5, 2016:

BANKS are CLOSED on Labor Day.

BARS & CLUBS are OPEN on Labor Day.

BIG BOX STORES are OPEN on Labor Day: Walmart, Kmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, PetSmart, Kohl’s, Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Best Buy, Academy Sports + Outdoors, etc.

CASUAL RESTAURANTS are OPEN on Labor Day: Golden Corral, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Chevy’s, Red Lobster, HuHot, Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Pizza Hut, Montana Mike’s, Lone Star Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Perkins, Denny’s, Ryan’s, etc.

CONVENIENCE STORES are OPEN on Labor Day: 7-Eleven, Kwik Trip, Circle K, Kum & Go, Casey’s, QuikTrip, SuperAmerica, Speedway, Raceway, etc. Many locations are open 24 hours, even on holidays.

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS are OPEN on Labor Day: Arby’s, Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Taco John’s, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Captain D’s, White Castle, Krystal, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, In-N-Out Burger, Popeyes, A&W, Rally’s/Checkers, Wendy’s, etc.

GROCERY STORES are OPEN on Labor Day: Kroger, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Cub Foods, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Food 4 Less, Albertsons, Safeway, Price Chopper, Von’s, Fred Meyer, Food Lion, Gerbes, Dillons, H-E-B., Ingles, Q.F.C., Hy-Vee, Harris Teeter, BI-LO, etc. Some locations may be operating with reduced hours. ALDI is an exception. All ALDI stores will be CLOSED on Labor Day.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES are CLOSED on Labor Day. Nearly all federal, state, county, and city agencies are closed on Labor Day.

LIQUOR STORES may be OPEN or CLOSED on Labor Day. This depends on which state and/or city you are located in. Some areas allow alcoholic beverages to be sold on Labor Day while others prohibit these sales.

MOVIE THEATERS are OPEN on Labor Day: AMC Theaters, Cinemark, Carmike, Regal Theaters, etc. Many theatres have additional holiday show times scheduled for Labor Day.

PHARMACIES & DRUG STORES are OPEN on Labor Day: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. These retailers are almost always open. However, the actual pharmacy may be closed or operating reduced hours for the holiday. Pharmacy departments in grocery and big box stores also have varying hours of operation during the Labor Day holiday.

POST OFFICE (USPS) is CLOSED on Labor Day.

SHOPPING MALLS AND MALL ANCHOR STORES are OPEN on Labor Day: JC Penney, Sears, Neiman Marcus, Bergners, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson’s, Herberger’s, Younkers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gordmans, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc.

SCHOOLS are CLOSED on Labor Day: grade schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, etc.

Of course, these are general rules and there may be exceptions. If you’re not sure, be sure to call your favorite store or restaurant and confirm their holiday hours before leaving home. This avoids unpleasant surprises and unnecessary drives, only to find your favorite shopping or dining place is closed on Labor Day 2016. Plan ahead, be safe, and have a great holiday weekend!

Open or Closed Civic Holiday/August Long Weekend

For 2016, Civic Holiday falls on Monday, August 1. Before you head out to the stores and restaurants, it’s a good idea to check and see whether they are open or closed! Most eateries, shopping centers, and malls are open on Civic Holiday and throughout the August Long Weekend. However, some may be operating on holiday schedule with limited or reduced hours of operation. Other businesses may be closed entirely on Civic Holiday in order to give their employees the day off.

Civic Holiday is also known as Heritage Day in Alberta, British Columbia Day, New Brunswick Day, Regatta Day in Newfoundland/Labrador, Natal Day in Nova Scotia, Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, Ontario; Colonel By Day in Ottawa, Ontario; and Simcoe Day in Toronto. Here’s a quick rundown of what is open and what is closed:

BANKS – CLOSED

BARS & CLUBS – OPEN

BEER STORES – SOME OPEN, SOME CLOSED. In Ontario, some The Beer Store locations will be open on August 1. Those stores operating on Civic Holiday will be open from 11:00AM-6:00PM. Call ahead to confirm before heading out!

BIG BOX STORES – OPEN (Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Costco, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, Home Outfitters, HomeSense, Kent, Lowe’s, PetSmart, RONA, Sears, Staples, Walmart, etc.)

CANADA POST/POST OFFICES – CLOSED

CASUAL RESTAURANTS – OPEN (Boston Pizza, Tim Horton’s, The Keg Steakhouse, Earls, Milestones, Harvey’s, Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Kelsey’s, St-Hubert, Montana’s Cookhouse, etc.)

CONVENIENCE STORES – OPEN (Circle K, Needs Convenience, On the Run, Quickie, Mac’s, Provi-Soir, OLCO, Irving’s Blue Canoe, Pioneer, etc.) – OPEN. Many locations are open 24 hours, even on holidays.

DEPARTMENT STORES – OPEN (Army & Navy, Marshalls, Winners, Rossy, Dollarama, Bowring, The Bargain! Shop, The Source, Stedmans V&S, Hudson’s Bay, La Maison Simons, Fields, Holt Renfrew, XS Cargo, Taylor’s, Giant Tiger, etc.)

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS – OPEN (McDonald’s, Burger King, A&W, KFC, Subway, Dairy Queen, Quizno’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Pizza Pizza, Starbucks, etc.)

GROCERY STORES – OPEN (Loblaws, Sobeys, Save-On Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Metro, Super C, Foodland, Price Chopper, Food Faire, Thrifty Foods, Highland Farms, Dominion, Marché Ami, Northern/North Mart, etc.) – most locations will be OPEN. However, some may be operating with reduced hours on August 3.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES – CLOSED. Nearly all federal, provincial, and local agencies are closed on Civic Holiday.

LIQUOR STORES – MOSTLY OPEN. In Ontario, most but not all LCBO stores will be open. Some locations will be operating on holiday schedule with reduced hours. All Manitoba Liquor Mart locations except cityplace will be open on August 1 from 10:00AM-6:00PM.

MOVIE THEATERS – OPEN (Cineplex Entertainment, Landmark Cinemas, Cinemark Theaters, Cinémas Guzzo, etc.) Some theatres have additional holiday show times scheduled on the Civic Holiday.

PHARMACIES & DRUG STORES – OPEN (Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Value Drug Mart, Lawtons, DRUGStore Pharmacy, Pharmaprix, Pharmasave, Jean Coutu, Brunet, Uniprix, etc.) These stores are almost always open. However, the actual pharmacy may be closed or operating reduced hours for the holiday. Pharmacy departments in grocery and big box stores also have varying hours of operation during the Civic Holiday.

SHOPPING CENTERS AND MALL ANCHOR STORES – OPEN

SCHOOLS – CLOSED

If you’re not sure, call the store or restaurant and confirm their holiday hours before leaving the house. This avoids unpleasant surprises and unnecessary drives, only to find your favorite eating or shopping place is closed on Civic Holiday. Be smart out there. Plan ahead and have a great 2016 August Long Weekend!

Back to School Sales & Deals

The 4th of July is barely over and guess what’s in the stores and shopping malls already? Back to school sales! Seems like it gets earlier every year!

For 2016, there are lots of great deals and special promotions to be found as kids get ready to head back to school. Early sales seem to be highlighting school supplies, computers, computer accessories, clothing, and footwear. The economy is still “fragile”, so expect lots of good buys as the big box stores and other retailers compete for back to school shoppers.

Many states will be having sales tax holidays and tax free weekends again this year. Smart shoppers will plan ahead, combining back to school sales and discounts with sales tax exemptions being offered during the sales tax holiday dates. Check HolidayShoppingHours.com for a complete list of sales tax free holiday weekends.

Good sources of inexpensive basic school supplies: Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Shopko, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, and Kmart. All of these stores offer school supplies below cost as loss-leader items during the back-to-school shopping season.

Don’t miss the bargains during this year’s round of back to school sales events staring in July, continuing through August and early September.