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 Louisiana, you can purchase pretty much anything up to $2,500 except vehicles and pay no tax! In Connecticut and Maryland, the savings aren’t nearly as generous, but you do have an entire week to ax the tax. For 2015, Florida has expanded their sales tax holiday from 3 to TEN consecutive days!

Here are the dates to be aware of for the 2015 back to school sales tax holidays and tax free weekends.

Friday, July 31: Georgia, Mississippi
Saturday, August 1: Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi

Sunday, August 2: Arkansas
Friday, August 7: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Saturday, August 8: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia


Sunday, August 9: Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Monday, August 10: Florida, Maryland
Tuesday, August 11: Florida, Maryland
Wednesday, August 12: Florida, Maryland
Thursday, August 13: Florida, Maryland
Friday, August 14: Florida, Maryland
Saturday, August 15: Florida, Maryland

Sunday, August 16: Connecticut, Florida
Monday, August 17: Connecticut
Tuesday, August 18: Connecticut
Wednesday, August 19: Connecticut
Thursday, August 20: Connecticut
Friday, August 21: Connecticut
Saturday, August 22: Connecticut

These states will NOT be having a sales tax holiday or tax free weekend in 2015:

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 state sales tax holidays.

Open or Closed on Labor Day: Monday, September 7

For 2015, Labor Day happens on Monday, September 7th. 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 7, 2015:

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, Cabelas, 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. Plan ahead, be safe, and have a great holiday weekend!

Open or Closed Civic Holiday/August Long Weekend

For 2015, Civic Holiday falls on Monday, August 3. 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 3. 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 3 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 Labor Day.

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 August Long Weekend!