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Tax-free shopping coming to 10 states with sales tax holidays this weekend. Here's where to save.

Shoppers in 10 states should file this away: This weekend, you can pick up clothes and school supplies tax-free.

Sales tax holidays kick off Friday in nine states – Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia – and Maryland's tax holiday begins Sunday.

Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee already held their tax holidays. Maryland and Connecticut will offer tax breaks later in August. 

The back-to-school shopping season, the second-biggest period for retailers, behind the holidays, usually kicks off in mid-July and peaks in mid-August. This year, it's off to a slow start amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts predict the shopping season will peak in late August and spill into most of September.

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The purchases parents are making are different than in previous years. Clothing is less of a priority, replaced by electronics, face masks and other protective equipment.

Computers are tax-free this weekend in four states: Florida, Missouri, New Mexico and South Carolina under different thresholds. 

According to the National Retail Federation, parents with children in elementary school through high school plan to spend an average of $789.49 per family, up from $696.70 last year. That spending is expected to total $33.9 billion, up from $26.2 billion last year, breaking the record of $30.3 billion set in 2012.

The trade group predicts that college students and their families will spend a total of $67.7 billion, up from $54.5 billion last year.

“By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Most parents don’t know whether their children will be sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer in the dining room, or a combination of the two.”

In five states, tax breaks are year-round. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon don't have a sales tax, according to the Tax Foundation. Most clothing also is tax-free year-round in some states, including Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

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Tax-free shopping 2020

Not every town and county will participate in the sales tax holidays, nor will every item be tax-free. Online shopping also is exempt from tax during the days. For some states, local taxes still apply.

Florida sales tax holiday 

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What's tax free:

Full list: www.floridarevenue.com/backtoschool

Sign of the times: Face masks make the list this year for Florida back-to-school sales tax holiday

Iowa sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-8

What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than $100

Full list: https://tax.iowa.gov/iowas-annual-sales-tax-holiday

Iowa tax holiday: How to save on back-to-school shopping; plus, what is tax-free?

Maryland tax-free week

Dates: Aug. 9-15

What's tax-free:

Full list: www.marylandtaxes.gov

Missouri sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free:

Full list: https://dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/school/

New Mexico tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free:

Full list: www.tax.newmexico.gov

Ohio sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free:

Full list: https://tax.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/tax/home/news/sales-tax-holiday

Tax-free shopping in Ohio: Will sales tax holiday draw out Ohio shoppers amid pandemic?

Oklahoma sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than $100

Full list: www.ok.gov/tax

South Carolina sales tax holiday 

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free: 

Full list: www.dor.sc.gov/taxfreeweekend

Tax exempt or not?: Here's a list of tax-free items for South Carolina's 'Tax Free Weekend'

Texas sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free: 

Full list: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490/

Texas sales tax holiday 2020: Retailers are just as excited as shoppers amid COVID-19 slowdown

Virginia sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 7-9

What’s tax-free: 

Full list: www.tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday

Coming tax holidays

Two more states have tax holidays, later in August.

Connecticut tax-free week

Dates: Aug. 16-22

What’s tax-free: Clothing and footwear, less than $100

Full list: www.ct.gov/DRS

Massachusetts sales tax holiday

Dates: Aug. 29-30

What’s tax-free: Almost everything that costs up to $2,500. In Massachusetts, there is no sales tax on clothes less than $175, year round.

More information: www.mass.gov

Contributing: Associated Press

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