If you’re shopping online because of the coronavirus pandemic — or for any other reason — then you can still participate in your state’s tax-free weekend. Many shoppers want to know if the tax-free special applies to online shopping as well. The good news is that it does.
Here’s what you need to know.
Tax-Free Weekend Typically Applies Online Too
Yes, in most cases, if a state is participating in a tax-free weekend, that means that you can also shop online tax-free too. Of course, the items you buy must meet the requirements for tax-free weekend and you must shop before the tax-free weekend ends. This means that if you want to buy something for a tax-free weekend and the holiday ends at 11:59 p.m. in your state on Sunday, then you must purchase your item before that time even if you’re shopping online. It doesn’t matter if the item arrives after the tax-free weekend, as long as you purchase it before the holiday ends and choose immediate delivery.
Note that tax-free weekend always starts at 12:01 a.m. on the first day and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the last day. You can see the full list of states participating and the start and end dates for their tax-free weekends in Heavy’s story here.
Many online retailers turn off taxes for customers shopping from tax-free states, or they turn off taxes for certain coded items. So if you want to get a tax-free item, you might want to not hide your location when you’re shopping online or use a private browser.
This doesn’t mean that all fees will disappear when you’re purchasing online. You’ll still have to pay for shipping, for example, and depending on the retailer, you may be taxed for items that don’t qualify for tax exemptions. But as long as you order and pay for the qualifying items during the tax-free weekend, you won’t be charged taxes even if the items themselves are shipped after this weekend is over.
Amazon & Walmart Both Participate in Tax-Free Weekend Online
Walmart has said that it participates in tax-free weekends and turns off taxes for relevant items and for shoppers in relevant states. But if you choose to pick up your item in the store, you must pick it up within the tax holiday and not later.
Walmart writes on its website:
Walmart.com participates in these Sales Tax Holidays unless prohibited by law.
U.S. state, county, and local tax jurisdictions determine the sales tax laws that govern sales tax holidays and participation in the sales tax holiday can vary by tax jurisdiction
The items eligible for Sales Tax Holidays are determined by the tax jurisdiction governing the specific Sales Tax Holiday
Reduced sales tax valid in select states…
To take advantage of reduced sales tax when using the Pickup Today feature, orders must be placed and picked up within the specified states tax holiday dates
Amazon’s Help page states that it participates in sales tax holidays. The webpage reads:
Many taxing jurisdictions require select taxable products to be temporarily exempt from tax on specific dates. For example, a sales tax holiday may be enacted on “back to school” products before the new school year.
You can find more information about sales tax holidays, including qualifying items, by visiting your state or US territory’s department of revenue (or equivalent) website.
Sales tax holidays may be applied to sales sold by Amazon.com and its affiliates, including marketplace sellers. However, tax may still be calculated on items if they do not qualify.
If you do shop online, don’t forget to check and see if the online store is offering any coupon codes. Many stores will offer codes that you can stack on top of the tax-free special, giving you even greater savings.