Can You Shop Online for Tax-Free Weekend 2018?


If you’re shopping online, can you take advantage of tax-free weekend? Ten states are participating this weekend, and several more states still have tax-free weekends coming up. Many shoppers want to know if the tax free special applies to online shopping as well.

Here’s what you need to know.

Yes, in most cases, if a state is participating in 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 tax-free weekend ends. (Read more about which items qualify here.) This means that if you want to buy something for 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. It doesn’t matter if the item arrives after tax free weekend, as long as you purchase it before then and choose immediate delivery.

Many online retailers will be turning off taxes for customers shopping from tax-free states this weekend, or turning off taxes for certain coded items. (So if you want to get a tax-free item, don’t hide your location when you’re shopping online.) Of course, 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 the qualified item during the tax-free weekend, you won’t be charged taxes even if it’s shipped after this weekend is over.

Walmart has specifically said that it will be participating and turning 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. (So yes, that’s a little different than the online shipping rule.)

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 prior to 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. Please note that sales tax holidays may be applied to sales sold by 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.

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