When Is Connecticut’s Tax Free Week 2019 & What Qualifies?

Tax-free week time is back again in Connecticut. The tax-free holiday starts at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 18 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, August 24. Lucky Connecticut residents get a week sales tax free rather than a weekend like most other states offer. Here’s a look at what qualifies this week.

Here’s What Qualifies for Tax-Free Status in Connecticut

Clothing or footwear that costs less than $100 per item is tax-free in Connecticut this week. You can buy however much you want of an item that’s less than $100 and qualifies. This applies to both Connecticut and out-of-state retailers that are selling to Connecticut customers.

Buy-one-get-one-free items apply, as long as the total price is still less than $100. But you can’t average the price out between the two items to try to make it qualify.

Retailer discounts also qualify. So if a coat costs $115 and the retailer is offering 20 percent off, the new $92 price qualifies for tax-free status. That’s because coupons reduce the price right away and taxes are always calculated based on the price with the coupon. The coupons can be from the retailer, manufacturer, or another valid third party.

Layaway items also qualify. CT.gov notes: “If a customer puts an article of clothing or footwear that costs less than $100 on layaway during the exclusion week, the item qualifies for the tax exclusion, and none of the customer’s payments on the item are taxable even if they are made after the exclusion week. The item will not be taxable when the customer takes delivery or possession of it.”

Items sold by mail, phone, or Internet also qualify as long as the customer pays the full price for the qualifying item during the tax-free weekend, even if the item is delivered later.

Here’s What Is NOT Tax-free in Connecticut

If you buy an item that costs $100 or more, you will be charged sales tax on the full price of the item. (The first $100 won’t be tax-free.) You also can’t take an article that’s sold as a unit (like a pair of shoes) and buy each part individually in order to try to qualify. For example, if a suit costs $150 and is sold as the jacket and pants, you can’t buy the pants for $75 tax-free to qualify, CT.gov notes. If they are normally sold separately for $75 each, then they would qualify.

The following clothing and footwear do not qualify for tax-free status. This is a direct quote from the CT.gov website.

  • Any special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use that is not normally worn except when used for the athletic activity or protective use for which it was designed.
  • Jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and similar items carried on or about the human body but not worn on the body in the manner characteristic of clothing, and
  • Articles of clothing considered safety apparel are fully exempt under a separate exemption in Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-412(91). (See Policy Statement 2004(4), Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Safety Apparel).”

Unlike coupons, rebates do NOT qualify and can’t lower an item’s price to make it qualify. That’s because the full price of the item is always taxed before the rebate is given.

For a full list and all of Connecticut’s laws about tax-free week, see Connecticut’s official webpage here. The law for the sales tax holiday was started in 2015 and remains in effect.

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