It’s tax-free weekend in Massachusetts, here’s what you need to know

Massachusetts

(WPRI) — This weekend, shoppers in Massachusetts will be able to save money on purchases during the state’s tax-free holiday.

Every year, residents take advantage of the tax-free weekend by waiting to purchase more expensive items. Right now, the sales tax in Massachusetts is 6.25% of the purchase or rental price.

Some stores are expecting it to be busy, so they recommend people “pre-shop” before the weekend to make purchasing on Saturday and Sunday easier. Items can also be purchased tax-free online as well.

Not everything will be tax-free, however. There are restrictions when it comes to what qualifies and what doesn’t qualify for tax-free purchases.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, all items must be purchased for personal use only, meaning any corporations or businesses making purchases will still be taxed. Not all items will qualify for tax-free purchases either.

The following do not qualify for the sales tax holiday exemption:

  • Meals
  • Motor vehicles
  • Motorboats
  • Telecommunications services
  • Gas
  • Steam
  • Electricity
  • Tobacco products
  • Marijuana or marijuana products
  • Alcoholic beverages, and
  • Any single item whose price is more than $2,500.
     

For purchases of a single item above $2,500, the entire amount paid for the item is subject to sales tax, not just the amount that exceeds that threshold.

However, clothing purchases less than $175 will be tax-exempt, but if a clothing purchase exceeds that amount, the excess will be taxed. For the tax-free holiday weekend, if an item of clothing exceeds $2,500, the first $175 is not subject to being taxed.

As long as the price of each individual item is $2,500 or less, you can purchase as many items as you want together, tax-free, even if all the items added together cost more than $2,500.

Traditionally the tax-free holiday gives an extra boost to local businesses, which may be welcome this year during the pandemic. Though the pandemic has also caused delays in supply and demand.

“There’s a hard time getting foam for insulation, refrigerators, there’s a hard time getting chips for the computer parts of the stoves, and the dishwashers, and the laundry, so yes there’s a problem with the workforce, trying to get enough people to go to work in the factories and ship the product, unload the product,” Brian Zippin, owner of Contractors Home Appliances, said.

If you buy items like dishwashers or microwaves, you might still have to wait a while for it to be delivered.

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