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August 07, 2021

Take advantage of U.S. sales tax holidays

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

With a strong Canadian dollar making cross-border travel much easier to stomach, budget-conscious shoppers may want to fine-tune their travel plans to take advantage of sales tax holidays in several U.S. states.

Some tax breaks are geared toward back to school shopping with only modest dollar limits while other states use tax holidays to encourage residents to trade in their aging appliances for more energy efficient models.

Unfortunately, with the exception of New York – which has repealed its sales tax on clothing and footwear purchases under $110 – and tax-free New Hampshire, most of the tax holidays are to be found in non-border states. Good news for Eastern Canada though: Vermont will be waiving its 6% tax on August 22 for all goods costing up to $2,000.

Be sure to check with individual states before you head out. Although it has offered August sales tax holidays since 2004, Massachusetts pulled the plug this year, choosing instead to boost its levy to 6.25%. 

Click here for a complete list of participating states.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...