Back to School Tax Free Shopping Week: What’s Exempt, What’s Not

With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 21st through Saturday, August 27th.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Additionally, new and used college textbooks are exempt from the state 6.35% sales tax for students who present a valid college ID at the time of purchase.

Since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price is less than $100, the sale is exempt from taxes.

Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.

Examples of clothing and footwear that are exempt during sales tax free week

Please note: This benefit has been substantially reduced from previous years and will only apply to clothing and footwear that costs less than $100.

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities: football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a full list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.


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  • The government giveth and the government taketh away. Just another example of fuzzy economic logic and inefficient allocation of resources. Aren’t all of the clothes made in China? Spare me such silliness.