Massachusetts will not get its sales tax holiday this year. Hopefully, angry back-to-school shoppers will not reenact the Boston Tea Party at the local mall.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts nixed the state's annual sales tax holiday this year for the first time since 2009. The justification for the cancelation is that the state can not afford to lose the money. The holiday is estimated to cost the state $25 million in tax revenue, according to The Boston Globe.
"When you're talking about the shortfall that we're in ... to add another $26 million to that shortfall just doesn't make a whole lot of sense," said House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
The late August tax break is typically considered a way to jumpstart business for retailers during the normally slow, waning summer weeks. Despite the loss of the tax holiday, those in the Bay State still have a few options to get around paying hundreds of dollars in sales taxes:
1. Visit A Tax Free State
For five states in the United States, every day is a tax holiday. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon have no sales tax. Delaware and, especially border state New Hampsire, are well within driving distance away from Massachusetts, so it would only take a small road trip to get around that pesky 6.25 percent tax.
2. Shop Online
If an online merchant does not have a physical location within the purchaser's home state then they are often not required to charge sales tax. This will likely only apply to smaller merchants — large retailers like Amazon have physical locations in most states — but can steal be a great way to beat the tax.
3. Shipping Loophole
If your heart is set on shopping at a larger online retailer, like Amazon, but want to avoid sales tax, one option is to ship your purchased items to a trusted friend or family member in a tax-free state. This will often allow the purchaser to bypass sales tax. As long as the third party can be trusted with your merchandise and picking the purchased items from the third party location is not difficult, this can be a money-saving loophole. Since New Hampshire borders Massachusetts, it should be hard for too many residents to take advantage.