Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.
Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.
Enter our “Money Calendar” series.
In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in August 2021. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.
Through Aug. 5 — Tennessee’s food sales tax holiday
Tennessee is bringing back its sales tax holiday for food, food ingredients and prepared food, which is essentially an expanded version of a sales tax break on restaurant food that the state first offered in 2020.
For more information about the 2021 edition, check out the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s Sales and Use Tax Notice No. 21-10: 2021 Sales Tax Holiday for Food, Food Ingredients, and Prepared Food.
Various dates — 12 back-to-school sales tax holidays
Many states have back-to-school sales tax holidays this August. According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, they include:
- Arkansas: Aug. 7-8
- Connecticut: Aug. 15-21
- Florida: July 31-Aug. 9
- Iowa: Aug. 6-7
- Maryland: Aug. 8-14
- Missouri: Aug. 6-8
- New Mexico: Aug. 6-8
- Ohio: Aug. 6-8
- Oklahoma: Aug. 6-8
- South Carolina: Aug. 6-8
- Texas: Aug. 6-8
- Virginia: Aug. 6-8
These time windows give residents an opportunity to buy items like clothes, school and office supplies and sometimes personal computers without being charged state sales tax.
Aug. 14-15 — Massachusetts’ massive sales tax holiday
Massachusetts hosts the best sales tax holiday of the month if not the entire year. During this time window, just about any type of tangible property costing less than $2,500 is exempt from sales tax.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s FAQs about the generically named “Sales Tax Holiday,” the only things that don’t qualify for the exemption are:
- Motor vehicles
- Telecommunications services
- Tobacco products
- Marijuana or marijuana products
- Alcoholic beverages
- Any single item whose price is more than $2,500 (or more than $175 in the case of clothing items)
Even if you buy more than $2,500 worth of stuff, it could all be sales tax-free. The FAQs explain:
“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.”
Aug. 15 — Special enrollment period ends for ACA insurance plans
The 2021 special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance policies, which was established due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is currently set to end on Aug. 15.
If you buy coverage through one of the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, you have through Aug. 15 to enroll in a plan or change your current plan. For more information, visit the federal government’s HealthCare.gov website.
Aug. 27-29 — Mississippi’s Second Amendment sales tax holiday Aug. 27-29
During the annual Mississippi Second Amendment Weekend, firearms, ammunition and certain hunting supplies are exempt from sales tax.
For more information, including a list of eligible and non-eligible items, check out the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s guide to this sales tax holiday.
Aug. 29 — Postal rates to increase
After raising rates in January, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to raise rates again this month, as we detailed in “Postal Rates Likely to Climb This Summer.”
This time around, the price increases would include that of standard stamps and postcards. So, if you send much mail — or even if you plan to send holiday cards later this year — consider stocking up on Forever stamps by Aug. 29.
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