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Massachusetts 2015 Sales Tax Holiday Is (Probably) a Go


 Will Massachusetts have a sales tax holiday this month? Patience.

Update 8.6.2015: Done and done! Governor Baker has signed legislation creating a 2015 sales tax holiday. It will take place August 15-16.

After lengthy debate, lawmakers in Massachusetts have approved a 2015 sales tax holiday. As of this writing, the bill is sitting on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk, awaiting his signature. If he signs by August 9th, as he has said he will, the two-day tax-free period will run August 15-16, 2015.

During that time, the state’s 6.25% sales tax will not apply to most tangible personal property costing $2,500 or less.

The sales tax holiday will not apply to the following:

  • Any single item of tangible personal property “the price of which is in excess of $2,500”
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Meals
  • Motor vehicles
  • Motorboats
  • Steam
  • Telecommunications
  • Tobacco products

Although Massachusetts had held a sales tax holiday since 2004, it has always been controversial and it is becoming increasingly so. This year, like the last, final approval of the August tax-free period was delayed until August itself. As a result, retailers have very little time to prepare for the event.

Determining how much sales tax revenue was forgone due to the tax-free period is a requirement of House Bill 3659, which reads as follows: “The commissioner of revenue shall certify [on or before December 31, 2015] to the comptroller the amount of sales tax foregone, as well as new revenue raised from personal and corporate income taxes and other sources, pursuant to this act.”

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photo credit: Joyce Meyer Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting via photopin (license)


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.