Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend 2019: Tips for Shopping and Saving



It’s time to get shopping! Massachusetts sales tax holiday weekend is scheduled for August 17-18, 2019. This is a great time for Massachusetts residents to take advantage of back to school shopping deals or finally make that large purchase with no sales tax.

This will be the second tax-free weekend since 2015. Lawmakers approved an amendment in an economic development bill in 2018, establishing a permanent sales tax holiday. Currently Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont do not have a tax-free weekend scheduled for 2019.

If you’re planning on shopping during a tax-free weekend, BBB has online shopping tips as well as back to school tips to help tackle your list. Tax-free weekend also applies to online shopping as long as the item is paid for within EST (Eastern Standard Time) hours beginning August 17 and 18, even if delivery of the item occurs after the holiday weekend. 

There are a few exemptions to the tax-free weekend: any single item over $2,500 will still have sales tax applied, businesses buying items for professional use still have to pay sales tax, and multiple items such as motorboats and vehicles, are exempt from the holiday weekend.

If you choose to shop from the comfort of your home or by using your smartphone, here are a few tips to keep in mind for this sales tax holiday weekend:

  • Be a savvy shopper. Be sure to read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy before you buy.
  • Protect personal information. Read a site's privacy policy and understand what information is being requested and how it will be used.
  • Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many suspicious retailers advertise great deals that don't measure up to the hype.
  • Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it's easier to dispute charges that you didn't approve.
  • Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied.

For more information on the sales tax holiday weekend, check out these FAQs from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. And for more tips you can trust, visit






shopping, Massachusetts, Sales Tax Holiday, online shoping, Tax Free

About Rachel Gelb

Rachel Gelb has been with Better Business Bureau since 2011. As the Manager of Communications and Marketing, she is responsible for contributing to BBB's advertising and marketing efforts. Rachel focuses on providing new and creative graphics for BBB and maintaining BBB's website. Prior to joining BBB, Rachel worked at Davis Farmland in Sterling, MA, as the Advertising Assistant. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Framingham State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Communication from Lasell College.