back to school tax holiday
back to school tax holiday

Tax-Free Shopping in NJ for Back-to-School & Other Retail Items

Now through Sept. 4, sales tax is waived for people shopping in New Jersey for back-to-school goods like notebooks, sports equipment and even computers.

The statewide sales tax holiday started on Saturday, Aug. 26 and waives the 6.625% tax for anyone shopping in the Garden State, not just students and state residents. The perk is available to individuals for non-business use, and applies to purchases made online and in stores. 

“Back-to-school excitement can easily turn to stress for both parents and teachers, particularly those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “We’re committed to making New Jersey more affordable in ways both big and small. I encourage every family to take advantage of the sales tax holiday over the next two weeks to help ease some of the pressure when it comes to purchasing essential items for the new school year.”

The average family is anticipated to save $25 to $50 on a typical back-to-school shopping trip, state lawmakers have estimated. The state is expected to lose about $75 million in tax revenue.

“This tax holiday for school products may not make kids look forward to returning to school more, but it certainly will make parents happier when shopping for the supplies they need to get their children for the new school year,” said Senate President Nick Scutari. “This will help make the back-to-school experience more affordable for New Jersey’s families and educators at a time they need the savings.”

  • Computers: Must have sales price less than $3,000. 
  • Art Supplies: Items commonly used by a student in a course of study for artwork, such as paints and sketch pads.
  • Computer Supplies: For classes using a computer, the waiver applies to supplies with a sales price less than $1,000, such as printers, printer supplies and storage media.
  • Instructional Materials: Written materials commonly used by a student in a course of study, including textbooks, globes and reference materials.
  • Supplies: Items commonly used by a student in a course of study, including a long list of basic school necessities like notebooks, writing utensils, crayons and erasers, as well as book bags, calculators and cellophane tape.
  • Sport or Recreational Equipment: Tax waivers apply to “items designed for human use and worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for general use.” This category includes the gear needed for school sports, as well as a wide range of recreational items like skates, ski boots, wetsuits and waders.

For more details on qualifying items, visit the Division of Taxation’s website.