(WWLP) – Massachusetts shoppers, get ready! The annual two-day tax holiday is back this weekend for the first time in three years.

Here’s what you need to know before you head to the stores.

When is the sales tax holiday?

The sales tax holiday will run August 11 and 12.

Where can I shop?

The sales tax holiday applies to both in-store sales and online sales. As long as an online order is placed and paid on August 11 or 12, it will be tax-free.

What is/isn’t tax-free?

According to Mass.gov, single items costing $2,500 or less will be exempt from taxes this weekend. 

Cars, boats, meals, tobacco/marijuana products, and utilities like gas, electricity, and telecommunication services are not part of the sales tax holiday. You will still have to pay taxes on these items.

What about clothing?

In Massachusetts, there is already no sales tax on any article of clothing that costs $175 or less.

During the sales tax holiday, however, clothing purchases between $175 and $2,500 will also be tax free. For anything that costs more than $2,500, $175 may be deducted from the taxable amount. For example:

        1.  A customer buys a suit during the sales tax holiday for $600. No tax is due. 

        2.  A customer buys a wedding dress during the sales tax holiday for $2,550.  Tax is due on $2,375 ($2,550 – $175).

Other rules

  • Layaway sales do not qualify for the sales tax holiday
  • Retailers may not void or rewrite a sale that took place before the tax holiday for the purpose of bringing the transaction under the sales tax rules
  • Special order items such as furniture are eligible for the sales tax holiday so long as they are ordered and paid in full on the sales tax holiday weekend, and the cost of each item is $2,500 or less
  • When a customer receives a rain check because an item on sale was not available, property bought with the use of the rain check will qualify for the exemption regardless of when the rain check was issued if the rain check is used on the sales tax holiday weekend. 
  • If a customer purchases an item of eligible property during the sales tax holiday,   but later exchanges the item for an identical or similar eligible item, for the same price, no tax is due even if the exchange is made after the sales tax holiday.