End of August sales-tax-free weekend

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The Green Room on Main Street, Vineyard Haven will be one of the Island's retail stores celebrating tax-free weekend. – MVT File

The Massachusetts sales tax holiday begins next weekend, on Saturday, August 29, and ends August 30. 

The two-day break from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax is the result of legislation signed into law that establishes a sales tax holiday one weekend each year, which means customers can buy retail items and not pay the sales tax. It comes as small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sales tax holiday only applies to individuals, not businesses or corporations. The holiday also does not apply to every purchase. Meals, motor vehicles, motorboats, telecommunication services, gas, steam, electricity, tobacco products, marijuana products, alcoholic beverages, layaway sales, and any single item that is priced more than $2,500 do not qualify for the sales tax exemption, according to the state’s website.

Internet sales do qualify, if they are ordered and paid in full during the sales tax exemption period.

Rentals — excluding motor vehicles and motorboats, but including vacation rentals of 30 days or less and less than $2,500 — do qualify for the state’s portion (5.7 percent) of the short-term rental tax (which varies, depending on each town’s surcharge on the state tax), even if the rental period occurs after the sales tax exemption, as long as the full rental amount is paid during the exemption period. Other rentals, such as equipment and bicycles, are eligible.