- Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Massachusetts Consumers will soon get a two-day break from sales tax! The state’s tax holiday is right around the corner, Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14th. Retail items of up to $2,500, purchased in Massachusetts for personal use on these two days, will be exempt from sales tax.
Many parents take advantage of this tax-free weekend to purchase supplies ahead of the new school year. According to the National Retail Federation, as inflation continues to rise, nearly 40% of consumers surveyed said they are cutting back in other spending areas to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year. Many parents turn to online sales to find, what they consider to be, the best deals. This is where scammers are finding opportunities to take advantage of shoppers. Scammers have the upper hand, and consumers are at a disadvantage, when they can’t shop and compare, or find items on store shelves.
The Better Business Bureau has issued warnings about online shopping scams and urged customers to verify third-party vendors that may be found through ads on social media. If you see pop-up ads, use hesitation and caution when clicking. Always double-check the name of the business to make sure they’re legitimate.
To better protect yourself when shopping online:
- Make sure the site is secure. Check that it starts with HTTPS
- Shop on a computer at home, with a secured network. Your information can get stolen when using a public WiFi.
- Make purchases using a major credit card. This gives you added layers of protection to dispute any charges if something goes wrong.
Remember, retailers must follow specific rules when doing business in Massachusetts. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations has helpful information about laws protecting consumers that can help you make informed decisions about your purchases. You can find that information at our Shopping Rights page: https://www.mass.gov/guides/a-massachusetts-consumer-guide-to-shopping-rights