New Mexico’s back-to-school tax-free weekend arrives after many students start school

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — House Bill 130 now requires all school districts to have 180 instructional days in a school year. Many school districts – like APS, Rio Rancho, Belen, and Los Lunas – all moved up their start dates to make sure they have enough days this year.

In doing so, school is now starting before the tax-free weekend designated for back-to-school shopping.

“Well, the back-to-school tax-free weekend is established by statute and the statute calls for it to be the first weekend in August, so that’s why it is when it is, because that is how the Legislature set it up,” said Charlie Moore with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

The tax-free weekend was created in 2005. The Taxation and Revenue Department can’t change the date – that would be up to lawmakers.

“It would be a fairly simple change to law right now,” Moore said. “It is set as the first weekend in August, so they would have to just set the date differently.”

A spokesperson for House Democrats told KOB 4 there is nothing proposed at the moment, but they would be willing to adjust the dates of the tax-free weekend next session.


Coming soon to a retail store near you is the annual New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax Holiday.  If you have school-age children, it’s nothing short of a bonanza. For that weekend the state suspends collection of gross receipts tax on sales of qualifying items so you can buy the items tax free. Because many merchants also absorb the tax on a number of non-qualifying items, you are the beneficiary all around.

The tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 4, 2023 and concludes on Sunday, August 6, 2023 at midnight.

During that time the law provides a deduction from gross receipts for retail sales of qualifying tangible personal property; in effect allowing the retailer to sell the items “tax free.”

FYI-203,Gross Receipts Tax Holiday contains a list divided into categories, but please note that within some categories there is a set dollar maximum. To qualify for the deduction, clothing or shoes must be priced at less than $100 per unit. The price limit for desktops, laptops, tablets or notebook computers is $1,000, and for related computer hardware, it is $500. School supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms must be under $30 per unit. There are items specifically excluded by statute in all categories. Those items are always taxable.

For more specific information on the legislation, definitions, and types of sales, (rain checks, exchanges, refunds, gift cards, layaways, Internet, mail order and telephone sales) click here.