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Tax-free shopping this Friday through Sunday

Back-to-school shoppers can soon enjoy the benefits of a tax-free weekend in South Carolina, which begins on Friday, August 3rd and ends on Sunday, August 5th.

The annual event occurs in retail shops across the Palmetto State, giving shoppers a chance to shop for a majority of back-to-school items without paying the state’s 6-percent sales tax.

The three-day, tax-free shopping weekend was created by state legislators. It occurs each year from 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ends at midnight on the following Sunday.

This year, the approved list of items include all clothing, shoes, books, lunchboxes, school supplies, computers, printers and printer/computer supplies. Tax-free items also include anything needed for a dorm or college room, including blankets, bed linens, shower curtains, bath rugs and pillows and pillow cases. Musical instruments are also included in the tax-free list.

School uniforms and sporting equipment and sports uniforms are approved items in the tax-free shopping weekend.

The tax-free event, however, does not apply to jewelry, cosmetics, furniture or eyewear. Additionally, sales taxes must be paid this coming weekend on any cooking equipment and on mattresses and basic household furniture.

Cell phones are also not exempt, meaning taxes must be paid on the purchase of any cell phone during this weekend. Also, shoppers who are in stones or who are online this weekend must still pay sales tax on cameras, digital cameras, craft supplies, gift-wrapping and day planners.

According to the state’s Department of Revenue, the tax-free weekend does not apply to items on layaway. However, items bought online during the tax-free weekend are applicable to the tax break.

According to the state’s Revenue Department, shoppers in South Carolina have saved between $2 million and $3 million in sales tax in the last two years during the shopping holiday weekend. The revenue department oversees the tax-free weekend. For a complete check-off list of all items included and not-included in the tax-free shopping weekend, go to www.dor.sc.gov/taxfreeweekend.

You can also follow the state agency online via Facebook for a full list of all participating retailers.

Heather Walters (1474 Posts)