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home : news : news October 20, 2014

7/29/2014 4:41:00 PM
S.C. tax-free weekend starts Friday

COLUMBIA – For the 14th year, shoppers can save money when it comes to an array of items during South Carolina’s “Tax Free” weekend. The event is set for Aug. 1. through Aug. 3. According to the SC Department of Revenue, this is the third busiest shopping period of the year behind Christmas and Black Friday. Shoppers will save the six percent tax on their purchases, which include school supplies, computers, wedding dresses, clothing and bed linens. The tax free weekend starts at 12:01 Friday morning and will end at midnight on Sunday.

Examples of exempt items (provided the item is not used in a trade or business or is not placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plan or is not clothing or footwear that is rented) include: Adult diapers, aerobic clothing, antique clothing, aprons, athletic or sport uniforms or clothing (but not equipment such as mitts, helmets and pads); baby bibs, baby clothes, baby diapers (cloth or disposable), baby shoes bandanas, barrettes, bath mats, bath rugs, bath towels, (all sizes, including beach towels), bath wash cloths, bathing caps, bathing suits, bathing trunks, beach capes and coats, bed comforters and bed comforter sets, bed duvets and covers.

Also, bed linens, including baby bumper pads, canopies, baby crib padding, bed skirts, box spring covers, dust ruffles, mattress pads, mattress toppers, pillow covers, and shams (box springs, drapes, mattresses, table cloths, and window curtains and other window treatments are taxable). Bed pillow cases, bed pillows (e.g. baby pillows, body pillows, husband pillows, throw pillows), bed sheets and bed sheet sets, bed spreads belt buckles, belts/suspenders, blankets (e.g. afghan, baby, electric, and throw), blouses, bobby pins, bonnets, boots, (climbing, hiking, riding, ski, waders, fishing, cowboy), bow ties, bras, bridal gowns and veils (must be sold; rentals are taxable), capri pants caps, coats, capes and wraps.

Also, computer hardware service contracts sold in conjunction with computers, computer software, computer software service contracts sold in conjunction with computer software, computer software service contracts when the true object of the contract is to obtain computer software updates during the contract period. Computers, (computer parts, such as computer monitors, keyboards and scanners, when not sold in conjunction with a central processing unit (CPU) and accessories are taxable. The following are examples of devices that are not considered computers for purposes of the sales tax holiday exemption: (1) cell phones, smartphones or any other handheld devices that allow users to make telephone calls; (2) handheld devices that are primarily used to download and listen to music; (3) handheld devices that are primarily used to download and watch videos; and (4) devices that are primarily used to download and read books (e-books).

However, portable devices that have computing and media functions, allow users to access the Internet and have a multitude of software applications (or the capability to download a multitude of software applications) are considered computers for purposes of the sales tax holiday exemption, provided such devices do not allow users to make telephone calls. Since sales tax is a “transaction tax,” and since the law did not exempt computer parts (only computers), then the sale of a computer monitor, keyboard, or scanner by itself would not be exempt during the sales tax holiday.

If a monitor, keyboard or scanner is purchased as part of a package which included the computer processing unit (CPU), then that is one transaction to purchase a computer and the sale of the packaged unit (CPU, monitor, keyboard, scanner) is exempt. The sale of a digital music player, digital camera, cell phone or a smartphone, whether or not purchased in conjunction with a computer processing unit (CPU), is not exempt during the sales tax holiday.) School supplies, including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, blue books, bookbags, lunchboxes, musical instruments. For a complete list of what items will be tax free, go to the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s tax-free list page.


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