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THE LIST: What is and isn’t tax-free during SC’s 72-hour Tax-Free Weekend event

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 4:40 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Between now and Sunday night, South Carolina is giving parents assistance with back-to-school shopping through an annual sales tax holiday weekend.

The event officially kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Friday and continues through Sunday evening.

That means shoppers won’t have to pay the state’s normal 6% state sales tax or applicable local taxes on a variety of items, from clothing, accessories and shoes to school supplies, backpacks and even computers.

The National Retail Federation says families spend an average of about $850 on back-to-school supplies, which could mean a savings of nearly $100 on sales tax.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue released a list of tax-exempt and non-exempt items.

Clothing

Tax-FreeNot Tax-Free
The tax holiday applies to purchases of new or used clothing and clothing accessories for use by any age and of any dollar amount.
Everyday
Belts & suspenders
Dresses & skirts
Leggings
Neckties & scarves
Pants, jeans & shorts
Shirts & blouses
Suits & blazers
Sweaters & sweatshirts
Outer Wear
Coats (all types)
Ear muffs
Gloves & mittens
Hats & caps
Rainwear & umbrellas
Vests
School Wear
Graduation caps & gowns
Gym suits
Uniforms (band, school & sports)
Sleepwear
Underwear
Bras, panties, slips, & T-shirts
Diapers (cloth & disposable)
Hosiery, socks & tights
Incontinent underwear
Sports/Exercise Wear
Exercise clothing
Gloves (batting & golf)
Hunting & ski clothing
Leotards
Swim wear & water apparel
Miscellaneous/Specialty
Belt buckles
Bibs
Choir robes
Costumes
Fabric for custom clothing
Formal wear
Hair accessories & wigs
Handkerchiefs
Maternity clothing
Pet coats & sweaters
Pocketbooks & purses
Scout uniforms
Work uniforms purchased by the employee
The tax holiday does not apply to clothing and accessories used in a trade or business or rented.
Clothing Placed on Layaway
Costume Rentals
Formal Wear Rentals
Safety Equipment (hard hats & ear protectors)
Uniforms Purchased by Employers for Employees
Sports Equipment
Helmets (bicycle & football)
Hockey & baseball mitts
Protective wear (masks, mouth guards, knee pads & swim goggles)
Life jackets
Miscellaneous/Specialty
Cosmetics
Eyewear (contacts & glasses)
Fitness tracking devices
Jewelry
Phone cases
Wallets & billfolds
Watchbands
Watches & smartwatches

Footwear

Tax-FreeNot Tax-Free
The tax holiday applies to purchases of new or used footwear for use by any age and of any dollar amount.
Everyday
Boots (cowboy & hunting)
Flip flops
Sandals
Shoes (all types)
Slippers
Sports/Exercise
Cleats
Dance shoes (ballet & tap)
Hiking shoes & boots
Sports shoes (golf & bicycle)
Ski boots
Miscellaneous/Specialty
Diabetic shoes
Orthopedic shoes
Rain boots & over shoes
Skates (ice & in-line)
The tax holiday does not apply to footwear used in a trade or business or rented.
Bowling Shoe Rentals
Shoes Placed on Layaway
Footwear Accessories
Shoe inserts
Shoe laces
Work/Safety Shoes Provided to Employees by the Employer

School Supplies

Tax-FreeNot Tax-Free
The tax holiday applies to purchases of “school supplies” used in the classroom or at home for school assignments of any dollar amount, whether purchased or leased.
Art Supplies
Book Bags & Backpacks
Binders
Books
Calculators
Calendars
Compasses & Protractors
Computer Bags
Computer Supplies (earbuds, headphones, stylus & flash drives)
Crayons
Erasers
Folders
Glue & Glue Sticks
Highlighters
Index Cards
Lunchboxes
Markers
Music Instruments Used for School Assignments (including rentals)
Music Supplies (sheet music)
Notebooks
Paper (typing, graph, construction & poster board)
Pencil Sharpeners
Pencils & Pencil Cases
Pens
Rulers
Scissors
Stapler & Staples
Tape
The following items are taxable:
Backpacks for camping
Batteries
Bicycles
Briefcases
Cleaning Supplies
Clocks
Dorm Supplies (housewares, refrigerator & toiletries)
Furniture (desks & bookcases)
Hand Sanitizers & Tissues
Office Supplies
Smartphones & Cell Phones
Stationery
Strollers & Car Seats
Toys

Computers, software, printers and printer supplies

Tax-FreeNot Tax-Free
The tax holiday applies to computers, computer software, printers, and printer supplies of any dollar amount, whether purchased or leased.
Computers & Computer Software
Computer supplies (monitor, keyboard, mouse, & speakers) when sold as a package with a central processing unit
Laptop, desktop, or tablet computer systems having a CPU
Warranty and service agreements
Printers & Printer Supplies
Cartridges
Printers
Printer Inks
Printer Papers
Toners
The tax holiday does not apply to items used in a trade or business.
Computer Supplies Sold Separately (mouse & keyboard) for Business Use (see “school supply” examples of exempt items)
Computers Used in a Business
E-readers
Music & Video Players
Phone Chargers
Replacement Parts
Scanners
Smartphones & Phones
Televisions
Video Game Consoles

Bed and bath supplies

Tax-FreeNot Tax-Free
The tax holiday applies to bed and bath supplies for use by any age and of any dollar amount.
Bath
Mats & rugs
Shower curtains & liners
Towels & wash cloths (bath, beach, kitchen & sport towels)
Bedding
Bed skirts
Bed spreads & comforters
Blankets & throws
Bumper pads & crib linens
Mattress pads & toppers
Pillows (all types)
Sheets & pillow cases
Examples of taxable items:
Bath (Miscellaneous)
Accessories (soap dish, towel holder, shower curtain rings & rod)
Cleaning supplies
Toiletries
Trashcans
Bed (Miscellaneous)
Dorm items (ironing boards, rugs, clothes racks, hangers, storage containers & lamps)
Furniture (bed frames, cribs & chairs)
Mattresses & box springs
Sleeping bags
Window treatments

Eligible items purchased from an online retailer are still tax-free during the 72-hour event, DOR officials say.

Since the annual sales tax holiday weekend began in 2000, shoppers have saved between $2 million and $3 million, the Department of Revenue says.

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