Tax-free holiday will be Aug. 4-6

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Staff reports

South Carolina’s popular Sales Tax Holiday weekend will kick off Friday, Aug. 4, and run through Sunday, Aug. 6.

During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, a variety of approved school supply items are exempt from the 6-percent state sales tax. 

Shoppers will pay no sales tax on items ranging from clothing and shoes to book bags and computers. Items such as jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, furniture and layaway purchases are not exempt.

Here are some questions and answers about the holiday:

Q: When is the Tax Free Holiday? 

A: The Sales and Use Tax Holiday (Tax Free Weekend) takes place annually beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ending at midnight the following Sunday. 

Q: What is exempt from the sales and use tax during the holiday? 

A: Broadly, exempt items include clothing; clothing accessories including, but not limited to, hats, scarves, hosiery and handbags; and footwear.

Also exempt are school supplies including, but not limited to pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes and calculators; computers, printers and printer supplies and computer software.

Other exempt items include bath wash cloths, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows and pillow cases. 

A list of exempt and non-exempt items is on dor.sc.gov/taxfreeweekend. 

Q: What is not exempt from the sales and use tax during the holiday? 

A: The exemption does not apply to sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets and watches; sales of furniture; a sale of an item placed on lay-away or similar deferred payment and delivery plan; rental of clothing or footwear; or a sale or lease of an item for use in a trade or business

Q: If I buy an eligible item during the Tax Free Holiday, does it have to be delivered during the holiday in order for the exemption to apply? 

A: Not necessarily. As long as the item is ordered and paid for, and the order is accepted by the retailer during the weekend for immediate shipment, the exemption still applies, even if delivery is made after the holiday ends. 

Q: If I buy an eligible item online, is it still exempt? 

A: Yes, provided the item is eligible for exemption and the sale occurs during the holiday. 

Q: How are returns and exchanges handled during the holiday? 

A: If you purchase an item during the holiday and exchange it for the same item after Aug. 6, no additional tax will be charged.

 However, if you return the item and receive credit for a new purchase, the newly purchased item will be subject to the Sales and Use Tax. 

If you purchase an item before Aug. 4 and return or exchange it during the holiday, no additional tax will be due if the exchanged or purchased item is also eligible under the program.