Back-to-school shopping is making a comeback this year as folks open their wallets a little wider. S.C. shoppers can stretch those dollars further with this weekend’s sales tax holiday. Some tips:
What: All school supplies will be exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax and any local sales taxes.
When: The tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Sunday.
Why: The tax holiday was started 13 years ago to give families a break on shopping for back-to-school items, including clothing, computers and backpacks.
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What is exempt?
There is a long list of tax-exempt items. Some sound like classroom needs. Others make you wonder (think beach capes and garter belts). The full list is at thestate.com/business. Here’s a sampling of exempt items:
• Typical schoolroom supplies, such as pencils, pens, paper, lunch boxes and book bags
• Virtually all clothing that is purchased (not rented or put on layaway), including bathing suits and baby clothes; prom dresses, wedding dresses and tuxedos; corsets, costumes and capes; and shirts, pants and belts plus nearly all shoes
• Relevant electronics, including computers and printers
• Dorm-room gear, such as bedding and linens
Where to go?
All S.C. retailers will drop the sales tax on exempt items, with shoppers expected to save overall about $3 million. Some things to know:
• Look for sales. Pairing the tax-free weekend with store sales will give you more bang for your buck. Search out sales through ads.
• More time to shop. Many national retailers, such as Old Navy, Sears and Kmart will open their doors a couple of hours early each day and stay open a couple of hours later to accommodate the expected rush of shoppers.
• Shop local. The malls aren’t the only places hosting sales. The Devine Street Association will have a day-long sidewalk sale Saturday with discounted merchandise that also will be tax free. And Britton’s will introduce a new line of S.C.-made Southern Tide polo shirts in boys’ sizes to coincide with tax-free weekend.