SC tax free holiday: What is exempt and what’s not

Consumer Watch

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Mark your calendars. The tax free holiday in South Carolina kicks off Friday, August 6 at 12:01 a.m. and goes through Sunday, August 8.

Most shoppers are aware the tax break applies to categories like clothing, school supplies and bedding. But the closer you look at specifics, the more confusing it can be.

We even played a little game with willing shoppers and found most don’t know as much as they think when it comes to what is exempt.

College student Caleb Mason said he was sure sports equipment, mini fridges, cell phones and cameras were included. He was disappointed to find out they are not.

The good news is some of the items he needs most for his dorm room are included, like all bedding.

“Hopefully I can take advantage of this weekend and get some stuff I’m looking for, comforters, pillows, stuff like that,” Mason said.

And while there may be some tricky details (Purses are included, but wallets are not. Earbuds and flash drives are included, but e-readers are not.) most retailers know exactly what is and what is not covered. And the Department of Revenue said here’s what you can do if you think they have it wrong:

“You may refer to our resume ruling 19-4, and I also suggest you might want to print it out and maybe take it with you when you go shopping that weekend just in case you run into this issue,” Erin Lynch, with the Department of Revenue, said.

That 19-4 ruling is the complete list, but a little hard to get through. So you may find this link to be more helpful. It highlights categories of what’s tax exempt and what’s not.

If you don’t want to step foot in stores right now, no problem. This tax free holiday is online this weekend as well. And those online retailers do NOT need to be located in the Palmetto state.

Shoppers save a collective average of $2-3 million on each tax holiday in South Carolina. It began in 2000 in the state, and unlike Georgia, which dropped its tax free holiday two-years-ago, the S.C. one is still going strong.

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