With back to school just around the corner, South Carolina is rolling out once again its tax-free weekend.
Each year at 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday of August, the state waives its 6 percent sales tax on a wide range of selected items.
There have been no major changes this year, according to S.C. Department of Revenue spokeswoman Bonnie Swingle. No new items on the list. No items taken off.
Last year, tax-free weekend shoppers saved $2.2 million buying everything from ink pens to computers. And those savings extended to online purchases as well.
Here’s the list of items that are tax free this weekend:
Athletic or sport uniforms or clothing (but not equipment such as mitts, helmets and pads)
Baby diapers, cloth or disposable
Bath towels (all sizes, including beach towels)
Beach capes and coats
Bed comforters and bed comforter sets
Bed duvets and covers
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.
Bed pillows (e.g. baby pillows, body pillows, husband pillows, throw pillows)
Bedsheets and bedsheet sets
Blankets such as afghan, baby, electric and throw blankets
Boots, including climbing, hiking, riding, ski, waders, fishing, cowboy
Bridal gowns and veils (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Coats, capes and wraps
Computer hardware service contracts sold in conjunction with computers
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: see end of post ***
Costumes (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Daily planners or organizers when used by school children as a school supply
Elastic ponytail holders
Formal clothing (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Gloves, including those for batting, bicycle, dress, garden, golf, ski, tennis
Graduation caps and gowns (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Ice skates (rentals are taxable)
In-line skates (rentals are taxable)
Leotards and tights
Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs (PDAs are handheld computers used as daily planners. Please note that the exemption does not apply to cellphones with a PDA, computer applications or similar components.)
Pillows (all types)
(Note: replaceable ink cartridges used in printers are exempt from tax as “printer supplies.”
Printers, but replacement parts are taxable)
Prom dress (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Roller skates, provided the skates are permanently attached to the boots.
School supplies, including, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, blue books, book bags, lunchboxes, musical instruments (but only if the musical instrument is used in the classroom or at home in relation to school assignments).
Note: Items such as refrigerators, toiletries, bicycles and food purchased by college students are not school supplies and not exempt from the tax.
Shawls and wraps
Shoes, including ballet, baseball, bicycle, boat, boots, bowling (taxed if rented), cleated, cross trainers, flip-flops, football, golf, jazz/dance, soccer, track, in-line skates, ice skates, running, etc.) (rentals are taxable)
Shoulder pads for dresses, jackets, etc. (but not athletic or sport protective pads)
Shower curtains and liners (shower curtain hooks and rings and shower curtain rods are taxable)
Ski boots (snow) (rentals are taxable)
Ski suits (snow)
Skin diving suits
Sport clothing and uniforms, but not equipment such as mitts, helmets and pads.
Towels of all types and sizes, including bath, beach, kitchen and sport towels. Paper towels are taxable.
Tuxedo (must be sold; rentals are taxable)
Wet and dry suits
*** COMPUTERS ***
(The following are examples of devices that are not considered computers for purposes of the sales-tax holiday exemption: cellphones, smartphones or any other handheld devices that allow users to make telephone calls; handheld devices that are primarily used to download and listen to music; handheld devices that are primarily used to download and watch videos; and 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.
Note: 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 that included the computer processing unit, 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, cellphone or a smartphone, whether or not purchased in conjunction with a computer processing unit (CPU), is not exempt during the sales tax holiday.