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It’s a Tax Free Holiday!!  Back to School Essentials


It’s a Tax Free Holiday!!  Back to School Essentials

It is that time of year again—Tax free weekend on school essentials.  The question is:  What is considered to be exempt from state and local taxes during the tax-free weekend?  A lot more than you might think.  For example, you need clothes to wear to school and computers to do your research.  Also, if you are not a parent of school-age children or a student yourself, you can still benefit from the tax-free weekend 2018 SC.  No one is exempt.  The merchandise just has to be a qualifying item.  That means you can also buy clothes and stock up on office supplies.

During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, you will save the 6% sales tax plus any local taxes on a variety of back-to-school essentials, and to save even more money, look for sales in the stores and online.  Tax-free items range from clothes, shoes, accessories, school supplies, back packs,  and computers.  You will also be able to save on dorm and home supplies such as sheets, towels, bed covers, shower curtains, blankets, etc.  For full details, see the Sale Tax Code Section below:

“Code Section 12-36-2120(57) provides for an annual three-day sales tax holiday for sales taking place from 12:01 a.m. on the first Friday in August and ending at midnight on the following Sunday. Accordingly, the 2018 sales tax holiday weekend will begin Friday, August 3, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. and end Sunday, August 5, 2018 at midnight. During this time, the 6% state sales and use tax, and any applicable local sales and use tax, will not be imposed on clothing, clothing accessories (e.g., hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags), footwear, school supplies (e.g., pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, bookbags, lunchboxes, and calculators), computers, printers and printer supplies, computer software, and bath wash cloths, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases. The sales tax holiday, however, does not apply to sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, watches, furniture, rental of clothing or footwear, items for use in a business, or items placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plans.” (SC INFORMATION LETTER #18-5)

Items such as jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, furniture, and layaway purchases are not exempt from sales tax.  There is a caveat to layaway purchases—if the items are laid away before sales tax exempt weekend and purchased during August 3-5, the sales tax is exempt.  If you lay the items away during the weekend and purchase them after August 3-5, the merchandise is not exempt from sales tax.

Also, if you buy an item during the sales-tax-exempt weekend and return it to purchase another item after August 5, the item you purchase will not be exempt from sales tax.  If you exchange the item for a similar item of the same price after the sales-tax-exempt weekend, you will not be charged additional sales taxes.

Remember that an eligible item must be purchased during the holiday to be exempt from sales tax.  If an item is on sale and you get a rain check, the item will not be exempt from sales tax if it is not purchased during the sales-tax holiday of August 3-5, 2018.

Cell phones, smart phones or any item that makes phone calls are not exempt from sales tax.  Neither are handheld devices that are primarily used to listen to and download music, watch videos or read books.  But if the portable device has computing and media functions, allows users to access the internet and have a lot of software applications, it is considered a computer and is eligible as long as it is not capable of making telephone calls.

If you are shopping online, the online retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, etc. will be observing the sales tax holiday, but it never hurts to pay close attention and be sure that you do get your items tax free that are eligible.  Amazon honors sales tax holidays on school supplies and will automatically turn off tax collection on certain items during sales tax holidays provided that you have correctly set your item’s product tax codes.  “For example, products with the product tax code “A_SCHL_SUPPLS” won’t be taxed during sales tax holidays in states with a “Back to School Sales Tax Holiday.”  This is one of many reasons why it’s so important to ensure that your Product Tax Codes are set up correctly on Amazon. You can read a guide to Amazon Product Tax Codes here.”  (

Originating in the year 2000, Tax Free Weekend SC has been exceedingly popular making it extremely busy for the Tax-Free Weekend Tanger Outlets, and Tax-Free Weekend Coastal Grande along with other shopping centers in the Grand Strand area.  South Carolina shoppers have saved between $2 million and $3 million during the tax holiday weekend in the past years.  So, get your shopping list ready, and be prepared to navigate the crowded shopping centers to save money during the Myrtle Beach Tax Free Weekend 2018.  Happy Shopping!!

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