SC Department of Revenue
Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 6-8




Public Affairs Office

Contact: Danny Brazell

Telephone: (803) 898-5464




June 14, 2004


Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 6 – 8


          South Carolina shoppers’ annual three-day break from the state’s sales and use tax – commonly known as the Sales Tax Holiday — is Friday, Aug. 6 – Sunday, Aug. 8 this year.

            Beginning at 12:01 a.m. that Friday, shoppers gearing up for the back-to-school rush will find many school-related items, including clothes and computers, exempt from the state’s 5% sales and use tax and any additional local county sales tax.

            This is the fifth year of the tax-exempt shopping weekend, which is, by law, the first full weekend of each August. The South Carolina Department of Revenue estimates that shoppers saved more than $2.3 million in sales and use tax last year during the tax break. But a three-year slump in the state’s economy, sales tax holiday competition from South Carolina’s bordering states and, to a degree, the ebbing of the novelty of it all, appear to have dampened shoppers’ enthusiasm somewhat since the first tax-exempt weekend in 2000, when shoppers saved an estimated $3.6 million in sales and use tax.

            Nevertheless, many South Carolina retailers have said the tax-free weekend is the busiest three-day shopping period for them outside of the post-Thanksgiving weekend and the weekend before Christmas. Interestingly, some retailers who do not carry tax-exempt items pay the sales tax for their customers to attract shoppers taking advantage of the tax free weekend.                

          Computers and printers, which are exempt from the sales and use tax, have become major purchase items during the Sales Tax Holiday. Clothes and school supplies are also popular tax-free targets. Other items, such as jewelry and cosmetics, are not exempt. A full list of exempt and non-exempt items and a number of the frequently asked questions about the holiday can be found at the Department of Revenue’s website,, under “What’s New.”


(Note: Listed below are the estimated taxpayer savings during previous tax-exempt weekends.)





Sales Tax Holiday Year

Taxpayer Savings


$3.6 million


$2.7 million


$2.9 million


$2.3 million



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