SC Department of Revenue
First weekend in August: South Carolina “Sales Tax Holiday”


Media Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Samantha Cheek
(803) 898-5281

July 13, 2012

First weekend in August: South Carolina “Sales Tax Holiday”

Columbia, SC --- Less than a month away in South Carolina is the annual Sales Tax Holiday – the state’s popular three-day sales and use tax break on traditional back-to-school purchases.

The 13th annual Sales Tax Holiday, which was implemented in 2000, will begin Friday, August 3 at 12:01 a.m. and tax-exempt purchases can be made through Sunday, August 5 at midnight. While providing taxpayers with an exemption on the 6% statewide sales tax as well as any applicable local taxes, the tax-free weekend also benefits in-state businesses by urging taxpayers to do their back-to-school shopping in South Carolina.

During this time, taxes will not be imposed on clothing, shoes, school supplies, book bags, computers, printers, bedspreads and linens, and more. Nonexempt items during the weekend include the sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, furniture, or items placed on layaway. Portable devices whose function is primarily used for telephone calls, listening or downloading music, watching videos, or reading books, are not exempt during the tax-free weekend. However, with the growing popularity of computer tablets, portable devices that have computing functions and allow users to access multiple software applications are considered computers and are therefore tax-exempt, provided they do not allow users to make telephone calls. More information on the exemption of computer tablets can be found at

The popularity of the tax-free weekend has made it the third busiest shopping period of the year, surpassed only by the weekends after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, as South Carolina shoppers save approximately $3 million during the tax-free weekend.

For more information about this year’s Sales Tax Holiday, including an example list of exempt and nonexempt items as well as a listing of frequently asked questions, visit the SC Department of Revenue website,, under the “What’s New” section.


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