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This weekend marks a special holiday for folks in South Carolina…  it’s a sales tax holiday, when a whole bunch of things are absolutely tax-free!

You have a chance to save some serious dough if you shop this weekend.  This is especially true if you have school-age children.  The tax-free holiday’s happening across the entire state.

It’s the 19th annual sales tax tax-free holiday, and it promises to be a busy one.  Sources say back-to-school shopping and the tax-free weekend is the second best shopping weekend. (Not surprisingly, Black Friday is first).

This weekend is your chance to save a chunk of change on items you generally purchase this time of year.


Sales tax by the numbers… and how the savings really add up 


You’ll save the state sales tax (which, in South Carolina, is 6%), as well as local taxes.  Here in Charleston County, that’s an additional 3%.  So by shopping this weekend, you can save a whopping 9%.

That really adds up, when you consider what the average family with school-age children spends annually on back-to-school supplies.

For those with kids ages K-12, the average is $685.  For college-aged kids, it’s $942.  The National Retail Federation estimates the total spent this year will be a cool $82.8 billion nationwide.  That’s a whole lotta pencils and glue sticks!

The whole list of what qualifies and what doesn’t is HUGE, and I’ll include it below.  Basically, in a nutshell, you won’t have to pay sales tax on the following items: school supplies, computers, printers, computer software, calculators, book bags, clothes (!), shoes, bedspreads and linens, bath mats, and shower curtains.

However, you will still have to pay tax on cosmetics, eyewear, furniture, jewelry, backpacks (for hiking/camping – but book bags are okay), mattresses, wallets and watches.

It’s a great time to shop!


It’s worth noting that you don’t have to prove you are a student or have one to get the discount.  So this weekend is a great time to go shopping for computers, clothes and shoes, whatever your educational status and age.  There are plenty of great shopping options near the Isle of Palms.  Just head over the IOP Connector and hit Towne Centre in Mount Pleasant for some great options.

The holiday runs from this Friday, August 3rd through Sunday August 5th at midnight.

Read more on the story from the Post & Courier.

So check out the full list below.  And remember, when you are looking for a great beach house, be sure to call EP.  We have the very best in Isle of Palms luxury rentals.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger


Exempt aka tax-free items (A-C) include:


Exemptions regarding computers:


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, cell phone or a smartphone, whether or not purchased in conjunction with a computer processing unit (CPU), is not exempt during the sales tax holiday.

Exempt, tax-free items (D-O):


Exempt, tax-free items (P-R):


Exempt, tax-free items (S-Z):



Nonexempt aka taxable items (A-K) include:


Nonexempt items (M-Z):