What you can and can't buy tax-free on the tax holiday

Wedding gowns! Hunting vests! Beach capes! But no scanners or e-books

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

It's that magical time of year again, when the S.C. Department of Revenue baffles and amuses us all with the list of items that will be tax-exempt purchases during the annual Sales Tax Holiday.

The tax holiday, which will take place Fri. Aug. 2 through Sun. Aug. 4, was originally established by the state legislature to help families buy back-to-school supplies, but it takes some imagination to figure out why some items make the list and others don't. The Department of Revenue has released a full list here.


Some of the items on the tax-exempt list are no-brainers: pens, pencils, binders, paper, dictionaries, bookbags, calculators, and most clothing items. But a few seemingly logical back-to-school items are specifically mentioned as not tax-exempt, including e-books and smartphones. Computer monitors, keyboards, and scanners are only tax-exempt if you buy them in a package with a computer; sold individually, they are taxable. College students will also pay full tax for some common dorm-room purchases including cookware, clocks, wastebaskets, refrigerators, toiletries, and bicycles.

Meanwhile, here are some of the other items that you will be able to buy sans tax on this merry holiday:

• Adult diapers

• Antique clothing

• Beach capes

• Ski boots

• Fishing boots

• Bridal gowns and veils (must be sold; rentals are taxable)

• Corsets and corset laces

• Costumes (must be sold; rentals are taxable)

• Hunting vests

• Ice skates and in-line skates

• Riding pants

• Shoulder pads for dresses and jackets, but not for athletic protective pads

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

If you're a multinational corporation with billions of dollars in profits, every weekend is tax-free weekend!

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Posted by mat catastrophe on July 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Why would a smartphone be a logical back to school item?

report 1 of 2 people like this.   
Posted by Ron Liberte on July 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Are we expected to take our on-line courses dressed as a clown one day, in a bridal gown the next, and in hunting or riding gear the next? All while wearing adult diapers so that we don't have to take bathroom breaks? And what is a "beach cape," anyway?

report 4 of 5 people like this.   
Posted by cbedenbaugh on July 17, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Earmuffs! Galoshes!



report 2 of 3 people like this.   
Posted by Pronghorn on July 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Personal Digital Assistants that are not part of a cell phone are on this list.

Can you even buy those anymore? Do they even make them?

report 1 of 1 people like this.   
Posted by mat catastrophe on July 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM
Showing 1-5 of 5

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