South Carolina Tax Free Weekend


When is tax free weekend in South Carolina? Well, South Carolina’s sales tax holiday is always the first Friday in August and goes through the following Sunday.

In fact, South Carolina calls this event the annual 72-hour Sales Tax Holiday. During this time certain items are exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.

charleston south carolina sales tax weekend featured and hero image
Charleston, SC. Photo credit: Canva.

South Carolina Tax Free Weekend

So, for 2023, it’s August 4-6, 2023. Then, for 2024, the tax-free weekend is expected to be August 2-4, 2024.

Like so many states with tax free weekends or sales tax holidays, this one in South Carolina focuses on items you typically buy to send students back to school.

However, unlike those other states, South Carolina includes categories that would be specific for dorm shopping.

Finally, also unlike those other states, there doesn’t seem to be a price limit for the tax-exempt items.

What’s included in the SC tax free weekend?

There are four categories included in the South Carolina tax-free weekend. They are:

  • Bed and bath
  • School supplies
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Computers and technology

Now let me expand on which products in each of these categories will be tax exempt and what will still be taxable.

Tax-exempt bed and bath products

During the South Carolina tax-free weekend, new and used bed and bath products will be exempt from tax, including the following:

  • Bath mats and rugs
  • Bed skirts and dust ruffles
  • Bedspreads, duvets, and comforters
  • Blankets and throws
  • Mattress pads and toppers
  • Pillowcases and shams
  • Pillows (all types)
  • Sheets and sheet sets
  • Shower curtains and liners
  • Towels (all types and sizes)
  • Washcloths

That means shoppers will also find tax-free items for their home or dorm room.

Bed and bath products that are still taxable

The following items will still be taxed if you buy them during the South Carolina tax free weekend:

  • Bathroom accessories
  • Cookware
  • Furniture
  • Hardware and tools
  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Paper towels
  • Shower curtain hooks, rings, and rods
  • Sleeping bags
  • Stereo equipment
  • Table cloths, placemats, napkins and other table supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Wastebaskets
  • Window treatments

Tax-exempt school supplies

During the South Carolina sales tax holiday, you won’t pay tax on the following school supplies:

  • Art supplies
  • Binders and folders
  • Books
  • Bookbags
  • Calculators
  • Daily planners or organizers
  • Flash Drives
  • Glue, tape, staplers, staples
  • Headphones and earbuds
  • Highlighters and markers
  • Lunch boxes
  • Musical instruments
  • Notebooks and paper
  • Pencils, sharpeners, erasers
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • Uniforms (band, scouts, school, sports)

Taxable school supplies

If you purchase the following school supplies during the SC tax-free weekend, you can expect to pay tax:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Glasses
  • Hobby equipment, supplies, and toys
  • Office supplies
  • Paper products that are not school supplies (tissues, paper towels)
  • Any of the above items not used for school assignments

Tax-exempt clothing and accessories

South Carolina outlines six categories of clothing and accessories, used or new, that are exempt from sales tax during the tax-free weekend. Here they are.

Tax-free accessories

  • Belts and suspenders
  • Hair accessories
  • Hats and caps
  • Purses and handbags
  • Neckties and bow ties

Tax-exempt activewear

  • Exercise clothing
  • Athletic uniforms
  • Leotards and tights
  • Hunting and ski clothing
  • Swimwear

Everyday clothing and accessories that are tax free

  • Dresses and skirts
  • Leggings
  • Pants, jeans and shorts
  • Shirts and blouses
  • Sleepwear
  • Socks and underwear
  • Suits and blazers
  • Sweaters and sweatshirts

Tax-free footwear

South Carolina says all footwear is tax-exempt, including the following:

  • Cleats
  • Dance shoes
  • Rain boots
  • Orthopedic Shoes
  • Skates
  • Slippers

Outerwear that is tax-exempt

  • Coats (all types)
  • Earmuffs
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Rainwear(raincoats, umbrellas etc.)
  • Scarves
  • Vests

Specialty clothing and accessories that are tax free

  • Aprons
  • Bibs
  • Bridal gowns and veils
  • Costumes
  • Diapers
  • Formal wear (gowns, tuxedos etc.)
  • Graduation caps and gowns
  • Uniforms (band, scouts, school, sports)

Taxable clothing and accessories

Here are the clothing and accessory items that will still be taxable in South Carolina during this weekend holiday:

  • Backpacks not used for school
  • Briefcases
  • Change purses and wallets
  • Cosmetics
  • Glasses and sunglasses
  • Jewelry
  • Protective and safety masks and goggles (athletic, sport, or for work)
  • Safety equipment
  • Sports equipment (baseball mitts, helmets, life jackets and vests, mouth guards, pads, etc.)
  • Watches and bands

Computers and technology during SC tax free weekend

South Carolina says that new and used computers, computer accessories and other technology will be tax free. This includes:

  • Computers
  • Computer parts and accessories (i.e. monitors, keyboards and scanners) when sold as a package with a computer
  • Computer software and service contracts (sold with software)
  • Printers
  • Printer supplies, including replaceable ink cartridges

Taxable computers and technology

The following will be taxable during the tax free weekend:

  • Cameras
  • Cell phones and smartphones
  • eReaders
  • Music and video players
  • Replacement parts
  • Video game consoles

Shopping at Costco during a sales tax holiday

You may be wondering what happens if you shop at Costco during a sales tax holiday. Well, of course, if you’re shopping in person, then your purchase — if it qualifies for the state sales tax holiday — should be tax free.

However, what if you’re shopping online at Costco or using the Costco app during that same state sales tax holiday? Well, here’s what you need to know.

One, you have to be a Costco member to receive a tax-exempt purchase online.

Two, you won’t get that tax-free discount when you make the purchase online. However, you can ask for it after the fact.

Here’s how Costco describes the process:

“If your order is being shipped to a state with a tax holiday, please email your request to [email protected] with the following subject line: “Sales Tax Holiday Request.”

In the body of the email, we ask that you please include:

  • Your membership number
  • Your first and last name
  • The order number
  • The item submitted for consideration (please include the item number and product description)
  • The state in which the tax holiday occurred
  • Whether this purchase was for personal or business use

Once we get your email, we’ll be happy to issue a credit for tax on any qualifying purchases after the order has shipped. Note: only orders placed during the tax holiday qualify for a tax refund.”

Note that last question: with most state sales tax holidays, items purchased for personal use are the ones that qualify. Business purchases do not.

So, you know what to do.

Final thoughts

If you have any other questions about the South Carolina sales tax holiday, please visit the website of the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

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