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Shop Safe and Smart on Sales Tax-Free Weekend

Tue, 08/02/2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Consumers may be thinking about back-to-school shopping as summer ends and the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) wants to make sure you get your money’s worth! Tax-free weekend is August 5-7, 2022 and is a great time to buy those school essentials while saving money. SCDCA encourages consumers to go into the shopping weekend with a plan involving these tips:

  • Be on-guard as you shop online. Shopping online is convenient but there are plenty of scammers surfing the web waiting for you to let your guard down. SCDCA released a Cybersecurity Basics flyer that helps consumers safely use digital devices and the internet.
  • Decide your payment method. When shopping in a store, pay with cash if you have trouble sticking to a budget. If you prefer shopping online, a credit card offers more consumer fraud protections than a debit card. Some credit card companies now offer virtual credit card numbers that are one-time use, adding another layer of security as you shop online.
  • Review financial statements. The more often you use your credit and debit cards while shopping, the more opportunities for a thief to intercept your information. Read your financial statements during the tax-free weekend and beyond, ensuring there are no errors or fraudulent charges. If there are, dispute them immediately.
  • Know the return policy. Review return and exchange policies so you know before you go. Don’t see it in store? Ask, especially if you are purchasing items that often have a restocking fee, like computers.
  • Make a list and stick to it. Review the Department of Revenue’s (SCDOR) website for a general list of items that are tax exempt as well as ones that are not. A list will help save time and avoid impulse buying and overspending. For more tips on shopping and overspending, read SCDCA’s Shopping spotlight.

During Sales Tax Free Weekend, a variety of purchases will not be charged the regular SC state 6% Sales Tax and any applicable local taxes. Purchases include clothing, accessories, shoes, school supplies, backpacks, and computers. If an item is eligible, it is tax-free whether purchased in-store or online.​​ Consumers with questions about sales tax-free weekend should visit the SCDOR website.