Tax free weekend helps with the back-to-school blues

It’s time for the North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday weekend to begin. It will happen this Friday, August 5 and runs through Sunday August 7. It’s a good time to save some money on everything from clothes to computers.

The Mint Hill Times

Phillip via Flickr.com

There are rules for not paying sales tax. Certain items are exempt while others are not. Just because your child’s school requires a certain article doesn’t mean it will be exempt.

Clothing and shoes are exempt if they are $100 or less per item. School materials such as calculators or notebooks of $300 or less are exempt. Sports and recreational equipment less than $50 is tax free. Computers of $3,500 or less can be purchased and computer supplies of $250 or less will also be exempt from sales tax.

Fabric, thread, yarn, and other such items purchased to make clothing are taxable. Clothing accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, protective equipment, wallets, furniture, items used in a trade or business, and rentals are not covered by the exemption and will be taxed.

Participation in the sales tax holiday is required. Retailers can’t decide if they want to participate. Be wary of being charged sales tax and if you are, address it immediately with the retailer. The state won’t refund this money to you but the retailer should.

Discounts from retailers’ coupons are deducted from the price of an item to determine if the item is eligible for the exemption. If the discounted sales price of the dress is $94.50, the dress is exempt from sales tax. Coupons are just the opposite. Coupons are not deducted from the sales price before determining eligibility.

Rebates don’t affect the price of an item for the sales tax holiday. A computer priced at $4,000 with a $600 rebate is not exempt from sales tax because it is over the $3,500 limit.

The sales tax holiday began in New York in 1996. Since then the shoppers holiday has been adopted by thirteen states.

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