The annual North Carolina sales tax holiday starts this Friday, and runs through Sunday. The “tax-free weekend” lets shoppers save money on certain purchases — like clothes, school supplies and computers.
“I hope everyone takes advantage of the savings this weekend,” said Richmond County Chamber of Commerce President Emily Tucker. “I also hope everyone makes the effort to shop locally, and buy from retailers who support this community. This is a great way to save and keep your dollars in the county.”
According to the NC Department of Revenue, tax exempt items include clothing, shoes and school supplies valued at $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment of $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item. Tablet computers and netbooks of $3,500 or less per item qualify, but eReaders do not.
“We were very busy during last year’s tax-free weekend,” said Belinda Wiggins, sales associate at The Golden Rule in Hamlet, which is one location shoppers can find uniforms for each school in the county.
Discounts from retailers’ coupons are deducted from the price of an item before determining if the item is eligible for the sales tax exemption. For example, if a customer buys a dress priced at $105 and uses a retailer’s coupon for a 10 percent discount the discounted sales price of the dress is $94.50 ($105.00 - $10.50 = $94.50) and the dress is exempt from sales tax if purchased during the holiday. Manufacturers’ coupons are treated just the opposite way and are not deducted from the sales price before determining an item’s eligibility for the sales tax exemption.
Rebates do not affect the sales price of an item for the sales tax holiday. For example, a computer priced at $4,000 with a $600 rebate is not exempt from sales taxes. The amount of the rebate is not deducted from the sales price of the computer before determining if the computer is eligible for the sales tax exemption.
Retailers may not charge sales tax on exempt items sold during the holiday and tell shoppers to request a refund from the Department of Revenue. In cases where the sales tax is charged on purchases that should be exempt, a customer’s only option to obtain a refund is from the retailer.
The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Participation in the sales tax holiday is required; retailers cannot opt out.
Items are not necessarily exempt from sales tax just because they are required by a child’s school or sports team. Visit NCDOR’s website at http://dornc.com/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html for a complete list of items that qualify or call NCDOR’s Taxpayer Assistance Division at 1-877-252-3052 with questions.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.