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2013 North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday

Back-to-School Savings Through North Carolina's Sales Tax Holiday

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North Carolina has two sales tax holidays -- one for back-to-school shoppers in August and another for qualifying Energy Star certified appliances on the first Friday through Sunday in November. Dollar limits are per item.

Neighboring states Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia also have sales tax holidays for back-to-school shopping.

North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday Dates

August 2-4, 2013

Clothing Exempt from North Carolina Sales Tax

Each item of clothing must be priced $100 or less. Eligible items include:
  • Bandannas
  • Bathing Suits
  • Belts and Suspenders
  • Coats and Jackets
  • Costumes (not masks sold separately)
  • Diapers (adult and baby, cloth and disposable)
  • Ear Muffs
  • Gloves and Mittens (general use)
  • Formal Wear (not rented)
  • Hats
  • Hosiery
  • Insoles
  • Jogging Suits
  • Neckwear
  • Rain Wear
  • Shoe Laces
  • Uniforms

See a complete list.

Footwear Exempt from North Carolina Sales Tax

Footwear $100 and under is exempt, including:
  • Boots
  • Overshoes
  • Sandals
  • Slippers
  • Sneakers
  • Steel-Toed Shoes

School Supplies Exempt from Sales Tax

Each product must be priced at $100 or less. These are the only items free from sales tax:
  • Binders
  • Blackboard Chalk
  • Book Bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane Tape
  • Clay and Glazes
  • Compasses
  • Composition Books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders (expandable, manila, pocket and plastic)
  • Glue, Paste and Paste Sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index Cards and Index Card Boxes
  • Legal Pads
  • Lunch Boxes
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • Paintbrushes for Artwork
  • Paints (acrylic, oil and tempera)
  • Paper (copy paper, colored, construction paper, graph, loose-leaf notebook paper, manila, poster board, tracing)
  • Pencil Boxes
  • Pencils and Sharpeners
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Sketch and Drawing Pads
  • Watercolors
  • Writing Tablets

School Instructional Materials Exempt from Sales Tax

To qualify for the sales tax holiday, each item must be used as a reference tool to learn the school subject. The price must be $300 or less for:
  • Reference Books
  • Reference Maps and Globes
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks

Sport or Recreational Equipment Exempt from Sales Tax

Sports and recreational equipment $50 and under per item is exempt, including the following:
  • Ballet Slippers
  • Cleats or Other Spiked Athletic Shoes
  • Gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, golf, hockey and other sports)
  • Goggles
  • Hand and Elbow Guards
  • Helmets (bicycle, skating, baseball and other sports
  • Life Preservers and Vests
  • Mouth Guards
  • Roller and Ice Skates
  • Shin Guards
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Ski Boots
  • Waders, Wetsuits and Fins

Computers Exempt from Sales Tax

Computers priced $3,500 or less qualify. The state of North Carolina defines a computer as a central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers all bundled together. Purchasing a monitor, keyboard, mouse or speakers separately is taxable. All peripherals, such as scanners and external hard drives are not exempt from sales tax.

Computer Equipment Exempt from Sales Tax

Each item must be $250 or less in the following categories:
  • Computer printers
  • Computer Storage Media (recordable CDs and DVDs)
  • Handheld electronic schedulers (not part of a cell phone)
  • Personal digital assistants (not part of a cell phone)
  • Printer Supplies for Computers (paper and ink)

Taxable Items

Clothing accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, protective equipment, furniture and business items are types of items that are not eligible for the sales tax holiday.
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