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Tax Free Weekend in North Carolina

Save Big During NC Tax Free Weekend, August 5-7, 2011

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Tax Free Weekend in North Carolina will begin just after midnight (12:01 a.m.) on Friday, August 5, 2011 and will continue through midnight on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Expect the stores to be extra crowded and allow for long wait times, especially at computer stores like Apple and Best Buy. However, if you are willing to put up with the people and the wait times, this may be an opportunity for significant savings, especially for big ticket items like computers.

A few quick tips before I send you on your way. First, the state sales and use tax in North Carolina is 4.75 percent. You may be able to find larger discounts that will save you more at different times of the year. So don't buy stuff you weren't going to buy anyway. Second, if you are planning on buying a computer over the weekend, make sure you read the details carefully as it may change your decision as to what type of computer or configuration that you buy. So without further ado, here is a list of items you can buy where you will not have to pay state sales tax over the weekend.

  • Clothing with a sales price of $100 or less per item.
  • Sport or recreational equipment with a sales price of $50 or less per item.
  • Computers, including tablet computers and netbooks, with a sales price of $3,500 or less per item. (Note that e-readers like Kindles do not qualify under this exemption but tablet computers, like iPads, do.
  • Computer supplies with a sales price of $250 or less per item.
  • School supplies with a sales price of $100 or less per item.
  • School instructional materials with a sales price of $300 or less per item.

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 subject to the applicable tax.

Below is more detailed information and examples of what is exempt from tax in each category below. This information comes directly from the NCDOR website.

Clothing with a sales price of one hundred dollars ($100.00) or less per item.
“Clothing” is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use including coats, jackets, hats, hosiery, scarves, and shoes. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if the sales price of the item is $100 or less. This list is not all-inclusive. Aprons, household and shop Athletic supporters Baby receiving blankets Bandannas Bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats Belts and suspenders Boots; overshoes Coats, jackets, capes, and wraps Costumes (does not include costume masks sold separately) Diapers (children and adults, including disposables) Earmuffs; gloves and mittens for general use; hats and caps; hosiery; scarves Formal wear (does not include rentals) Garters and garter belts; girdles; leotards and tights; panty hose; socks; stockings and footlets; underwear Insoles for shoes Jogging suits Lab coats Neckties Rainwear Rubber pants Sandals; shoes and shoelaces; slippers; sneakers; steel-toed shoes Uniforms (athletic and nonathletic uniforms when purchased for nonbusiness use) Wedding apparel (does not include rentals)

Sport or recreational equipment with a sales price of fifty dollars ($50.00) or less per item.
“Sport or recreational equipment” is defined as items designed for human use and worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for general use. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $50 or less. This list is not all-inclusive. Ballet and tap shoes Cleated or spiked athletic shoes Gloves (baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, golf, 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

3. Computers, including tablet computers and netbooks, with a sales price of three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) or less per item.
A “computer” is an electronic device that accepts information in digital or similar form and manipulates it for a result based on a sequence of instructions. For purposes of the exemption during the sales tax holiday, a computer includes a central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers since these items are deemed to be necessary in the operation of the computer. The separate sale of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers is subject to the applicable tax when the item is not sold in conjunction with a central processing unit. Peripherals are not considered part of a computer and are subject to the applicable tax notwithstanding that they may be sold with the computer as a package. Peripherals must be separately stated on the invoice and the appropriate tax charged on those items. An eReader, is not a computer and is, therefore, taxable.

Computer supplies with a sales price of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) or less per item.
A “computer supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study in which a computer is used. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $250 or less. This list is all-inclusive. Computer storage media, including diskettes and compact disks Handheld electronic schedulers, except devices that are cellular phones Personal digital assistants, except devices that are cellular phones Computer printers Printer supplies for computers, including printer paper and printer ink

School supplies with a sales price of one hundred dollars ($100.00) or less per item.

A “school supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study; the term includes school art supplies and school instructional materials. The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $100 or less. This list is all-inclusive. Binders Blackboard chalk Book bags Calculators Cellophane tape Clay and glazes Compasses Composition books Crayons Erasers Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila) Glue, paste, and paste sticks Highlighters Index card boxes Index cards Legal pads Lunch boxes Markers Notebooks Paintbrushes for artwork Paints (acrylic, tempora, and oil) Paper (loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper) Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes Pencil sharpeners Pencils Pens Protractors Rulers Scissors Sketch and drawing pads Watercolors Writing tablets

School instructional materials with a sales price of three hundred dollars ($300.00) or less per item.
“School instructional material” is written material commonly used by a student in a course of study as a reference and to learn the subject being taught. The term is mutually exclusive of the terms “school supply” and “computer supply.” The items listed below are included in the term and are therefore exempt from tax during the holiday period if the sales price of the item is $300 or less per item. (Prior to the 2008 holiday, these items were categorized as “school supplies” and were exempt during the holiday period if the sales price of the item was $100 or less per item.) This list is all-inclusive. Reference books Reference maps and globes Textbooks Workbooks

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