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Shoppers look for school supplies at Kmart in Boone during the 2012 tax-free weekend. File photo.

Originally published: 2013-07-29 10:46:48
Last modified: 2013-07-29 10:47:32

Sales tax holiday returns Friday

by Staff Reports

The annual North Carolina sales tax holiday begins Friday -- and it could be the state's last.

During the holiday, shoppers can purchase certain items such as clothing, school supplies and computers tax-free.

The event begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Retailers must participate in the holiday and cannot opt-out.

The event exempts from sales tax: clothing, shoes and school supplies of $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 costing $3,500 or less qualify, and eReaders also count as computers if they have enhanced computing functions such as Internet access, email and the ability to download and run applications. Basic eReaders are subject to taxes during the holiday.

Visit for a complete list of items that qualify. Shoppers also may call the N.C. Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Assistance Division at 1-877-252-3052 with any questions.

The first sales tax holiday was held in August 2002, and this year may be the last. Gov. Pat McCrory has signed tax reform legislation that eliminates the tax-free holiday beginning in 2014.

The state lost an estimated $13.6 million in revenue during last year's sales tax holiday, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue.