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Tax free weekend in full swing

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As kids and parents alike prepare for going back to school, South Carolina offers a reprieve in some of the preparations. The Sales Tax Holiday, always the first weekend in August, is well underway. While the sales tax exemptions offered try to cater to parents of school-aged children, anyone can take advantage of the tax free savings.

According to the South Carolina Department of Revenue, there is no dollar limit on your tax free purchases. While some states like Texas cap your total spending at a particular store at $100, South Carolina mandates no such limit. The freer spending rules will especially benefit those with higher dollar purchases, like parents trying to outfit a dorm room with bedding and electronics.

As for what's included in the sales tax exemptions, find a full list here. But most common items, like clothing, backpacks, handbags, footwear, school supplies, computers, bedding and bath linens are included; even if you're not shopping for back to school, you can still save on any of the listed items. Items not included are jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, wallets, furniture, or items for rental or on layaway.

Most mall anchors and shopping center staples like Macy's, Belk and Bed Bath & Beyond will be bursting with shoppers this weekend, so go early to avoid crowds. Many are also offering additional savings to lure shoppers, like an extra 20% off at Macy's, $10 off $50 at Belk, and JC Penney is offering up to 70% off at their Back to School sale.

But even specialty boutiques are getting in on the action with sales for their customers as well. Downtown shop Plaza Suite, known for their flirty dresses by Amanda Uprichard, comfy basics by Michael Stars and cult favorite jeans by Beija-Flor, is also offering 20% off store-wide, including sale. Anything in the store is exempt from tax this weekend! Neighboring boutique Ecy~Shoes n' Chic is also offering additional savings. On top of tax free savings, they're also discounting up to 75% off of shoes and 30% off of jewelry. Check out the discounts at other local boutiques like Hampden Clothing, Style by Becca and Coplon's, where you're guaranteed to save at least 6% this weekend!

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