North Carolina's tax-free weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday (Aug. 6) and runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 8).
Qualifying purchases made during that time will be exempt from the 5.75 percent state sales tax and the additional county tax, which ranges from 2 percent to 2.5 percent, depending on the county.
That means you can start shopping at 24-hour stores such as Walmart early Friday. Or, you can shop till the very last minute on Sunday. Though that may seem like something for night owls only, going early or late will help you avoid crowds.
Some stores and malls are extending their hours. Check with your favorite store or see the ads in this week's paper.
Among the qualifying items:
- Clothing, shoes, costumes, diapers and uniforms that cost $100 or less per item.
- Sporting or recreational equipment such as ballet or tap shoes, gloves, goggles, helmets and ski boots that are $50 or less per item.
- Computers for $3,500 or less (keyboards, monitors and computer mice are not exempt unless they are purchased as part of a CPU).
- Computer supplies such as printers, personal digital assistants, printer paper and ink $250 or less per item.
- School supplies including calculators, binders, markers and rulers at $100 or less per item.