According to the Department of Revenue, retailers in Columbia and those in other cities or counties that have opted out of the holiday must fill out a sales tax return form that separates state-tax-exempt items exempt from regular items sold at the full rate. The tax holiday does not apply to retailers that have less than two percent of items available that would be tax-exempt, but the store must give a sales tax refund on exempted items if a shopper asks for one. Stores that don’t sell tax-exempt items can continue using the normal tax-filing method. Some retailers in town are preparing additional sales and services for the upcoming holiday. According to a press release, Walmart will have “hundreds” of back-to-school items available for online grocery and same-day pickup. Sales at the store will range from items including school uniforms, backpacks, bedding sets and Google Chromebooks. In addition, the store will be offering in-store helpers to make back-to-school shopping easier and have dedicated an entire section of their website to allowing customers to search and shop from their specific school supply lists. “It’s always been our job to save our customers money and we aren’t changing,” Scott Bayles, vice president of stationery at Walmart U.S., said in a news release. Retailers can expect to receive an influx of business this weekend, as well as for the rest of the summer. According to an annual survey for the National Retail Federation, total spending for both school and college this year should reach $83.6 billion, a little more than 10 percent increase from the $75.8 billion that came in last year.
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