April 22, 2024

Virginia residents will be able to shop for school supplies, clothing, hurricane/emergency preparedness items and more during a three-day Sales Tax Holiday that kicks off at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7.

During the Sales Tax Holiday, qualifying items can be purchased without sales tax in stores and by online shopping. Sales tax in Virginia ranges between 5.3 percent and 7 percent; that includes the state’s 4.3 percent state sales tax, the 1 percent local option tax, and other applicable regional taxes. In Warren County, the rate is 5.3 percent.  In the surrounding counties of Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, and Shenandoah the rate is also 5.3 percent. Clarke and Fauquier have rates of 5.3 percent, but some localities or governments within those counties collect an additional tax, making sales tax the state maximum of 7 percent.

The Sales Tax Holiday has fallen on the first Friday of August through the following Sunday since 2016.  Prior to that, Sales Tax Holidays occurred in May, August and October.  Since the General Assembly last extended the Sales Tax Holiday through July 1, 2023, it could disappear altogether after this weekend.  Legislative action would be required to hold the tax holiday weekend next year and beyond.

What can I buy?

Qualifying items include school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness products, Energy Star products and WaterSense products.

Eligible school supplies are $20 or less per item and include things such as backpacks, filler paper,  notebooks, textbooks, pencils, pens, hand sanitizer, lunch boxes and tissues. Items such as briefcases, handbags, wallets, jewelry, makeup, and umbrellas boxes, are not exempt from sales tax. Similarly, protective equipment such as hard hats, helmets, breathing masks and life preservers are also not exempt from sales tax.

Hurricane and emergency preparedness items qualifying for the Sales Tax Holiday include portable generators and generator power cords, inverters and cables, (priced at $1,000 or less each), gas-powered chainsaws ($350 or less each,) and other specified items $60 and less each, such as chain saw oil and lubricants, carrying cases, safety apparel and repair parts.

For those looking to stock up for emergencies or general household use, items such as First-Aid kits, two-way radios, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, bottled water, cell phone chargers will all be sales tax-free.

Energy Star or WaterSense products qualifying for sales tax exemption must be $2,500 or less per item and be for noncommercial, personal use.

The Virginia Department of Taxation has a full list of items that qualify for the tax-free holiday.

West Virginia’s Sales Tax Holiday is slated to begin at midnight on Friday, August 5, and will continue through Monday, August 8 at 11:59 p.m.

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