Sales Tax Holiday for School Supplies and Clothing

As a classic television commercial once said, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” back to school time. This year the state of Virginia will make it a little easier to shop for back to school supplies with a tax holiday. The 2010 holiday will take place on August 6-8, 2010. During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.

The following lists have been provided by the state of Virginia to help determine what items fall into the tax exempt category (Fur coats and stoles, shawls and wraps – Really?).

What items are included under school supplies?

Virginia defines school supplies as items that are commonly used by a student in a course of study. The following is a list of items that are included in the term “school supplies” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if their sales price is $20 or less per item. The list is effective for the 2010 holiday and is all-inclusive.

  • Binder pockets
  • Binders
  • Blackboard Chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Clay and glazes
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Dictionaries and thesauruses
  • Dividers
  • Erasers (including dry erase marker erasers and dry erase marker cleaning solutions)
  • Folders; expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila
  • Glue, paste, and paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers and dry erase marker kits)
  • Musical instruments, musical instrument accessories, and replacement items for musical instruments
  • Notebooks
  • Paintbrushes for artwork
  • Paints (acrylic, tempera, and oil)
  • Paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Reference books
  • Reference maps and globes
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Sheet music
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Textbooks
  • Watercolors
  • Workbooks; and
  • Writing Tablets

What items are included under clothing?

Clothing means any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body. Clothing does not include sporting equipment or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear. The following is a list of items that are included in the term “clothing” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if their sales price is $100 or less per item. This list is not all-inclusive.

  • Aprons, household and shop
  • Athletic supporters
  • Baby bibs and clothes
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Bandanas
  • Bathing suits, swim trunks, cover-ups and bathing caps
  • Beach capes and coats
  • Belts and suspenders
  • Bibs
  • Boots
  • Choir and altar clothing
  • Clerical vestments
  • Coats, jackets, and windbreakers
  • Corsets and corset laces
  • Costumes (sold not rented)
  • Coveralls
  • Diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers
  • Dresses
  • Ear muffs
  • Footlets
  • Formal wear for men and women (sold, not rented)
  • Fur coats and stoles, shawls and wraps
  • Garters and garter belts
  • Girdles
  • Gloves and mittens for general use
  • Golf clothing, caps, dresses, shirts, skirts, pants
  • Gym suits and uniforms
  • Hats and caps
  • Hosiery
  • Insoles, inserts for shoes
  • Jeans
  • Jerseys (both athletic and non-athletic)
  • Lab coats
  • Legwarmers
  • Leotards and tights
  • Lingerie
  • Neckwear, including bow ties, neckties, and scarves
  • Nightgowns
  • Overshoes and rubber shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Pantyhose
  • Raincoats, rain hats, and ponchos
  • Robes
  • Rubber pants
  • Rubber thong/flip-flops
  • Sandals
  • Scarves
  • Shirts and blouses
  • Shoes and shoe laces
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Slacks
  • Slippers
  • Slips
  • Sneakers
  • Socks and stockings, including athletic socks
  • Steel toed shoes
  • Suits
  • Suspenders
  • Underwear
  • Uniforms, athletic and non-athletic
  • Vests
  • Wedding apparel, including veils (sold not rented)

This list is not all-inclusive. Other clothing items may be included in the sale tax holiday provided the item in question meets the definition of clothing as provided for in the sales tax holiday guidelines, and provided the item does not fall under the categories of clothing accessories, protective equipment or sport or recreational equipment, it may also qualify as clothing.


  1. Right Winger says:

    Garters and Garter Belts??? Wedding apparel??? Rubber Pants??? Corsets and Corset laces??? Beach Capes and Coats???

    What school are they going to??!!

    This list could use some updating.

  2. my two daughters,ages 10 and 12 made their first communions last May and had to wear the full required outfits. i did not pay sales tax on their communion dresses, veils, gloves, lace socks and shoes. i did run into a snag tho when i bought the required cloth diapers and rubber pants they had to wear under the dresses. i mentioned to the cashier that my two daughters are first communion and that the diapers and rubber pants are required under their dresses. after i paid for them i looked at my receipt and saw i was charged sales tax on them. i asked her why i got charged sales tax on them and she said that they aren’t a necessity like they are for a baby. i told her that they are required wearing under the communion dresses and that it is a religious ceremony. she called the manager and i explained to him the situation and he was nice and gave me the sales tax back. next time i keep my mouth shut!

  3. I’ll one up you on this one – diapers and rubber pants for 9 and 11 year olds?

    • Naked Truth says:

      There are other types of schools than County. Also there are schools for children with special needs. How about being more sensitive.

  4. to right winger-we are catholic and at our parish the communion dress is considered an extension of the baptism gown or dress the girls were baptized in as babies.the diapers and rubberpants are required to symbolize the girls purity of their baptisms for first holy communion.our parish is only one of a small number that has this requirement.some other parishes it is a tradition for the girls to wear them.white tights are worn over the diaper and rubber pants at some parishes just like they were with the baptism dress.i know of a parish in iowa that requires the girls to wear a bonnet instead of a veil with their communion dresses and a diaper and rubber pants under the dress.i bet if you asked around you would come up with people who have heard of this.