Back to School Shopping Gets a Tax Break This Weekend

Under Virginia law, most purchases of tangible personal property are subject to both state and local sales and use taxes. The tax rate is generally 5% of the cost price except for food for home consumption which is 2.5%. However this weekend, August 3-5, 2012, many retailers will be observing a tax holiday in Virginia for purchases associated with back to school shopping.

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. Retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items to the Department of Taxation.

The practice of providing tax holidays in the Commonwealth began with legislation enacted by the 2007 Session of the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia now has three annual sales tax holidays.

A full list of eligible items and guidelines can be downloaded here.