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Back-to-school sales tax holiday begins Friday

Virginia’s back-to-school sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 7, and continues through Sunday, August 9.

During this three-day period, many school supplies costing $20 or less each, and clothing items and footwear costing $100 or less each, will be exempt from Virginia’s 5% sales tax. This includes items such as pencils, pens, binders, paints, musical instruments and calculators, as well as pants, shirts, formal wear, shoes, flip-flops, and even uniforms.

Lists of exempt items, along with guidelines for the sales tax holiday and a set of frequently-asked questions, are available on the Tax Department’s Sales Tax Holiday Information Center at

This sales tax holiday is for all taxpayers in Virginia, not just for those with children heading back to school, so now is a good time to stock up on office supplies or clothing for adults as well.

There is no limit on the number of items one can buy as long as each one qualifies under the holiday’s guidelines.

During this sales tax holiday, retailers may also choose to save taxpayers even more by opting to pay the sales tax themselves on items that are not eligible for exemption.

“The citizens of the Commonwealth are savvy, and they know that the August sales tax holiday is a great way to put a little more back in the family budget,” said Virginia Tax Commissioner Janie Bowen.  “This has been a popular sales tax holiday every year since it was implemented, and I have no doubt even more thrifty families will be out there this year taking advantage of this opportunity to stretch their dollars a little further.”

It is estimated that Virginia taxpayers will save $4 million in sales tax this year.

posted 08.04.2009

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