Ten Tips for Tax Free Weekend Back to School Shopping in Virginia

tax free weekend, virginia, fredericksburg, vaThe Virginia Sales Tax Holiday or Tax Free Weekend is coming up this Friday, August 4th through Sunday, August 6th. During this time period, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star and WaterSense items without paying sales tax. This is a great time to shop in order to get the best deals on back-to-school items! Here are some tips to follow while you are out shopping this weekend:

1. School supply items need to be under $20.

Many more expensive school supplies do not qualify, like graphing calculators, musical instruments over $20 and more durable book bags over $20.

2. Clothing and footwear items need to be under $100.

3. School supply or clothing items can be new or used.

4. You cannot split up items normally sold as a unit so that they qualify for the tax exemption.

5. If items are “buy one, get one free” you cannot average the price of the items to make them eligible for the tax exemption.

For example, if calculators are buy one, get one free for $40, you can not say that each calculator is $20.

6. You can use a coupon to bring down the sales price.

For example, if a clothing item is $120 and you have a 20% off coupon from the retailer or manufacturer, you can use this coupon to reduce the price to $96 in order to qualify for the tax holiday. However, a gift certificate or gift card does not reduce the price in this manner. You also cannot use a rebate to bring down the price.

7. Shipping and handling charges are not a part of the base price of an item.

If you buy a dress online for $98 and there is a shipping and handling price of $5.99, the dress will still qualify for the tax exemption.

8. Some items do not qualify under the clothing tax-exemption.

Briefcases, cosmetics, materials used to make clothing, handbags, handkerchiefs, jewelry, sunglasses, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and hair items or accessories do not qualify.

9. Protective equipment for sports is not included in the tax-exemption.

Items like baseball gloves, ballet and tap shoes, shoulder pads, and mouth guards do not qualify for the tax exemption.

10. It is a great time to stock up on some other useful supplies.

Items that are considered “hurricane preparedness items” or Energy Star and Watersense items are also tax-free. Here is a complete list . Some everyday items that are included are:  batteries, cell phone batteries and chargers, duct tape, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, bottled water, and first aid kits.

While you are out, stop by the Stuff the Bus School Supplies Drive to volunteer and/or make a donation to help homeless and needy students who attend Spotsylvania County Schools. Tune in to Town Talk on News Talk WFVA 1230 Friday morning at 8:00 to learn more about this event.

Happy shopping, Virginia!


-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.
Owner | Parrish Learning Zone, LLC

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