Back-to-school sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Back-to-school sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7

Press release from Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

RICHMOND, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Virginia's sixth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday will take place Aug. 5-7.  During this three-day period, many school supplies and clothing items will be exempt from the state and local sales tax, easing the financial burden of families as they prepare to send their children back to school.

As in past years, a variety of school supplies, including notebooks, pens, binders, calculators, paints and crayons, will be tax-free as long as each item costs $20 or less.  Most clothing items and footwear will also be exempt from the 5 percent sales tax as long as they are priced at $100 or less each.  There is no limit on the number of items you can purchase tax-free as long as each item qualifies.  Lists of eligible items, along with guidelines and frequently asked questions for both consumers and retailers, are posted on the Department of Taxation website at www.tax.virginia.gov.

The sales tax holiday is available to anyone – not just those preparing for school – and all Virginia retailers who sell the exempt products must participate.  During the 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 exempt under the guidelines.

"When the General Assembly unanimously approved this sales tax holiday in 2006, it did so with the intent of giving families preparing for school a needed tax break," said Governor McDonnell.  "Returning to class is an exciting time for students, but it can also be a stressful time for their parents.  Saving 5 percent on their purchases is not a great deal, but every bit helps in this struggling economy.  I urge all Virginians to go out and save money, while supporting our retail community."

The 2011 holiday is expected to save Virginians an estimated $4.3 million in sales tax this year.  Virginia also holds sales tax holidays for Energy Star- and WaterSense-qualified products in October and for hurricane preparedness in May.

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