4:29pm

Thu August 2, 2012
Business and the Economy

Back-to-School Tax Holiday in Virginia

It might be a good weekend for parents in southeast Kentucky to go shopping.  The Commonwealth’s annual back-to-school tax holiday is this weekend, and shoppers can buy a large array of items without paying the state sales tax, even if they don’t go to school or have a student in their family.  And, many retailers will likely continue their tradition of absorbing the tax on other items.  

It’s Virginia’s most popular sales tax holiday and extends this year from August 3rd through the 5th.  Consumers can buy from a list of more than three dozen eligible supplies priced at up to $20 each—ranging from calculators and notebooks to dictionaries and textbooks.  Clothing and shoes with a price of $100 or less per item will also be sales tax-free.  The Tax Department’s Joel Davison says the same rule applies to Internet shopping.

“If you look at the list, and if you’re buying those things on-line, it’s covered, it’s tax-free, it’s the same rules.  It’s a product-based exemption, not a use-based,” said Davison.

And Davison says many retailers will also pay the tax themselves on ineligible items to entice consumers.

“Normally, it’s illegal for a retailer to say, ‘Come in and buy our wares. We’ll pay the tax for you.’  But during this holiday, you’re going to see some retailers put some things in their stores on sale—maybe computers.  You’re going to see other big-box stores maybe put everything in their store tax-free.  And if you’re buying a thousand-dollar item, that’s $50 savings right there.”

The list of all qualifying items can be found on the website:  tax.virginia.gov .