Back-to-school sales tax holiday


Virginia’s annual Back to School Sales Tax Holiday will occur Aug. 1 to Aug. 3.  During the sales tax holiday period, consumers may purchase certain school supplies, clothing, and footwear exempt of the 5% Retail Sales and Use Tax.  The exemption applies to school supplies with a selling price of $20 or less each, as well as each article of clothing or footwear with a selling price of $100 or less each. 
There is no limit on the number of tax-exempt items a consumer may buy.  There is also no requirement that the items be purchased for school purposes.  Anyone who buys these items during the three-day sales tax holiday will not pay the sales tax. 

“School supply,” means an item that is commonly used by a student in a course of study.  For purposes of the sales tax holiday, the term includes, “school art supply,” “school instructional material,” and “school music supply.”

“Clothing” means any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body.  Clothing does not include sporting equipment or footwear designed primarily for athletic activity or protective use and not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear.  These items may not be purchased free of the tax.

A complete list of which items qualify for the 2008 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday can be found online at  This includes policy guidelines for the tax holiday, a list of frequently asked questions, an all-inclusive list of eligible school supplies, a representative list of eligible clothing, and a PowerPoint presentation.