- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:21
- Published on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 11:17
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Back-to-School sales tax holiday for supplies, clothing and shoes
It’s the end of July, and while there’s still a month before school starts, it’s already time to plan to save money during Virginia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. Aug. 1-3 is this year’s state sales tax holiday for numerous items, including school supplies.
During this three-day period, purchases of certain school supplies, clothing and footwear will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax.
Each eligible school supply item must be priced at $20 or less, and each eligible article of clothing and footwear must be priced at $100 or less.
For details, go to the state site online: www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=SchoolSuppliesAndClothingHoliday.
Under Virginia law, most purchases are subject to both state and local sales and use taxes. The tax rate is generally 5.3 percent of the cost price, with the rate on sales of food for home consumption is 2.5 percent.
A sales tax holiday is a temporary period during which purchases of certain items are exempt from the sales and use taxes. Following legislation enacted by the 2007 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia has three annual sales tax holidays.
From Friday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 3, consumers can save 5.3-percent sales tax on clothing, footwear and school-related items. The sales tax exemption is available to everyone.
It’s the weekend to hit the stores and save sales tax on a wide range of clothing, footwear and school-related items, whether intended for school use or not.
Items exempt from sales tax during the holiday include most articles of clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less each, and school and some office and art supplies that cost $20 or less per item.
There is no limit to the number of items you can purchase without paying the sales tax, provided each item meets the holiday restrictions.
CHECK LISTS ONLINE
A list of qualifying items, guidelines for the holiday, and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Virginia Department of Taxation’s website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=STHoliday
During the tax holidays, retailers also have the option to elect to pay the sales tax themselves on any non-qualifying items that they want to offer tax-free to customers.
That can mean that great deals can be found on numerous other items not included on the list for the tax holiday.
OPEN TO ANYONE
You don’t need school-age children to save sales tax on Aug. 1-3. Simply buy school supplies and clothing during Virginia’s sales tax holiday. During the three-day event, a wide array of items will be exempt from the 5.3-percent state and local retail sales tax.
The sales tax is waived on clothing and footwear items like jeans, shorts, dresses, raincoats, hats, sandals and sneakers priced at $100 or less each.
As long as each item qualifies, there is no limit on the quantity you can buy tax-free.
Purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.
Every retailer selling such items must participate in the sales tax holiday.
In addition, retailers may also choose to absorb the tax on other items during the holiday period, but they are responsible for paying the tax on those items to the Department of Taxation.
That means that in addition to the exempt items, retailers may also choose to pay the sales tax themselves on any nonexempt items they sell during the Virginia Sales Tax holiday this weekend and then pass the savings on to customers.
All shoppers will avoid the sales tax when buying exempt items in Virginia during the tax holiday.
The sales tax holiday is scheduled annually on the first Friday-Saturday-Sunday period in August.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES EXEMPT FROM TAX
Included as part of the state’s guidelines are an all-inclusive list of school supplies eligible for the sales-tax exemption and a representative list of clothing eligible for the exemption.
The state has defined “School supply,” as 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.”
However, the term does NOT include computers or “school computer supplies”, and such items may not be purchased exempt of the tax.
The following is an all-inclusive list of items that are included in the term “school supply” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period, provided their sales price is $20 or less per item.
Only the following items are exempt as school supplies: Binders; blackboard chalk; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; clay & glazes; compasses; composition books; crayons; dictionaries & thesauruses; erasers; folders: expandable, pocket, plastic & manila; glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards & index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers; musical instruments, musical instrument accessories, & replacement items for musical instruments; notebooks; paintbrushes for artwork; paints (acrylic, tempera, and oil); paper: loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board & construction paper; pencil boxes & other school supply boxes; pencil sharpeners; pencils; pens; protractors; reference books; reference maps & globes; rulers; scissors; sheet music; sketch & drawing pads; textbooks; watercolors; workbooks; and, writing tablets.
CLOTHING & SHOES EXEMPT FROM TAX
“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. Those items may NOT be purchased free of the tax.
The list of exempt items below is not all-inclusive. Other items meeting the definition of clothing may be purchased exempt of the tax.
The following is an alphabetical list of items that are included in the term “clothing” and are therefore exempt from tax during the sales tax holiday period if their sales price is $100 or less per item.
Aprons, household and shop; athletic supporters; baby bibs & clothes; baby receiving blankets; bandanas; bathing suits, swim trunks, cover-ups & bathing caps; beach capes & coats; belts & suspenders; bibs; boots; choir & altar clothing; clerical vestments; coats, jackets & windbreakers; corsets & corset laces; costumes (sold not rented); coveralls; diapers, children & adult, including disposable diapers; dresses; ear muffs; footlets; formal wear for men & women (sold, not rented); fur coats & stoles, shawls & wraps; garters & garter belts; girdles; gloves & mittens for general use; gym suits & uniforms; hats & caps; hosiery; insoles, inserts for shoes; jeans; jerseys (both athletic and non-athletic); lab coats; legwarmers; leotards & tights; lingerie; neckwear, including bow ties, neckties & scarves; nightgowns; overshoes & rubber shoes; pajamas; pantyhose; raincoats, rain hats & ponchos; robes; rubber pants; rubber thong/flip-flops; sandals; scarves; shirts & blouses; shoes & shoe laces; shorts; skirts; slacks; slippers; slips; sneakers; socks & stockings, including athletic socks; steel toed shoes; suits; suspenders; underwear; uniforms, athletic & non-athletic; vests; wedding apparel, including veils (sold not rented).
NOT COMPUTER SUPPLIES
“School computer supply” is an item commonly used by a student in a course of study in which a computer is used. For purposes of the sales tax holiday, the term “school computer supply” is NOT included under the term, “school supply.”
Any school computer supply is ineligible for exemption during the sales tax holiday.
The following is a list of examples that constitute ineligible school computer supplies on which sales tax must be paid: Computer storage media; diskettes; compact disks, handheld electronic schedulers, personal digital assistants, printers for computers; and printer supplies for computers; printer paper, printer ink.
NOT EXEMPT ITEMS
There are lists of items that are NOT exempt from sales tax during the holiday, specifically clothing accessory items that are incidental items worn on the person or in conjunction with “clothing,” as defined by the state.
Items NOT exempt from sales tax, with examples noted below:
Clothing accessory items, briefcases, cosmetics, fabric, thread, and yarn used to make clothing, hair notions, including, but not limited to, barrettes, hair bows, and hair nets, handbags, handkerchiefs, jewelry, non-prescription sun glasses, umbrellas, wallets, watches, wigs and hair pieces.
“Protective equipment” means items that are intended for human wear and designed to protect the wearer against injury or disease or against damage or injury to other persons or property but are not suitable for general use.
“Protective equipment” is NOT included within the definition of “clothing,” and does NOT qualify for exemption during the sales tax holiday.
Likewise “Sport or recreational equipment” means items designed for human use and worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity that are not suitable for general use.
“Sport or recreational equipment” is NOT included within the definition of “clothing,” and does not qualify for the sales tax holiday.
Sales tax holiday is annually the first Friday & Saturday & Sunday full weekend in August.