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Everything you need to know about tax-free weekend

Items such as diapers, school supplies, clothing will be exempt

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It is almost time to go back to school, and that means tax-free weekend is here.

Tax-free weekend starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Items such as school supplies, clothing, emergency materials and diapers are tax-exempt during those three days.

Many back to school sales will be happening as well, so you can grab extra savings on your back to school essentials. Even if you can't make it to stores during the weekend, online orders are also tax exempt if they meet the necessary price and item requirements.

Here are the general rules for tax-free weekend:

  • Qualified school supplies - $20 or less per item
  • Qualified clothing and footwear - $100 or less per item
  • Portable generators - $1,000 or less per item
  • Gas-powered chainsaws - $350 or less per item
  • Chainsaw accessories - $60 or less per item
  • Other specified hurricane preparedness items - $60 or less per item 
  • Qualifying Energy Star™ or WaterSense™ products purchased for noncommercial home or personal use - $2,500 or less per item

Here are specific items that are eligible for tax exemption:

School supplies that are eligible for tax exemption ($20 or less per item):

  • Binder pockets
  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags, messenger bags and totes
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Clay and glazes
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Computer storage media, diskettes, recordable compact discs and flash drives
  • Crayons
  • Dictionaries and thesauruses
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Dividers
  • Erasers (including dry-erase marker erasers and dry-erase marker cleaning solution)
  • Folders (expandable, pocket, plastic and manila)
  • Glue, paste and paste sticks
  • Hand sanitizer soap
  • Highlighters
  • Index card boxes
  • Index cards
  • Legal pads
  • Lunchboxes and lunch bags (including disposable lunch bags)
  • Markers (including dry-erase markers and dry-erase marker kits)
  • Musical instruments, musical instrument accessories and replacement items for musical instruments 
  • Notebooks
  • Paintbrushes for artwork
  • Paints (acrylic, tempera and oil)
  • Paper (loose-leaf ruled notebook paper, copy and printer paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper)
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Reference books
  • Reference maps and globes
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Sheet music
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Textbooks
  • Tissues
  • Watercolors
  • Workbooks
  • Writing tablets 

Clothing and footwear eligible for tax exemption ($100 or less per item):

  • Aprons (household and shop)
  • Athletic supporters
  • Baby bibs and clothes 
  • Baby receiving blankets
  • Bandanas
  • Bathing suits, swim trunks, cover-ups and bathing caps
  • Beach capes and coats
  • Belts
  • Boots
  • Choir and altar clothing
  • Clerical vestments
  • Coats, jackets and windbreakers
  • Corsets and corset laces
  • Costumes (sold, not rented)
  • Coveralls
  • Diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers
  • Dresses
  • Ear muffs
  • Footlets
  • Formal wear for men and women (sold, not rented)
  • Fur coats and stoles, shawls and wraps
  • Garters and garter belts
  • Girdles
  • Gloves and mittens for general use
  • Golf clothing, caps, dresses, shirts, skirts, pants
  • Gym suits and uniforms
  • Hats and caps
  • Hosiery
  • Insoles, inserts for shoes
  • Jeans
  • Jerseys (both athletic and non-athletic)
  • Lab coats
  • Legwarmers
  • Leotards and tights
  • Lingerie
  • Neckwear, including bow ties, neckties and scarves
  • Nightgowns, pajamas and other nightwear
  • Overshoes and rubber shoes
  • Raincoats, rain hats and ponchos
  • Robes
  • Rubber pants
  • Rubber thong/flip-flops
  • Sandals
  • Scarves
  • Shirts and blouses 
  • Shoes and shoe laces
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Slacks
  • Slippers
  • Slips
  • Sneakers
  • Socks and stockings, including athletic socks
  • Steel toed shoes
  • Suits
  • Suspenders
  • Underwear or undergarments
  • Uniforms, athletic and non-athletic
  • Vests
  • Wedding apparel, including veils (sold, not rented)

Eligible hurricane preparedness items ($60 or less per item):

  • Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice
  • Batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries), including:
    • AAA -cell
    • AA-cell
    • C-cell
    • D-cell
    • 6-volt
    • 9-volt
    • Cellphone batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated or self-powered light sources, including:
    • Flashlights
    • Lanterns
    • Glow sticks
  • Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting
  • Bungee cords, rope and paracords
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits
  • Ratchet straps
  • Duct tape
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers
  • Water storage containers
  • Nonelectric food storage coolers
  • Bottled water
  • Nonreusable water packets
  • Manual can openers
  • Portable, battery-operated or self-powered radios (including self-powered radios with electrical power capability)
  • Two-way radios
  • Weather band radios and NOAA weather radios
  • Storm shutter devices
  • Cellphone chargers
  • First-aid kits

Eligible hurricane preparedness items ($1,000 or less per item):

  • Portable generators and generator power cords
  • Inverters and inverter power cables
  • Photovoltaic devices that generate electricity 

Eligible hurricane preparedness items (Gas-powered chainsaws $350 or less and chainsaw accessories $60 or less):

  • Chains
  • Chainsaw bar and nose lubricants
  • Two-cycle motor oil
  • Chain sharpeners and files
  • Bars
  • Wrenches
  • Carrying cases and scabbards
  • Safety apparel, including chaps, gloves, hearing protectors, helmets, and protective glasses
  • Repair parts 

Some Energy Star and WaterSense products are qualified for exemption if the item has been affixed with an Energy Star or WaterSense label, the cost price of the item is $2,500 or less and the item is purchased for noncommercial or personal use.

Energy Star products:

  • Air conditioners
  • Ceiling fans
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Washing machines/clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Light bulbs
  • Refrigerators

WaterSense products:

  • Bathroom sink faucets
  • Faucet accessories
  • Showerheads
  • Toilets
  • Urinals
  • Landscape irrigation controllers

Some items such as clothing accessories, protective equipment and sporting equipment are not eligible for tax exemption.

Ineligible clothing accessories:

  • Briefcases
  • Cosmetics
  • Fabric, thread, buttons and yarn used to make clothing
  • Hair notions, including but not limited to barrettes, hair bows and hair nets
  • Handbags
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrellas
  • Wallets
  • Watches
  • Wigs and hair pieces

Ineligible protective equipment:

  • Breathing masks
  • Clean room apparel and equipment
  • Ear and hearing protectors
  • Face shields
  • Hard hats
  • Helmets
  • Paint or dust respirators
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety belts
  • Safety glasses and goggles
  • Tool belts
  • Welders gloves and masks 

Ineligible sports and recreational equipment:

  • Ballet and tap shoes
  • Bowling shoes
  • Cleated or spiked athletic shoes
  • Gloves, including but not limited to, baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey and golf gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hand and elbow guards
  • Life preservers and vests
  • Mouth guards
  • Roller and ice skates
  • Shin guards
  • Shoulder pads
  • Ski boots 
  • Waders
  • Wetsuits and fins

For more information about tax-free weekend, visit https://tax.virginia.gov/virginia-sales-tax-holiday.