How to make the most of Virginia sales tax holiday

BBB shares tips on how to get everything on your list without busting the budget

Here's what's included in the holiday

Virginia’s tax-free weekend is just days away.

The three-day sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 6 at 12:01 a.m. and runs through Sunday at 11:59 p.m. That means you won’t have to pay the sales tax on certain items, but there are restrictions.

  • Qualified school supplies $20 or less per item, examples include:
    • Binders
    • Bookbags
    • Computer storage media like flash drives
    • Calculators
    • Notepads
    • Musical instruments
  • Qualified clothing and footwear $100 or less per item, examples include:
    • Diapers
    • Coats and jackets
    • Gloves and mittens
    • Sneakers
    • Uniforms
    • Wedding apparel including veils
  • Portable generators $1,000 or less per item
  • Gas-powered chainsaws $350 or less per item
  • Chainsaw accessories $60 or less per item
  • Specified hurricane preparedness items $60 or less per item
  • Energy star and WaterSense products $2,500 or less per item, examples include:
    • Refrigerators
    • Light bulbs
    • Ceiling fans
    • Faucets
    • Irrigation controllers

For a detailed list of items, click here.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) did a survey and found families with elementary through high school students plan to spend an average of $850 on school items. The total expected for back-to-school spending this fall is a record $37.1 billion.

Whether you plan to shop online or in-store or both the Better Business Bureau said there are ways for you to stay ahead.

  • Make a list
  • Shop at home so you won’t buy something you already have or can be used again
  • Research big ticket items
  • Look for sales
  • Shop during the tax holiday
  • Ask for student discounts and price matching
  • Consider buying in bulk
  • Know the return policy and save your reciepts
  • Shop wisely and safely online

Whether an item qualifies as tax-free for the weekend or not, Julie Wheeler, BBB Serving Western Virginia president and CEO, said retailers will have good deals to go along with the tax holiday.

“A lot of retailers go ahead and give you a sales tax break above those limits they just have to pay the sales tax, they’re just not charging you for it. Again, know who is going to be the most generous,” said Wheeler.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.