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Sales tax holiday for school supplies Aug. 5-7

Virginia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday will take place Aug. 5-7. Many school supplies and clothing items will be exempt from the state and local sales tax, easing the financial burden of families as they prepare to send their children back to school, according to a news release from Gov. Robert McDonnell.

School supplies such as notebooks, pens, binders, calculators, paints and crayons, will be tax-free as long as each item costs $20 or less.  Most clothing items and footwear will also be exempt from the 5 percent sales tax as long as they are priced at $100 or less each.  There is no limit on the number of items that can purchased tax-free as long as each item qualifies.  Lists of eligible items, along with guidelines and frequently asked questions for both consumers and retailers, are posted on the Virginia Department of Taxation’s website at

The sales tax holiday is available to all shoppers, and all Virginia retailers who sell the exempt products must participate.  During the sales tax holiday, retailers may also choose to save taxpayers even more by opting to pay the sales tax themselves on items that are not exempt under the guidelines.

The 2011 holiday is expected to save Virginians an estimated $4.3 million in sales tax this year, according to the governor’s news release. The state also holds sales tax holidays for Energy Star- and WaterSense-qualified products in October and for hurricane preparedness in May.

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