Sales Tax Free Shopping: August 2 – 4, 2013

With back-to-school staring us in the face, who can’t use a little help. That makes this weekend’s tax-free shopping even more worthwhile.

August 2-4, 2013: School Supplies and Clothing

tax_free_shoppingDuring 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, visit the School Supplies and Clothing Holiday page on

The information provided below serves as general information. To confirm items that may or may not be eligible for sales tax exemption, please visit the website or ask the retailer when you make a purchase. This link has a complete list of exempt and non-exempt items.

While this may not seem like a lot of potential savings, you might want to look again. In addition to school supplies, clothing is also included and the savings can add up fast!

Items purchased over the Internet, phone, or mail order will be treated as exempt too if they meet certain criteria. They are sales tax exempt:

  1. if the item is both delivered to and paid for by the customer during the exemption period;
  2. or the customer orders and pays for the item and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

An item purchased pursuant to a rain check will be eligible for the exemption if the item is purchased during the sales tax holiday period, regardless of when the item is actually delivered. If the item purchased pursuant to a rain check is purchased prior to or subsequent to the sales tax holiday, the exemption will not apply, even if the item is actually delivered during the sales tax holiday period.

School Supplies

Back-to-School-genericSchool Supplies include the obvious, and some of the not-so-obvious too. Items like paintbrushes for artwork, musical instruments, tape, paint, scissors, sketch pads, legal pads, dividers, notebooks, reference books, and dozens of items are included. (Note that school computer supplies such as diskettes, CDs, handheld electronic schedulers, printers, and other items are not eligible under this sales tax holiday).

According to the website, “Items need not be intended for use in school or in connection with a school activity to be eligible for the exemption.” So think holidays, birthday, special occasions, or ‘just because’!


Clothing exempt from sales tax may surprise you. And what a great time to stock up on diapers, baby clothes, baby gifts, maternity clothes, and more!  For example, they include items such as:

  • Aprons, household, and shop
  • Baby receiving blankets, bibs, and clothes
  • Bathing suits, swim trunks, cover ups
  • Boots (woo hoo!)
  • Coats, jackets
  • Costumes (purchased and not rented)
  • Diapers (adult and children)
  • Formal wear (purchased not rented)
  • Fur coats and stoles, wraps
  • Golf clothing
  • Hosiery
  • Jeans
  • Lingerie
  • Neckwear
  • Wedding apparel (purchased not rented)
  • Shoes

The list is long so check it out here. You’ll also find a list of items that are NOT exempt such as briefcases, handbags, watches, and more.

Protective Equipment and Sports/Recreational Equipment NOT Included

There are more items not included. They are very clear about these items on the website. Click here for details.

If you want to learn more, you can visit this link to find out more general information about what is and is not included.

So get out your pen and paper (or iPad, computer, MAC, or recorder!) and make a list. Stock up on things you need and save during Sales Tax Exemption days in Virginia. Let us know how much you save by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

Rhonda is the mother of two adult daughters and a grandmother to five wonderful grandchildren – and our only grandmother on staff. She spent 25 years in corporate healthcare managing prenatal and disease management programs. She is the Content Manager for Richmondmom and contributes her expertise as both a mom and grandmother – while sorting out the many opportunities for our valuable advertisers.