Legislation enacted during the 2015 General Assembly (SB 1319, Acts of Assembly, Chapter 382) combines the three existing sales tax holidays into one, three-day holiday in August. The legislation took effect on July 1, 2015.
Prior Virginia law allowed for three separate sales tax holiday periods during which specified tangible personal property could be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax: a week-long exemption on hurricane preparedness items in May, a three-day exemption on school supplies and clothing in August, and a four-day exemption on items designated as Energy Star or WaterSense in October.
The legislation consolidates all three of these holidays into the same August weekend each year, with the holiday beginning on the first Friday in August and ending on the Sunday that immediately follows. For 2015, the holiday will begin on Friday, Aug. 7 at 12:01 a.m. and end on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 11:59 p.m. For 2016 and subsequent years, there will be no separate Hurricane Preparedness holiday held in May, nor a separate Energy Star or WaterSense tax holiday in October.
During the combined sales tax holiday, consumers may purchase portable generators, gas-powered chainsaws, chainsaw accessories, other hurricane preparedness items, clothing, footwear, school supplies, and Energy-Star or WaterSense-designated items, provided that each such item is priced below the maximum sales price and meets the other requirements set forth in the statutes.
Notable additions to the list of qualifying items from previous years include certain computer supplies priced at $20 or less per item, such as computer storage media and printer paper, and all light bulbs affixed with the Energy Star label.
Retailers may refer to the department's Combined Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines located here for a complete list of qualifying items, as well as the rules governing the upcoming combined holiday. If you have additional questions regarding this sales tax exemption, please visit the department's Sales Tax Holiday web page, or contact the department at (804) 367-8037.