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Virginia holding sales tax holiday this weekend

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School supplies, clothes, shoes exempt from taxes Aug. 1-3

Virginia’s popular sales tax holiday for back to school items is in effect through Sunday.

The sales tax exemption applies to most school and office supplies that cost $20 or less each, as well as clothing items and pairs of shoes priced at $100 or less each.

Qualifying items will be exempt from Virginia’s 5.3 percent state and local sales tax.

For example, if you spend $500 on qualifying items during the sales tax holiday, you’ll save $26.50 for tax-exempt purchases.

The list of tax-exempt items is the same as last year: pens, pencils, loose leaf ruled notebook paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, construction paper, sneakers, hats, shirts, dresses, jeans, bathing suits, diapers, T-shirts, and many more items.

There is no requirement that the purchases be made for school purposes.

All retailers who sell the exempt items are required to participate.

The tax-exempt items are available to anyone shopping in the state and there is no limit on the number of products to be bought tax-free, as long as each one qualifies.

Online purchases of qualifying items are also tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday.

Some retailers may also choose to save taxpayers even more money by absorbing, or paying themselves, the sales tax on items that are not eligible for exemption.

In past years, many Virginia stores have taken advantage of the opportunity and some have sold everything in their stores tax-free.

A list of exempt items and other details are online at www.tax.virginia.gov. Virginia’s other two sales tax holidays are for hurricane preparedness in May, and for energy-efficient appliances and water-saving items in October.