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Already? Virginia Back-To-School Tax Holiday Is This Weekend

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Virginia is offering a tax holiday on back-to-school items this weekend. 
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Virginia is offering a tax holiday on back-to-school items this weekend. 

The Commonwealth's annual back-to-school tax holiday is this weekend and many retailers are expected to continue their tradition of absorbing the tax on other items. 

It's Virginia's most popular sales tax holiday and extends this year from August 3-5. Consumers can buy from a list of more than 36 eligible supplies priced at up to $20 each, ranging from calculators and notebooks to dictionaries and textbooks. Clothing and shoes with a price of $100 or less per item will also be sales tax-free. The Virginia Tax Department's Joel Davison says the same rule applies to internet shopping.

"If you look at the list, and if you're buying those things online, it's covered, it's tax-free, it's the same rules," says Davison. "It's a product-based exemption, not a use-based." 

Many retailers will also pay the tax themselves on ineligible items to entice consumers, he adds.

"Normally, it's illegal for a retailer to say, 'Come in and buy our wares. We'll pay the tax for you,'" he says. "But during this holiday, you're going to see some retailers put some things in their stores on sale maybe computers. You're going to see other big-box stores maybe put everything in their store tax-free. And if you're buying a thousand-dollar item, that's $50 savings right there."

The list of all qualifying items can be found at tax.virginia.gov.

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