WASHINGTON — While shoppers in D.C. face another year without savings from sales tax exemptions, consumers in Maryland and Virginia can look forward to upcoming sales tax holidays.
From Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6,
certain items will be exempt from Virginia’s 5.3 percent sales tax. Qualifying goods include school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane preparedness supplies, and Energy Star and WaterSense products.
Maryland’s sales tax holiday will be held for an entire week from Sunday, Aug. 13 to Saturday, Aug. 19. Clothing, footwear and certain school supplies will be exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax. Maryland held its
energy tax free weekend earlier this year from Feb.18 to Feb. 20.
Click through the gallery below for items you can purchase tax-free during the sales tax holiday.
School supplies. Items considered “school supplies” include binders, calculators, dictionaries, crayons, folders, highlighters, legal pads, markers, notebooks and pencils. In Virginia, such items with a price of $20 or less are eligible for sales tax exemption. (Thinkstock)
Musical instruments, musical instrument accessories, replacement parts. Musical instruments also fall under the “school supplies” category. Though it might be difficult to find an instrument that costs less than $20, instrument replacement parts or musical instrument accessories also qualify for sales tax exemption, as long as the item costs $20 or less. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine)
Sheet music. Sheet music is included in the “school supplies” category. Items do not need to be used in school or in connection with a school activity to be eligible for the sales tax exemption. (Thinkstock)
Art supplies. Paint brushes, paints, sketch and drawing pads also count as school supplies. As long as each item is $20 or less, it’s sales-tax free in Virginia during the holiday. (Thinkstock)
Reference maps and globes. Now is your chance to get that map, globe or reference book you’ve always wanted but never had occasion to purchase. Considered “school supplies” in Virginia, these items under $20 are eligible for sales tax exemption from Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6. (Thinkstock)
Backpacks, book bags. In Virginia, backpacks fall under the “school supplies” category and are exempt from sales tax during the holiday as long as the price is $20 or less. In Maryland, the first $40 of a backpack or book bag purchase is tax exempt during the tax free holiday week. (Thinkstock)
Clothing and accessories. In both Maryland and Virginia, clothing and accessories priced $100 or less qualify for sales tax exemption. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe or simply need accessories such as an apron, coveralls, girdle or lab coat, you can make use of this deal from Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6 in Virginia, or between Sunday, Aug. 13 to Saturday, Aug. 19 in Maryland. (Thinkstock)
Costumes. As long as the costumes aren’t rentals and cost under $100, you won’t be taxed on your early Halloween purchases from Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6 in Virginia, or between Sunday, Aug. 13 to Saturday, Aug. 19 in Maryland. (Nicole Wilder/ABC via AP)
Uniforms. While “clothing” doesn’t include sporting equipment, the sales tax holiday does exempt uniforms, caps, hats and other sports attire from the sales tax. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Ineligible clothing accessory items include makeup, items used to make clothing, wigs, briefcases, bags and jewelry. Accessories are not included in the list of tax exempt items for the sales tax holiday. (Thinkstock)
Ineligible sport equipment that does not fall under the “clothing” category include items worn for sporting activities. These include sports shoes such as ballet shoes or cleats, goggles, elbow guards, shoulder pads, wetsuits, waders and life preservers. In addition, protective equipment such as helmets, tool belts, safety belts, protective gloves and hard hats are ineligible for the sales tax deduction. (Thinkstock)
Portable generators with a price of $1,000 or less per item are exempt from the tax in Virginia during the sales tax holiday weekend. (Thinkstock)
Gas-powered chainsaw with a price of $350 or less per item will not be taxed in Virginia during the sales tax holiday, and chainsaw accessories with a price of $60 or less per item will not be taxed. (Thinkstock)
Other specified hurricane preparedness supplies priced $60 or less will not be taxed during the sales tax holiday in Virginia. These include supplies such as bottled water and batteries, but also include items you might need in case of a storm such as first aid kits, manual can openers and flashlights. Find the full list on the Virginia.gov website.
Energy Star products for noncommercial home use priced $2,500 or less are exempt from the tax. Items include ceiling fans, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, washing machines, dishwashers, light bulbs and refrigerators. (Thinkstock)
WaterSense products for noncommercial home or personal use priced $2,500 or less are exempt from the tax. Qualifying items include bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, shower heads, toilets, urinals and landscape irrigation controllers. (AP Photo/Verena Dobnik)
Eligible tax-free items in Virginia
Clothing and footwear with a price of $100 or less per item will not be taxed.
School supplies with a price of $20 or less per item are not taxable.
Portable generators with a price of $1,000 or less per item are exempt from the tax.
Gas-powered chainsaw with a price of $350 or less per item will not be taxed.
Chainsaw accessories with a price of $60 or less per item will not be taxed.
Other specified hurricane preparedness supplies priced $60 or less are not taxable.
Energy Star and WaterSense products for noncommercial home or personal use priced $2,500 or less are exempt from the tax.
Find more information on
Virginia’s sales tax holiday. Eligible tax-free items in Maryland
Clothing and footwear with a price of $100 or less are not taxable. For
backpacks and bookbags, the first $40 of the purchase is tax-exempt.
more information on Maryland’s tax-free week. Additional tips
Even if the total cost of all items purchased exceeds the dollar amounts listed above, the sales tax exemption applies as long as each individual item is less than the listed price.
Items that exceed the prices listed above are all taxable.
Certain online purchases may qualify for tax exemption if the item is paid for and delivered within the tax-free week.
Items put on layaway during the tax-free period qualify for tax exemption, even if the layaway is completed and the items are received after the end of the sales tax holiday.
If layaway payments begin before the tax-free period, but the final payment is made within the sales tax holiday, the item is eligible for sales tax exemption.
Shoppers who purchase an item tax-free during the holiday but need to make an exchange for the same item after the period is over will not be taxed.
Items returned for credit and used to purchase a different item after the sales tax holiday will be taxed.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.
© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.