2019 sales tax holidays: What you can buy and where in Va., Md.

It’s hard to think of going back to school while in the throes of summer fun; but with sales tax holidays in Maryland and Virginia coming up in August, summer is the best time to stock up on school supplies and outfits.

And it’s not just for school children, there are some deals for adults, too.


From Aug. 2 to Aug. 4, qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, Energy Star and WaterSense products will be exempt from Virginia sales tax, as long as they meet the cost requirement.

Qualifying school supplies must be sold for $20 or less per item. And, clothing and footwear must be sold for $100 or less per item. Find a list of eligible (and ineligible) clothing and footwear here.

Hurricane and emergency preparedness products that are exempt from sales tax include portable generators ($1000 or less), gas-powered chain saws ($350 or less), chain-saw accessories ($60 or less) and other specified items ($60 or less). See the full list here.

If you’re buying Energy Star and WaterSense products for noncommercial use, the items have to be $2,500 or less to be exempt from sales tax. Here is a list of qualifying items.

Find out more about Virginia’s sales tax holiday at the Virginia Tax website.


The tax-free holiday in Maryland is from Aug. 11 to Aug. 17. Items that are exempt from sales taxes are mostly clothing and footwear that are sold for $100 or less.

Backpacks and bookbags are tax exempt if they are sold for $40 or less. However, if they cost more than that, the first $40 is tax exempt. Find the full list here.

Buying something online or putting something on layaway? Find out if your transaction is exempt or not.

What about D.C.?

The District did away with its tax-free holidays in 2010 amid the fallout from the Great Recession.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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