Virginia Consolidates Sales Tax Holidays

James Byrnes
April 28, 2015

Virginia holds three sales tax holidays annually. Until this year, the Hurricane Preparedness Holiday took place in May, the School Supplies and Clothing holiday took place in August and the Energy Star and WaterSense holiday took place in October. There has been a lot of debate surrounding sales tax holidays across the country over the past few years. Some states have eliminated them as part of larger tax reform packages (North Carolina), while other states have added them in an effort to compete with neighboring states which offer similar holidays (the Mississippi 2nd Amendment Sales Tax Holiday, the Ohio Back to School Holiday). During the 2015 Virginia General Assembly SB 1319, which consolidates all three Virginia holidays into a single three day period in August, was enacted into law. This holiday is scheduled to take place from August 7th through August 9th of this year.

SB 1319 was signed into law by the Governor in March; however the effective date of the legislation is not until July 1, 2015. The Virginia Department of Revenue confirmed shortly after the passage of SB 1319 that the Hurricane Preparedness Holiday will take place this May 25th through May 31st as it has in previous years, because the legislation (which will effectively sunset all of the sales tax holidays and create a new consolidated sales tax holiday) will not be effective prior to the previously scheduled occurrence of the annual holiday. This means Virginia residents will receive two opportunities in 2015 to stock up tax-free on products such as chain saws, lanterns, batteries and bottled water as hurricane preparedness items will also be exempt during the three day consolidated holiday taking place in August.  Sovos Compliance provides comprehensive support for all sales tax holidays, ensuring that your business remains compliant in this evolving area of indirect taxation.

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