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The Learning Zone


The Virginia Sales Tax Holiday or Tax Free Weekend is coming up this Friday, August 4th through Sunday, August 6th. During this time period, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star and WaterSense items without paying sales tax. This is a great time to shop in order to get the best deals on back-to-school items! Here are some tips to follow while you are out shopping this weekend:


1. School supply items need to be under $20.

Many more expensive school supplies do not qualify, like graphing calculators, musical instruments over $20 and more durable book bags over $20.


2. Clothing and footwear items need to be under $100.


3. School supply or clothing items can be new or used.


4. You cannot split up items normally sold as a unit so that they qualify for the tax exemption.


5. If items are “buy one, get one free” you cannot average the price of the items to make them eligible for the tax exemption.

For example, if calculators are buy one, get one free for $40, you can not say that each calculator is $20.


6. You can use a coupon to bring down the sales price.

For example, if a clothing item is $120 and you have a 20% off coupon from the retailer or manufacturer, you can use this coupon to reduce the price to $96 in order to qualify for the tax holiday. However, a gift certificate or gift card does not reduce the price in this manner. You also cannot use a rebate to bring down the price.


7. Shipping and handling charges are not a part of the base price of an item.

If you buy a dress online for $98 and there is a shipping and handling price of $5.99, the dress will still qualify for the tax exemption.


8. Some items do not qualify under the clothing tax-exemption.

Briefcases, cosmetics, materials used to make clothing, handbags, handkerchiefs, jewelry, sunglasses, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and hair items or accessories do not qualify.


9. Protective equipment for sports is not included in the tax-exemption.

Items like baseball gloves, ballet and tap shoes, shoulder pads, and mouth guards do not qualify for the tax exemption.


10. It is a great time to stock up on some other useful supplies.

Items that are considered “hurricane preparedness items” or Energy Star and Watersense items are also tax-free. Here is a complete list . Some everyday items that are included are:  batteries, cell phone batteries and chargers, duct tape, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, bottled water, and first aid kits.


While you are out, stop by the Stuff the Bus School Supplies Drive to volunteer and/or make a donation to help homeless and needy students who attend Spotsylvania County Schools. Tune in to Town Talk on News Talk WFVA 1230 Friday morning at 8:00 to learn more about this event.


Happy shopping, Virginia!

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About Nina

nina parrish

Nina Parrish graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Following graduation from the University of Mary Washington, she received the Project PISCES scholarship to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she completed her certification in Special Education for K-12 students with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and emotional disturbance. After obtaining her license, Nina earned a Master's Degree in Education for School Counseling in grades Pre K-12 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Nina taught in the public schools in North Carolina and Virginia for 7 years. Nina currently owns, Parrish Learning Zone, a K-12 local tutoring service with her husband Jay, who is also a teacher. They live in Spotsylvania with their daughter.


Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

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For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.


The opinions and/or views expressed on this blog represent the thoughts of individual blogger and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine or any of its employees or staff.