Tax-Free Weekends in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

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Tax-free weekends offer shoppers savings for a limited period by exempting sales tax on certain purchases. Shoppers in the Washington, D.C., area with access to Maryland and Virginia have an opportunity to buy certain items during a sales tax holiday in August, just in time for back-to-school shopping. A second tax-free weekend is held to encourage individuals to purchase energy-efficient appliances.

Washington, D.C., Tax-Free Weekend

The sales tax holidays were repealed in 2010 to avoid the loss of an estimated $640,000 in sales tax revenues for the fiscal year, and have not been rescheduled. If this changes in future years, the DC Office of Tax and Revenue will post the dates.

Previous Washington, D.C. tax-free weekends saved shoppers 5.75 percent sales tax when purchasing clothes, accessories, shoes, and school supplies. The sales tax exemption applied to each eligible item that costs $100 or less.

Washington, D.C., residents can travel to Maryland and Virginia, though, to take advantage of tax-free shopping twice a year.

Maryland Tax-Free Week

The Comptroller of Maryland schedules two tax-free periods to help shoppers at different times of the year.

August 12-18, 2018: This Maryland sales tax holiday gives shoppers a 6 percent savings on clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less. Qualifying apparel includes belts, coats, jackets, pants, shoes, socks, and sweaters. The sales tax exemption applies to each eligible item, regardless of how many items you purchase at the same time. The first $40 of a backpack is also tax free.

February 17-19, 2018. A tax-free weekend on select Energy Star products including air conditioners, washers and dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard-size refrigerators, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats. Energy Star items are those designed to save energy and last longer.

Virginia Tax-Free Weekend

The Virginia Department of Taxation combines its sales tax exempt opportunities into one weekend, on August 3-5 in 2018. During the Virginia sales tax holiday, shoppers will save on purchases of school supplies costing $20 or less per item, or clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less. The sales tax exemption applies to each eligible item, regardless of how many items you purchase at the same time. Purchases of products meeting the Energy Star and WaterSense qualifications, such as certain energy-efficient appliances, are exempt from the Virginia sales tax, too. Eligible products must be priced at $2,500 or less for each item and be purchased for a noncommercial home or personal use. Also, purchases of items designated as hurricane preparedness equipment are exempt from the Virginia sales tax. 

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