Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

Save money during Virginia's hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday, May 25 through 31.

It’s smart to get ready for hurricane and flash flooding season, and it’s smart to save money.

When is Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday? It begins at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 7 and ends at midnight Aug. 9. During this period, purchase of certain supplies and equipment needed for hurricane/flood preparedness will be exempt from sales tax. 

What items are exempt from sales tax? Many items used every day are included, such as batteries and flashlights; bottled water and coolers; tarps, plastic sheeting and duct tape; smoke detectors and fire extinguishers; portable radios; cell phone chargers; first aid kits and more. Portable generators and inverters also are included as well as chainsaws and chainsaw accessories. A complete list can be found here:
http://www.tax.virginia.gov/sites/tax.virginia.gov/files/LIST%20OF%20QUALIFYING%20HURRICANE%20PREPAREDNESS%20ITEMS.pdf

What types and sizes of bottled water qualify? All single bottles of water and multipacks of bottles are exempt. All types of bottled water, including flavored and carbonated, qualify for the exemption.  There are no size restrictions. 

Are solar, hand-cranked or other devices that generate electricity exempt? Yes, as long as they have a sales price of $1,000 or less. 

Water storage containers can be purchased without sales tax. What are examples of these?  Any water barrel, water bucket, canteen, water can, water cooler or other container appropriate for storing water qualifies for the sales tax exemption.

Are candles covered? No, the exemption does not apply to any type of candles.  Battery-powered, solar-powered or hand-cranked flashlights are much safer than candles during emergencies. 

Are gasoline cans and propane tanks included? Yes. Empty gasoline, diesel and propane fuel tanks or containers with a selling price of $60 or less are included under the exemption for hurricane preparedness equipment.  

Are any food items, such as nonperishable canned goods, exempted from sales tax during the holiday?  No. The legislation under which the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday was enacted does not provide an exemption for food purchases.

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Additional Resources
Guidelines and rules for the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday are available from the Virginia Department of Taxation: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/content/sales-tax-holiday

Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday was approved by the General Assembly in 2007 and in April 2012, it was extended until 2017.  The Code of Virginia was amended to include sales tax exemptions for certain hurricane preparedness equipment, and in 2013, the General Assembly added gas-powered chainsaws and chainsaw accessories to the list. To read the law, go to http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+58.1-611.3 new window

Read more about hurricane season: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/hurricanes new window

Hurricane evacuation information: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hurricane_defauLT.asp new window

Storm surge maps for coastal Virginia: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stay-informed/hurricane/storm-surge new window

Save money during Virginia's hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday, May 25-31.