October 4, 2012
Virginia's upcoming sales tax holiday for Energy Star and WaterSense products gives citizens an opportunity to save money now and for years to come. Not only can you avoid the state sales tax during the four-day event by buying qualifying energy-saving products, you will save money for years to come by lowering your home energy bills. You can also feel good about doing something positive for the environment.
During Virginia's sixth Energy Star and WaterSense products sales tax holiday, which begins Friday, Oct. 5, and continues through Monday, Oct. 8, consumers can purchase a variety of "green" products qualified for their energy savings by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and not pay the 5 percent state and local sales tax.
The products must cost $2,500 or less each and be purchased for noncommercial or personal use. The Energy Star products include many larger items, including air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, ceiling fans, and washing machines, as well as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, toilets, showerheads, urinals and landscape irrigation controllers will also be tax-exempt. The sales tax exemption also applies to purchases of used Energy Star and WaterSense items that qualify.
"Purchasing energy-efficient appliances and other products is a smart move and this sales tax holiday adds an extra savings incentive," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "Saving money while you conserve energy makes perfect sense for your own budget and for our environment. Something everyone should consider doing is replacing their standard light bulbs with electricity-saving CFLs."
The Department of Taxation posted guidelines, frequently asked questions, and a list of approved Energy Star and WaterSense items on its website at www.tax.virginia.gov.
Online purchases of qualifying Energy Star and WaterSense products will also be exempt from the sales tax as long as the orders are placed during the Oct. 5-8 exemption period and the sellers have the items available for immediate shipment.
In addition to exempting certain Energy Star and WaterSense products from the sales tax during the four-day tax holiday, retailers may also choose to "absorb," or pay themselves, the sales tax on any nonexempt merchandise they sell. Retailers who voluntarily absorb the sales tax must pay the tax themselves to the Tax Department.