Sales-tax holiday on energy-efficient products set for Oct. 8-11

Virginia’s fourth Energy Star and WaterSense products sales tax holiday will begin Friday, October 8th and continue through Monday, October 11th. During the holiday, consumers can purchase a variety of “Green” products qualified for energy savings by the federal government 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 and programmable thermostats. WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets will also be tax-exempt, along with new items added to the list this year such as showerheads.

The sales tax exemption also applies to purchases of used Energy Star and WaterSense items that qualify.

“We all need to do our part to use energy more wisely and conserve our natural resources,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said. “During this sales tax holiday I encourage Virginians to invest in Energy Star and WaterSense products, which are designed to reduce energy and waste. Buying energy-efficient appliances is a smart investment, saving consumers money on their utility bills and conserving energy.”

The Department of Taxation has posted guidelines, frequently asked questions, and a list of approved Energy Star and WaterSense items on its Web site at

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 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 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.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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