West Virginia Sales Tax Holiday

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In 2021, West Virginia began offering an annual sales tax holiday. This would save you from paying the 6% West Virginia sales tax.

I was under the impression, when this tax-free shopping holiday started, that it was only three days long. However, I was wrong — it is over four days, so basically a tax-free long weekend.

New River Gorge West Virginia
Photo credit: Canva.

When is the West Virginia Sales Tax Holiday

The West Virginia State Sales Tax Holiday begins each year on the Friday before the first Sunday in August and ends the following Monday. So, for 2023, that’s August 4-7, 2023.

In 2024, the West Virginia Sales Tax Holiday is August 2-5, 2024. Again, Friday through Monday.

What qualifies as tax free in West Virginia?

During the WV tax-free weekend, there are five categories of items that you can buy without paying sales tax. They are:

  • clothing priced at $125 or less
  • school supplies priced $50 or less
  • school instruction material priced $20 or less
  • laptop and tablet computers, not purchased for use in a trade or business, priced at $500 or less
  • sports equipment, not purchased for use in a trade or business, priced at $150 or less

Shopping for clothing

As mentioned, clothing priced at $125 or less would qualify to be tax exempt during the West Virginia Sales Tax Holiday. Many states with sales tax holidays include clothing.

However, every piece of clothing under this price point may not fit the state’s definition of what they see as “clothing.”

So, first I’ll outline what qualifies as tax-free clothing. Then, I’ll outline what does not qualify.

Tax-free clothing in WV

  • aprons (household and shop)
  • athletic supporters
  • baby receiving blankets
  • bathing suits and caps
  • beach capes and coats
  • belts and suspenders
  • blouses
  • boots
  • coats and jackets
  • costumes
  • diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers
  • dresses
  • earmuffs
  • footlets
  • formal wear
  • garters and garter belts
  • girdles
  • gloves and mittens for general use
  • hats and caps
  • hosiery
  • insoles for shoes
  • lab coats
  • neckties
  • overshoes
  • pants
  • pantyhose
  • rainwear
  • rubber pants
  • sandals
  • scarves
  • shirts
  • shoes and shoelaces
  • shorts
  • skirts
  • slippers
  • sneakers
  • socks and stockings
  • steel-toed shoes
  • sweaters
  • underwear
  • uniforms (athletic and nonathletic)
  • wedding apparel

Taxed clothing and accessories

On the other hand, the following are not tax exempt during this WV sales tax holiday:

  • Belt buckles sold separately.
  • Clothing accessories or equipment. Clothing accessories or equipment include briefcases; cosmetics; hair notions, including, but not limited to, barrettes, hair bows, and hair nets; handbags; handkerchiefs; jewelry; sunglasses (non-prescription); umbrellas; wallets; watches; and wigs and hair pieces.
  • Costume masks sold separately.
  • Items purchased for use in a trade or business.
  • Patches and emblems sold separately.
  • Protective equipment. Protective equipment includes breathing masks; clean room apparel and equipment; ear and hearing protectors; face shields; hard hats; helmets; paint or dust respirators; protective gloves; safety glasses and goggles; safety belts; tool belts; and welder’s gloves and masks.
  • Sewing equipment and supplies including, but not limited to, knitting needles, patterns, pins, scissors, sewing machines, sewing needles, tape measures, and thimbles; and sewing materials that become part of “clothing” including, but not limited to, buttons, fabric, lace, thread, yarn, and zippers.
  • Sports or recreational equipment. Sport or recreational equipment includes ballet and tap shoes; cleated or spiked athletic shoes; gloves, including, but not limited to, baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, and golf; goggles; hand and elbow guards; life preservers and vests; mouth guards; roller and ice skates; shin guards; shoulder pads; ski boots; waders; and wetsuits and fins.

I find this last bullet point confusing. That’s because the state sales tax holiday is supposed to include certain sports equipment. However, the West Virginia Tax Division doesn’t outline what qualifies under the heading of sport equipment.

I’ll have to check with them and come back to this article to update what I learn.

Buying school supplies during the tax holiday

Any office supply, that you might think of as a school supply, but which you buy for trade or a business will be taxed during the West Virginia sales tax holiday. However, the school supplies included on this list purchased for a student will be tax exempt.

They are:

  • binders
  • blackboard chalk
  • bookbags
  • calculators
  • cellophane tape
  • colored paper
  • compasses
  • composition books
  • construction paper
  • copy paper
  • crayons
  • erasers
  • folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila)
  • glue, paste, and paste sticks
  • graph paper
  • highlighters
  • index card boxes
  • index cards
  • legal pads
  • loose leaf ruled notebook paper
  • lunch boxes
  • manila paper
  • markers
  • notebooks
  • paper
  • pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • pencil sharpeners
  • pencils
  • pens
  • poster board
  • protractors
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • tracing paper
  • writing tablets

Tax-free school instruction materials

When it comes to school instruction materials, priced under $20, that will be tax-exempt, there are only four items that qualify.

One, reference books. Two, reference maps and globes. Three, textbooks. And, four, workbooks.

Final thoughts on the West Virginia sales tax holiday

Just as the West Virginia Tax Division did not explain about the sports equipment reference above, also it didn’t offer any guidance on the computers that might be tax free during this sales tax holiday.

Therefore, if you want to get more details about the West Virginia sales tax holiday, please visit the website of the West Virginia Tax Division.

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