Some important 2013 Tax Holidays coming up which retailers need to be aware of:

Click here to view all Virginia 2013 Sales Tax Holidays

May 25-31, 2013: Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment
During this seven-day period, purchases of items designated by the Department of Taxation as hurricane preparedness equipment, including portable generators, will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax. Portable generators must be priced at $1,000 or less, and other eligible items must be priced at $60 or less for each item. Visit the Hurricane Preparedness Equipment Holiday page.

August 2-4, 2013: School Supplies and Clothing
During this three-day period, purchases of certain school supplies, clothing and footwear will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax. Each eligible school supply item must be priced at $20 or less, and each eligible article of clothing and footwear must be priced at $100 or less. Visit the School Supplies and Clothing Holiday page.

October 11-14, 2013: Energy Star and WaterSense Qualified Products
During this four-day holiday, purchases of products meeting the Energy Star and WaterSense qualifications, such as certain energy-efficient appliances, will be exempt from the Virginia sales tax.  Eligible products must be priced at $2,500 or less for each item, and be purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.Visit the Energy Star and WaterSense Qualified Products Holiday page.

For additional information geared toward Retail Dealers, click here.

The Virginia Retail Federation (VRF) worked with the American Booksellers Association and Capital Results to place this exceptional coverage of the federal online sales tax collection legislation. The report, featuring One More Page Bookstore in Arlington, aired nationally on the PBA Nightly Business report on July 12, 2012.


Retail industry groups have intensified their push for national sales tax collection. According to “Hillcon Valley”, The Hill’s technology blog, more than a dozen executives from state-based retail associations hit Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to support a sales tax on online purchases.

The executives, along with representatives from the national Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), scheduled meetings with lawmakers to argue that allowing online purchases to go untaxed puts traditional brick-and-mortar stores at an unfair disadvantage.

The lobbying push comes a day after a bipartisan group of senators offered online sales tax legislation as an amendment to a small-business bill.

Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers who have a physical presence in their state. People who order items online from another state are supposed to declare the purchase on their tax forms, but few do.

The amendment, from Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), would empower states to collect taxes on online purchases. The measure could come up this week when the Senate votes on the underlying Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act.

The Virginia Retail Federation is actively involved in this federal effort. On July 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on the Marketplace Equity Act. VRF members will travel to Washington to testify on this House version of the federal legislation. Congressman Randy Forbes, who represents Chesapeake and several localities throughout southern Virginia, is a high-ranking member of the Committee.

VRF members have recently met with Congressman Forbes, who told the members they are doing “the work of the angels” on trying to level the playing field between local retailers and their giant internet competitors. The bill has bipartisan support from Virginia Congressmen Forbes and Bobby Scott who are co-sponsors of the Marketplace Equity Act.

For more information contact Margaret Ballard, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 757-406-9431; or George Peyton, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 804-662-5505.

Starting with July returns(due August 20th, 2012), the way retailers pay their sales taxes has now changed.

All sales tax will now have to be remitted electronically. There are three ways to file:

Below are links to the Virginia Department of Taxation’s electronic filing systems to be used to file/pay Sales and Use Tax:

  • eFormsThis is a very easy form to fill out for electronic filing system
  • Business iFileThis is a robust filing system, which also provides filing history and allows you to manage your account
  • Web UploadThis system is used to submit (upload) a file such as Excel with your sales tax information

If you’re unable to make the necessary changes to file and pay electronically by the effective date because of undue hardship on your business, you may request a temporary waiver. Submit your request in writing by providing:

  • Your business’s name
  • Virginia tax account number
  • Contact person
  • Phone number
  • Email address (optional)
  • Mailing address
  • The reason for the request
  • The date when you can file and pay your retail sales taxes electronically

Fax your request to:
Virginia Department of Taxation

P.O. Box 27423
Richmond, Va. 23261
Fax: (804) 367-3015

You can learn more about this filing online, here.

Also, Work It, Richmond, featured an article referencing the VRF on this issue. Read it, here.


Governor Bob McDonnell has announced that in Virginia, 2012 is “The Year of the Entrepreneur”. According to McDonnell’s personal webpage, Virginia is a state that fosters good ideas and hosts the right taxes and business climate for entrepreneurs to produce job-creating businesses from their brainwaves.

Virginia, with one of the top K-12 education systems in the country, encourages students to dream big and provides the tools needed for learners of all ages to utilize and follow their own dreams. McDonnell’s website also stated that Virginia has some of the top research institutions in the country, which cover a vast variety of subjects, along with the right infrastructure to put research and innovation into practice.

On his site, McDonnell said “Perhaps most importantly, we have a community of entrepreneurial individuals who, in spite of the very real risk of failure, put their energy and sweat and savings into creating opportunities for themselves and others. I am declaring 2012 ‘The Year of the Entrepreneur’ in Virginia”.

McDonnell wanted to acknowledge these individuals, study why they’re successful in Virginia, recognize them as an inspiration, and have them motivate others to turn their own ideas into reality in Virginia.

Thanks to many of you, Virginia will close the Amazon Loophole on September 1st, 2013. On the national stage there is also a bill that will create even more widespread relief for brick and mortar retailers. HR 3179, The Marketplace Equity Act, is before the Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.


This bill, introduced by Representatives Womack and Speier, is a bi-partisan bill which would protect small businesses. This bill closes a loophole that predates the internet, whereby online-only stores do not collect sales tax. With the passage of this law, states would be allowed to manage their sales tax laws as they see fit by granting them the authority to collect monies that are owed but difficult to collect due from out-of-state vendors.


Please take a moment and review the attached sample letters, edit as you see fit, and send the letter of your choice on your letter head to Congressman Cantor’s Henrico office. We would like for him to hear from those who own a business in his district. You will find Congressman Cantor’s contact on the sample letter.


As we found out while working the Amazon Loophole bill this year, it is extremely important for elected officials to hear from their constituents.


Please let me know via email if you have the opportunity to send a letter.






Eric Cantor Letter 1

Eric Cantor Letter 2

Eric Cantor Letter 3

Eric Cantor Letter 4