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Everything you need to know about Virginia state sales and use tax

What is the sales tax rate in Virginia?

[Virginia sales tax rates for each jurisdiction]Click for larger image

The Virginia sales tax rate is currently 5.3%. In Virginia, no other municipality can add sales taxes on top of the state rate.

Taxes in Virginia are origin-based, meaning the sales tax rate is based, or determined from, the location where a sale originates

To see a full breakout of sales tax rates in VA by state, county, city and special district, use our easy Virginia sales tax calculator. After putting in any ZIP code, you can enter a retail price to calculate sales tax totals.

What is the use tax in Virginia?

The Virginia state use tax rate is the same as the state, county, city and special district rates.

If you reside in VA, use tax is due to the state on any and all transactions where sales tax has not been paid, even out-of-state internet sales.

Who has to pay sales or use tax to Virginia?

In general, a business must collect and remit all applicable sales taxes if that business has nexus, a physical presence such as a brick-and-mortar location, within a given state. The presence of an employee or salesperson, delivery by the seller's vehicle, and storage of materials usually establishes nexus as well.

Virginia says that an out-of-state seller is required to collect tax if they can be defined as "dealers". Virginia does not currently have additional laws establishing nexus for other reasons such as out-of-state businesses using in-state affiliates, advertisers or vendors, or businesses that make internet sales or mail catalogs.

If you are not sure if you have established nexus in Virginia, you can usually get free help by contacting the Virginia Department of Taxation. Click here for an updated listing of direct phone numbers. You could also contact a qualified certified public accountant or lawyer who specializes in tax law in Virginia. Click here for listing of recommended resources.

Special rules applying to
sales and use taxes in Virginia

  • Shipping is not taxable.
  • Finance charges are exempt from sales tax, when stated separately.
  • Clothing is tax exempt, except for clothing and footwear of certain types.
  • Sales tax holidays are held for Energy Star items as well as some back to school items and hurricane preparedness items.

Since Virginia legislators can vote to change sales and use tax rates at any time, it is very difficult for individuals to keep track of the changes. The population of VA state is also rapidly changing, which can cause frequent updates to the ZIP codes and local municipality names and complicates the job of keeping track of sales tax jurisdictions.

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