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Category: Virginia

Virginia Use Tax

You are required to pay consumer’s use tax on purchases, leases, and rentals of tangible personal property acquired in or outside Virginia for storage, use or consumption in Virginia if retail sales and use tax was not collected on the transaction.

Examples include untaxed purchases made

(1) over the Internet,

(2) through out-of-state mail order catalogs, or

(3) while traveling out-of-state.

If the amount of purchases from out-of-state mail order catalogs totaled $100 or less for the entire year, you do not have to pay consumer’s use tax on these purchases. If the purchases were from out-of-state mail order catalogs and exceed $100, or the purchases were of any amount from sources other than mail order catalogs, then you must pay consumer’s use tax on the total amount of untaxed purchases made during the calendar year from all sources. The tax is based on the "cost price" of the goods and does not include separately stated shipping or delivery charges but it does include any "shipping and handling" charges if listed as a combined item on the sales invoice.

Nonprescription drugs and proprietary medicines purchased for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in human beings are exempt from the consumer’s use tax.

Tax Rates:

The general tax rate is 6% in the following cities and counties in the Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia regions:

• Chesapeake City

• Alexandria City

• Franklin City

• Fairfax City

• Hampton City

• Falls Church City

• Newport News City

• Manassas City

• Norfolk City

• Manassas Park City

• Poquoson City

• Arlington County

• Portsmouth City

• Fairfax County

• Suffolk City

• Loudoun County

• Virginia Beach City

• Prince William County

• Williamsburg City

• Isle of Wight County

• James City County

• Southampton County

• York County


The general tax rate is 5.3% in all other areas of Virginia.

Statewide, the tax rate on food purchased for home consumption is 2.5%.

For additional information, please refer to the VA State Instructions.