Bill Passes to Provide Sales Tax Exemption for Personal Protective Equipment Purchases

Date: March 18, 2021

SB 1403 sponsored by Senator Todd Pillion and HB 2185 sponsored by Delegate Kathy Byron establishes a retail sales and use tax exemption for a business’ purchases of personal protective equipment.  The exemption is available to any business that has in place a COVID-19 safety protocol that complies with the Permanent Standard promulgated by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. 


Governor Northam signed the legislation on March 11, 2021.  Therefore, the legislation will go into effect immediately. 


The Department of Taxation is required to issue guidelines clarifying what equipment and training are tax exempt under this section and how businesses receive the sales tax exemption within 30 days after the effective date of the bill.


NFIB will keep members informed when the Department of Taxation has issued the final guidance along with any additional details.


The legislation will sunset two days after the State of Emergency and Workplace Safety regulations expire.


Items exempt from sales tax are the following: 


  • Disinfecting products approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19;
  • Coveralls, full body suits, gowns, and vests;
  • Engineering controls such as substitution, isolation, ventilation, and equipment modification to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease-related workplace hazards and job tasks; engineering controls also include UVC sanitation equipment, indoor air quality equipment such as ionization, HEPA filtration, and physical barriers;
  • Face coverings, face shields, and filtering facepiece respirators;
  • Gloves;
  • Hand sanitizer;
  • Hand-washing facilities;
  • HVAC, testing, and physical modifications to comply with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-HB 2185 – Enrolled -3- 02/25/21 Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standards 62.1 and 62.2 (ASHRAE 2019a, 2019b);
  • Medical and nonmedical masks;
  • Physical barriers and electronic sensors or systems designed to maintain or

monitor physical distancing of employees from other employees, other persons, and the general public, including acrylic sneeze guards, permanent or temporary walls, electronic employee monitors, and proximity sensors in employee badges;

  • Respiratory protection equipment;
  • Safety glasses;
  • Signs related to COVID-19;
  • Temperature-checking devices and monitors;
  • Testing and related equipment related to COVID-19.

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