DOR has released its final report on the 2011 sales tax holiday weekend that occurred on August 13-14, estimating that the amount of sales tax revenue foregone was approximately $20.98 million, exceeding the estimate of $19.9 million from the 2010 sales tax holiday weekend.
Last summer, just prior to the holiday, DOR issued a preliminary estimate of $20.5 million in potential savings to consumers from the holiday weekend.
The most commonly asked question about this report is why can't DOR say precisely how much sales tax revenue was foregone to the Commonwealth and saved by taxpayers.
Sales tax is reported to the Commonwealth no later than the 20th of the month following. For example, information on December sales tax collections will not be reported until January 20th.
Retailers do not list individual transactions by date when they report that data, but simply lump together the entire amount of taxable retail sales for the month, and then apply the 6.25 percent sales tax and forward that amount to the Commonwealth.
As a result, DOR receives no reporting on the volume of taxable or untaxable sales on any given day or days. Individual retailers undoubtedly have some information on this, but they are not required to share it with DOR.
So in the absence of hard data, DOR estimates using the methodology outlined in the report.