Sales and Use Tax Exemption Policy

The College of William and Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), as state agencies, do not pay state sales and use tax with certain exceptions. Therefore, all purchases made on behalf of William & Mary or VIMS must be made using our tax-exempt certificate regardless of the method of payment or institutional funds used. It is the responsibility of the individual initiating the purchase to alert the vendor to our tax-exempt status.


Our sales and use tax exemption applies to all institutional funds. These funds include state appropriations, tuition and fees, sponsored research funds, local funds and gifts. The tax exemption applies regardless of the method of payment whether by check, small purchase charge card, or electronic payment.

Purchases made for William & Mary or VIMS by an employee with their personal funds, who is later reimbursed by the school, are not exempt from sales tax. The sales tax on purchases made by employees will not be reimbursed, even if the purchase would have been exempt if paid with direct College or VIMS funds.

Student and other organizations that are affiliated with William & Mary or VIMS and derive their operating funds from sources other than William & Mary or VIMS are not covered by our tax exemption. Therefore, they may not use the William & Mary or VIMS sales tax exemption for items they purchase. However, they may qualify for their own sales tax exemption depending on the type of organization it is.


Our sales tax exemption does NOT apply to the following:

  • Prepared food and beverage taxes levied and administered by various local governments in the State.
  • Occupancy taxes on hotel/motel lodging.
  • Highway use taxes on the purchase, lease or rental of motor vehicles.
  • State sales taxes levied on electricity.
  • Out-of-State purchases (tax exemption only applies in the State of Virginia).
  • If the department is paying from Agency funds (indexes that start with an 8)

Please contact your Accounts Payable Coordinator for further guidance.

To obtain a Sales and Use Tax Certificates; contact Cindi Fellows, ARMICS and Tax Compliance Officer at [[clfellows]] or call 757-221-2497; you must provide the following information to receive a completed form:

  • Department name
  • Vendor name
  • Vendor address