As we enter severe weather season, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds Texans they can purchase certain items tax-free during the state’s sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies, which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.
“Whether it’s fires, freezing temperatures or tornadoes, severe weather conditions can strike at any time, so it is important that families, homes and businesses have the supplies they need to face these and other emergencies,” Hegar said. “This tax holiday can help Texans save money while stocking up for emergency situations.”
The Comptroller’s office estimates shoppers will save more than $1.5 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday, which was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2015.
There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase. These include:
- household batteries, fuel containers and flashlights priced at less than $75;
- hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300; and
- portable generators priced at less than $3,000.
For purchases made online, note that delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation item being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation item can be purchased tax-free during the holiday.
For example, if you purchase a rescue ladder online for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, the total sales price is $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.
Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
Purchases that do not qualify include:
- batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;
- camping stoves and camping supplies;
- extension ladders and stepladders; and
These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:
- Less than $3000
- Portable generators
- Less than $300
- Emergency ladders
- Hurricane shutters
- Less than $75
- Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
- Can openers - nonelectric
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
- Fire extinguishers
- First aid kits
- Fuel containers
- Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
- Ice products - reusable and artificial
- Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
- Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
- Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
- Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
- Smoke detectors
- Tarps and other plastic sheeting
Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a "Drug Facts" panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website.