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State sales tax holiday for emergency prep supplies April 28-30

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AUSTIN — With the potential for severe weather approaching this spring, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds Texans they can purchase certain items tax-free during the state’s sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies, from April 28 to April 30. 

“The severe weather we had last year — particularly Hurricane Harvey — was a stark reminder that Texans should be prepared for emergencies at all times,” Hegar said. “This tax holiday allows people to save money while ensuring they have the supplies they need before an emergency situation occurs.” 

There's no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase. These include: 

  • 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.

Purchases that do not qualify include: 

  • batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;
  • camping stoves and camping supplies;
  • chainsaws;
  • plywood;
  • extension ladders and stepladders; and
  • tents.

 A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website. 

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 lawmakers during the 2015 Texas Legislature.

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
    • Axes
    • 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
    • Hatchets
    • 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

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

For more information, contact us at Tax Help, or call 1-800-252-5555.

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