UPDATE 04/23/2020: As the nation continues to shelter in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is urging Texans to shop online or practice strict social distancing measures for in-store purchases during the sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies. The primary intent of the law that established this holiday, which begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 27, is to help Texans prepare for events like hurricanes and turbulent spring storms.
“Unfortunately, strong spring storms, wildfires and the upcoming hurricane season will still threaten Texans in the months ahead, and so it’s important that homes and businesses have the supplies they need to face these emergencies,” Hegar said. “As this pandemic continues to spread, I want to remind all Texans this sales tax holiday applies to qualifying items they purchase online, from the safety of their homes. If visiting your local retailer to purchase items, please practice appropriate social distancing as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
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 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, if you purchase a rescue ladder 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.
Unfortunately, the list of tax-free items is established by law and does not include items such as masks or personal protection equipment.
Other purchases that do not qualify include:
- batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;
- camping stoves and camping supplies;
- extension ladders and stepladders; and
A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website.
You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax-free during the 2020 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption.
This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 27.
These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:
- Less than $3000
- 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
These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:
- Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
- Camping stoves
- Camping supplies
- Extension ladders
- 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.