Tax-free holiday for emergency supplies in effect this year


If you’ve gone back to school shopping you’re probably familiar with Tax-Free Weekend which takes place a few weeks before school is back in session, but there’s a new sales tax holiday not many people have heard of. This tax free holiday will exempt items that can help you be prepared for emergencies and severe weather. This tax free weekend is known as the 2016 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday.

The bill for the sales tax exemption was passed during last year’s legislative session, making 2016 the first year this tax exemption will be taking place. But what exactly does this mean for people wanting to purchase emergency supplies? According to the Texas Comptroller office, Texans will have the opportunity to purchase essential emergency preparation supplies and not have to pay taxes on the items the weekend of April 23-25.

This holiday will begin Sat. April 23 at 12:01 a.m. at which time costumers will be able to purchase some emergency preparation supplies tax-free, the holiday will be ending at midnight on Monday, April 25. This deal is part of the state’s efforts to help people prepare for their next weather emergency.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a price:

Less than $3000

  • Portable generators

Less than $300

  • Hurricane shutters
  • Emergency ladders

Less than $75

  • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
  • First aid kits
  • Fuel containers
  • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
  • Hatchets
  • Axes
  • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
  • Nonelectric coolers and ice chests for food storage
  • Nonelectric can openers
  • Portable self-powered light sources (hand cranked flashlights)
  • Portable self-powered radios, including two-way and weather band radios
  • Reusable and artificial ice products
  • Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide 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.

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