2024 Texas emergency preparation sales tax holiday set for April 27-29

Portable generators bought for less than $3,000 are exempt from Texas sales tax during the 2024 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday.  (Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Texas will be holding a sales tax holiday this weekend for emergency preparedness supplies.

The 2024 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 29.

The holiday allows Texans to purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax-free. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to give an exemption certificate to claim the exemption.

What items qualify?

Less than $3,000

  • 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 and smoke detectors
  • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kits
  • Fuel containers
  • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
  • Axes and hatchets
  • Ice products - reusable and artificial
  • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated), including 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
  • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

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 FDA regulations, says the Texas Comptroller's office.

What items do not qualify?

  • Medical masks and face masks
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes
  • Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex and types used in healthcare
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves and supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders and stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

What if I buy something online or over the phone?

To qualify, any purchase, whether made in-store, online, by phone, mail, custom order, or other means, must be made during the specified time period.

The purchase date must be within the time period, even if the item may not be delivered until after the period is over.

For example, if a purchaser enters their credit card information in an online shopping website on Monday, April 29 at 5 p.m.to purchase a qualifying generator, but the generator will not be shipped until Friday, May 3 and will not arrive until Tuesday, May 7, the purchase will still qualify. 

However, if the charge is declined by the payment processor at 11 p.m. on Monday, April 29, and the purchaser does not resubmit payment until Tuesday, April 30, the purchase is taxable.

Are delivery charges considered part of the "sale price"?

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. 

For example, if a consumer purchases 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.

How do I get a refund if I end up paying sales tax in error?

If a consumer pays sales tax on these items during the holiday, they can ask the seller for a refund of the tax paid. 

The seller can either grant the refund or provide their customer with a form, Form 00-985, that allows the purchaser to file the refund claim directly with the Comptroller's office.

Anyone with any additional questions about refund requests can contact the Texas Comptroller's office at 800-531-5441, ext. 34545, or click here for further details on filing a refund claim.