AUSTIN, Texas - Texans will be able to purchase emergency supplies tax-free next weekend to help prepare for severe weather.
The sales tax holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.
The state 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.
Emergency preparation supplies that qualify:
If purchased for less than $3000
- Portable generators
If purchased for less than $300
- Emergency ladders
- Hurricane shutters
If purchased for 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) - includes 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
Purchases that do not qualify include:
- 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
- Camping supplies
- Extension ladders
- Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
- Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies
For purchases made online, Texans should 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, so consumers are advised to 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.
Also, to qualify for tax-free status, the sale of the item must take place during the holiday, not necessarily receive the item within the period if purchased online.
For example, if someone purchases a qualifying item online on April 25 at 5 p.m., but the generator will not be shipped until April 29 and will not arrive until May 3, the purchase will still qualify for the exemption.
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.