Tag Archive for: emergency supplies

Buy Emergency Supplies Tax Free From April 22 – 24, 2023

If you need emergency supplies, you can save the sales tax on them this weekend.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, this year’s tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 24.

So, take an inventory and prepare yourself now for hurricane season. You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the sales tax holiday.

There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase. But there are some price limitations.

Qualifying Items

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

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators.
  • Less than $300
  • 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 (including these suggested items – PDF).
    • 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.

Note: 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.

If you’ve ever been stuck with an electric can open after days without power, you know why manual can openers will be tax free this weekend.


These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • 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.
  • Chainsaws.
  • Plywood.
  • Extension ladders.
  • Stepladders.
  • Tents.
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies.
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies.

About Online Purchases, Telephone Orders

During the holiday you can buy qualifying emergency preparation supplies in-store, online, by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means. The sale of the item must take place between the hours and days listed above.

The purchase date is easy to determine when the purchase is made in-store but becomes more complicated with remote purchases.

The purchaser must have given the consideration for the item during the 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 25, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.to purchase a qualifying generator, but the generator will not be shipped until Friday, April 29, 2022, and will not arrive until Tuesday, May 3, the purchase will still qualify for the exemption. However, if the charge to credit card is declined by the payment processor at 11:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022, and the purchaser does not resubmit payment until Tuesday, April 26, the purchase is taxable.

Shipping Charges May Disqualify Tax Savings if Over Limit

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. 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 entire $309 sales price.

Sales Tax Holiday Refund Requests

If a retailer charges you sales tax on qualifying items during the sales tax holiday, simply ask the seller for a refund of the tax paid.

The seller can either grant the refund or provide you with Form 00-985, Assignment of Right to Refund (PDF) that allows you to file the refund claim directly with the Comptroller’s office.

Should you have additional questions about refund requests, please contact us at 800-531-5441, ext. 34545, or visit the Texas Comptroller’s Sales Tax Refunds web page for further details on filing a refund claim or call 800-252-5555.

Suggested Emergency Kit Contents

Your emergency preparedness supplies should include items most relevant to your family’s specific needs. To help customize your kit list, use this Build-a-Kit checklist PDF (provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services).

Each family’s needs will differ, but FEMA recommends these 10 basic items to include in your emergency prep supplies:

  • Several days’ supply of food and water (for family/pets)  
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Whistle (for rescue workers to hear you)
  • Dust mask (in case dirty/contaminated air)
  • Local maps (in case no access to internet)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Manual can opener
  • First Aid Kit
  • Games/activities for kids
  • Wrench or pliers/other tools and equipment relevant to your needs

Note: not all of these may qualify for tax savings this weekend.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/21/2023 based on information from Comptroller.Texas.Gov

2061 Days since Hurricane Harvey