Texas sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies begins April 24

HOUSTON – Are you ready for the next natural disaster in the Houston area?

Families are urged to have a disaster preparedness kit before the hurricane season starts on June 1.

Individuals that are looking to save a few bucks should plan to shop during the annual sales-tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies. The 2021 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday begins on Saturday, April 24, at 12:01 a.m to Monday, April 26, at midnight.

The tax-free promotion includes items such as portable generators, hurricane shutters, coolers, fuel containers, tarps, flashlights, batteries, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

While other items, such as PPE, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, batteries for motorized vehicles, are not apart of the tax-free benefits.

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


  • Less than $3000 Portable generators

  • Less than $300 Emergency ladders Hurricane shutters

  • 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 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

According to the state, 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 the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

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

To encourage social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, the sale of emergency preparation supplies purchased online or by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means other than in-person qualify for sales tax exemption when either

  • the item is both delivered to and paid for, by the customer during the exemption period; or

  • the customer orders and pays for the item and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

A seller accepts an order when the seller has acted to fill the order for immediate shipment.

An order is for immediate shipment regardless of whether the shipment is delayed due to a backlog of orders, or because the stock is currently unavailable to, or on backorder by, the seller.

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