Avalara Taxrates > Blog > Sales Tax News > Texas Tax-Free Period, April 2016 - Avalara

Texas Tax-Free Period, April 2016

  • Apr 20, 2016 | Gail Cole

 The Texas sales tax holiday for emergency preparedness supplies comes a bit late.

Update, 4.28.2016: Updated regulations regarding buy one, get one free, delivery, shipping and more are available at Texas Admin Code § 3.353.

Texas is subject to prolonged periods of drought, devastating fires, and destructive floods, hurricanes, and tornados. Recent flooding in the Houston area has killed more than half-a dozen people and stranded more than 1,000. How, when and where disaster will next strike is often unknown, but it is certain that it will strike.

Preparing for eventual disaster can help mitigate its ill-effects. Therefore, to encourage people to prepare, the state is providing an annual sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies from 12:01 a.m. on April 23 through midnight, April 25, 2016. It comes late for the people affected by this week's floods, but better late than never.

During the tax-free period, many essential items are exempt from state and local sales and use tax.


  • Hurricane shutters and emergency ladders with a sales price less than $300
  • Portable generators with a sales price less than $3,000
  • The following products when sold for less than $75:
    • Axes
    • Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 6 volt, 9 volt)
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Hatchets
    • Mobile telephone batteries and charges
    • Nonelectric coolers and ice chests for food storage
    • Nonelectric can openers
    • Portable self-powered light sources
    • Portable self-powered radios
    • Reusable and artificial ice products
    • Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Not exempt

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats, motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves and supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Extension ladders and step ladders
  • Plywood
  • Repair and replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on and related to emergency preparation supplies
  • Tents

Charges for delivery, handling and shipping are considered part of the sales price. Additional information.

There will be more than twenty tax-free periods in 2016, causing a compliance nightmare for businesses selling qualifying goods. Sales tax software (SaaS) makes managing sales tax manageable at all times. Learn more.

photo credit: Memorial Parkway via photopin (license)

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.