Alabama sales tax holiday encourages disaster readiness
- Feb 23, 2017 | Gail Cole
As its name suggests, Alabama’s annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday was created to encourage the people of Alabama to prepare for severe weather. During the tax-free period, which runs from 12:01 a.m. on February 24 until midnight on February 26, a variety of products that can help people prepare for severe weather are exempt from state sales and use tax. Hurricane season officially starts on June 1, and Global Weather Oscillations predicts 2017 will be “the most dangerous since the 2005 season.”
Local sales and use tax may or may not apply during the sales tax holiday. Cities and counties aren’t required to exempt qualifying items from local tax, but they can opt to participate in the sales tax holiday by ordinance or resolution adopted at least 30 days prior to the last full weekend of February. Those that do must adhere to the guidelines of the state holiday — in other words, only items exempt from state sales tax can be exempt from local tax.
The Alabama Department of Revenue keeps a list of participating cities and counties on its website, where there is also a Sales Tax Holiday Quick Reference Sheet of Exempt Items. Qualifying items include cell batteries (sizes AAA through D), duct tape, plywood, and tarpaulins, provided they cost $60 or less per item. Automobile, boat, and coin batteries are called out as taxable. See Alabama Sales Tax Holidays for additional information.
To be sales tax compliant, retailers that sell affected goods in the state need to ensure that point-of-sale systems reflect the most up-to-date information.
A simpler way to stay in compliance is to use tax automation software. Learn how it works.