It’s a Tax Free Weekend


Ready to do some shopping? You can save big during the fifth annual sales tax holiday for water-efficient and Energy Star products, this Saturday and Sunday. There’s a lot of pent up spending waiting to happen, and Kevin Lyons with the Texas Comptroller’s Office says you can pocket some significant change on big ticket items. “Like air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less; refrigerators prices at $2,000 or less; also thing like ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, dishwashers, dehumidifiers and clothes washing machines.”

Here are all the details from the Comptroller's Office:

This year's tax-free ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday begins Saturday, May 23, and goes through midnight on Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day).

Online Purchases and Telephone Orders

To promote social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday, you can buy qualifying ENERGY STAR® energy-efficient products online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax free, 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 ends.

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

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

In-Store Purchases

The Comptroller’s office urges all taxpayers buying certain ENERGY STAR® energy-efficient products at their local retailers to practice appropriate social distancing as described in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the sales tax holiday.

Qualifying Products

You can buy, rent or lease only the following ENERGY STAR®-labeled items tax free:

  • air conditioners (with a sales price of $6,000 or less)
  • refrigerators (with a sales price of $2,000 or less)
  • ceiling fans
  • incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • clothes washers
  • dishwashers
  • dehumidifiers
  • programmable thermostats*

*The ENERGY STAR® qualification for programmable thermostats was suspended on Dec. 31, 2009. The ENERGY STAR Sales Tax Holiday exemption for programmable thermostats applies only to those that received ENERGY STAR® labels before the suspension.

Non-Qualifying Products

Examples of items that do not qualify and are taxable, even if they are ENERGY STAR®-labeled include

  • water heaters
  • clothes dryers
  • freezers
  • stoves
  • attic fans
  • heat pumps
  • wine refrigerators
  • kegerators
  • beverage chillers

Additional Charges Affect the Sales Price

Delivery, shipping, handling, and transportation charges by the seller are part of the item's sales price. Charges for installing free-standing items are also part of the item's sales price. If the item you buy is not taxable, then these charges are not taxable.

For air conditioners and refrigerators (because they have a price cap), you have to look at the item's total sales price to determine whether you can buy it tax free.

For example, you buy an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator for $1,995 with a $50 delivery charge for a total sales price of $2,045. Because the refrigerator's total sales price is more than the $2,000 cap for refrigerators, tax is due on the entire $2,045 sales price.

If a delivery charge is billed per item, and an invoice has both exempt and taxable items, only the qualifying exempt item's delivery charge is exempt.

For a flat-rate delivery charge, the total delivery charge is applied to the tax-exempt items and is exempt if it does not cause the item's sales price to exceed its price cap.

Contractors and Taxable Service Providers

If you perform new construction or residential repair and remodeling contract work, you are a contractor. If you repair or remodel nonresidential real property, you are a taxable service provider.

Purchases

Sales

WATER-EFFICIENT PRODUCTS SALES TAX HOLIDAY

May 23-25, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comptroller encourages all taxpayers to continue practicing social distancing and support and buy from Texas businesses while saving money on tax-free purchases of certain water-efficient and water-conserving products during the annual Texas Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can buy, and you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy items tax free.

The 2020 holiday begins Saturday, May 23, and goes through Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day).

Online Purchases and Telephone Orders

To promote social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday, you can buy certain water-efficient and water-conserving products online or by telephone, mail, custom order, or any other means (including in-store purchases) that 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 retailer accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

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

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

In-Store Purchases

The Comptroller’s office urges all taxpayers buying certain water-efficient and water-conserving products at their local retailers to practice appropriate social distancing as described in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the sales tax holiday.

WaterSense Products

During the holiday period, you can buy any product tax free that displays a WaterSense® label or logo. These items can be bought for either personal or business purposes.

Water-Conserving Products

You can also buy certain water-conserving products tax free during the holiday period.

Unlike WaterSense®-labeled items, these items are only exempt when you buy them for use at your residential property.

You can buy items tax free during the holiday that are used or planted for

  • conserving or retaining groundwater;
  • recharging water tables; or
  • decreasing ambient air temperature, and so limiting water evaporation.

Examples of items that qualify for the exemption include

  • a soaker or drip-irrigation hose
  • a moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system
  • mulch
  • a rain barrel or an alternative rain and moisture collection system
  • a permeable ground cover surface that allows water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points
  • plants, trees and grasses
  • water-saving surfactants
  • soil and compost

Examples of items that do not qualify for the exemption include

  • construction/building materials
  • awnings and other items used to create shade
  • air conditioners*
  • ceiling fans*
  • sprinklers

*Certain air conditioners and ceiling fans can be bought tax free as part of the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday during Memorial Day weekend.

Contractors, Landscapers and Other Service Providers

WaterSense Products

Water-Conserving Products

Sales Tax Holiday Refund Requests

Purchasers can buy certain water-efficient and water-conserving products during the annual Texas Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday. If you pay sales tax on these items during the sales tax holiday, you can ask the seller for a refund of the tax paid. The seller can either grant the refund or provide their customer with Form 00-985, Assignment of Right to Refund(PDF) that allows the purchaser 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 our Sales Tax Refunds web page for further details on filing a refund claim.

For more information, contact Tax Help, or call 800-252-555


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