Tax Policy News

June 2015

The Comptroller's office publishes this online newsletter to keep you informed about Texas taxes and what is happening in the Tax Policy Division. Tax Policy News provides general information and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

In This Issue...

Disaster Areas Declared

90-Day Tax Filing Extension Offered

Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in many of our Texas counties. A complete list of affected counties is available on the Governor's website.

In addition, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced on May 15 that businesses affected by the recent severe weather in these counties can postpone filing and paying state taxes. Businesses needing additional time to file or pay can call our office at 1-800-252-5555 to request a 90-day extension.

Our office also provides a variety of resources to help affected persons recover from man-made and natural disasters.

State Tax Automated Research (STAR) System

Message from Comptroller Hegar

In a letter dated May 21, 2015, the Comptroller announced to taxpayers and their representatives improvements relating to Comptroller's Decisions (CDs) intended to enhance transparency and improve customer service. Starting in June, all CDs will be placed on the STAR system, indexed at a minimum by tax type. This includes CDs that are still accessible but that were not previously added to the system in prior years. New decisions will attach and incorporate the Proposal for Decision (PFD) as drafted by the Administrative Law Judges and changes to any PFD will be identified by a "strike-through" format.

Monthly Updates

To see the latest items added to STAR, use the Monthly Updates Search Form link on the STAR home page in the right-hand column.

The Monthly Updates Search Form defaults to the current month and "All Taxes." Use the pull-down menu to choose a different month or a particular tax. Selecting "All Taxes" brings up the documents organized by tax type.

Policy Memos – Franchise Tax

Franchise Tax Information Added to State Tax Automated Research (STAR) System

We recently added the following Texas Franchise Tax information to STAR.

  • Farmers who own and sell the crops they grow are eligible to take the cost of goods sold (COGS) deduction in determining margin for the Texas Franchise Tax. See STAR document 201504068L for more information.
  • A taxable entity that is eligible for the cost of goods sold (COGS) deduction can claim as COGS all research and experimental costs described by Section 174 of the Internal Revenue Code relating to the goods it sells, regardless of whether the taxable entity is considered the producer of the goods. See STAR document 201504069L for more information.


Annual Sales Tax Holiday is August 7, 8 and 9

This year's annual sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 7 and ends at midnight on Sunday, Aug. 9. During this three-day period, Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes on purchases of school supplies, clothing and most backpacks priced under $100.

Public Outreach

Presentations and Articles by the Tax Policy Division

Members of the Tax Policy Division often receive requests to discuss taxability issues with interested organizations, or to provide articles about tax issues for industry publications.

Recently, we conducted a sales and use tax presentation to the Associated Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas in Buda, Texas, about contractors' tax responsibilities.


Proposed Rules

Information about proposed rules is available from the Texas Secretary of State.

Motor Vehicle Sales Tax

The Comptroller proposed amendments to the following rule for public comment through the Texas Register on May 15, 2015. The comment period ends June 28, 2015.

Rule 3.96 – Imposition and Collection of a Surcharge on Certain Diesel Powered Motor Vehicles

Adopted Rules

Motor Fuel Tax

The following rule adoption was filed with the Secretary of State on May 13, 2015. The rule will become effective on June 2, 2015.

Rule 3.430 – Records Required, Information Required

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

The following rule was filed for adoption with the Secretary of State on May 14, 2015. The rule will become effective on June 3, 2015.

Rule 3.286 – Seller's and Purchaser's Responsibilities, including Nexus, Permits, Returns and Reporting Periods, and Collection and Exemption Rules

Effective Rules

Mixed Beverage Taxes

Rule 3.1002, Mixed Beverage Sales Tax, effective April 27, 2015.

Rule 3.1001, Mixed Beverage Gross Receipts Tax, effective April 28, 2015.

Withdrawn Rules

The Comptroller proposed the withdrawal of proposed amendments to the following rules on April 4, 2015, for publication in the May 15, 2015, issue of the Texas Register. The original proposals were published in the Oct. 31, 2014, issue of the Texas Register.

Rule 3.280, Aircraft

Rule 3.285 REPEAL, Resale Certificate; Sales for Resale

Rule 3.285, Resale Certificate; Sales for Resale

Rule 3.292, Repair, Remodeling, Maintenance, and Restoration of Tangible Personal Property

Rule 3.297 REPEAL, Carriers

Rule 3.297, Carriers, Commercial Vessels, Locomotives and Rolling Stock, and Motor Vehicles