Tax Policy News

April 2016

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...


Franchsie Tax

Franchise Tax Reports

Annual franchise tax reports are due May 16.

Insurance Tax

Annual Independently Procured Insurance Premium Reports

The annual independently procured insurance premium tax Report and supplement are due May 16.

Sales Tax

Fireworks Sales

The 2 percent fireworks tax was repealed Sept. 1, 2015, but fireworks retailers must still have a sales tax permit and must collect all applicable state and local sales and use taxes on their fireworks sales.

Fireworks can be legally sold to the public during certain periods designated by law. Sales of fireworks during some of these periods require the county commissioners court approval for sales to be made within their county.

A law passed in 2015 added three more periods when fireworks can be sold: Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day and Memorial Day.

The county commissioners court approval is not needed during the following periods:

  • June 24-July 4 – Independence Day
  • Dec. 20-Jan. 1 – New Year's Eve

The county commissioners court approval is required to sell fireworks in their county during the following periods:

  • Feb. 25-March 2 – Texas Independence Day
  • April 16-21 – San Jacinto Day
  • May 1-5 – Cinco de Mayo (only at a location that is not more than 100 miles from the Texas-Mexico border)
  • May 25-30 – Memorial Day
Sales Tax Holidays

New Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday - April 23-25, 2016

You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the new Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday.

The 2016 Emergency Preparation Sales Tax Holiday begins on Saturday, April 23, and goes through Monday, April 25.

New Water-Efficient Product Sales Tax Holiday / Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday - May 28-30, 2016

You can purchase certain water-efficient and water-conserving products during the new Water-Efficient Sales Tax Holiday. And, you can purchase certain energy-efficient products during our annual Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday.

Both Tax Holidays begin on Saturday, May 28, and go through Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day weekend).

Policy Memo - Sales Tax

Improvement of Realty for Exempt Entities; Taxability of Silt Fences and Other Consumable Supplies

Silt fencing components and other consumable supplies used for improving realty for an exempt entity are eligible for exemption as long as the component materials are not rented or reused after the construction project is completed. See State Automated Research System (STAR) document 201603709L for more information.

Publication Update

Publication 96-1253, Contesting Disagreed Audits, Examinations and Refund Denials

An updated version of the publication Contesting Disagreed Audits, Examinations and Refund Denials is now available. We expanded the title to clarify that the processes apply to refunds and examinations as well as audits.

The publication explains how to exercise your rights as a taxpayer if you disagree with the results of your audit, examination or refund verification. It includes updated information on the Independent Audit Review process and outlines your options to resolve any disagreements as they arise. We hope you find the information helpful.

Website Update

Agricultural and Timber Registration Search

The online search for agricultural and timber (ag/timber) registrations is now mobile friendly. This means the search adapts to whatever device you are using: tablet, mobile phone or desktop.

To see the status of the ag/timber registration, click the 'eye' icon on the line next to the name returned by the search. Search results still list the name, mailing address, the registration start date and the end date if the registration is expired or closed.

As always, you can search by the individual, farm or ranch name, business name or the ag/timber number assigned by the Comptroller.

Public Outreach

Tax Policy Division Presentations

Various organizations often ask members of the Tax Policy Division to attend meetings or to give presentations to discuss taxability issues. We are committed to helping taxpayers and their representatives understand their tax responsibilities and strive to fill requests as staffing permits.

Division members recently attended the following events:

  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas Association training course in Buda
  • National Society of Accountants for Co-operatives (NSAC) Conference in San Antonio
  • Texas Water Conservation Advisory Council meeting in Austin
  • Bluebonnet Region of the Tax Assessor-Collectors Association quarterly meeting in Round Rock



The Comptroller's office proposed the following rules for public comment through the Texas Register, and we are reviewing the comments received.

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

Rule 3.364 – Professional Employer Services
Publication date – March 25, 2016.
Comment period ends – April 24, 2016.


The following rules were filed with the Secretary of State:

General Rules

Rule 3.9 – Electronic Filing of Returns and Reports; Electronic Transfer of Certain Payments by Certain Taxpayers
Publication date – April 1, 2016.
Effective date – April 5, 2016.

Motor Fuel Tax

Rule 3.432 – Refunds on Gasoline, Diesel Fuel, Compressed Natural Gas, and Liquefied Natural Gas Taxes
Publication date – April 8, 2016.
Effective date – April 11, 2016.

State and Local Sales and Use Tax

Rule 3.353 – Sales Tax Holiday – Certain Emergency Preparation Supplies
Publication date – April 15, 2016.
Effective date – April 21, 2016.

Rule 3.335 – Insurance Services
Publication date – April 22, 2016.
Effective date – May 1, 2016.