Tax Policy News

June 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...


Disasters and Texas Sales Tax

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

If you have property in Texas that was damaged by the recent floods throughout the state, you can claim an exemption from sales tax on labor charges to repair the damaged property.

For additional information about disaster-related sales tax exemptions, see Disasters and Texas Sales Tax.

Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund

The Comptroller mailed billings for the Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Fund Assessment at the end of May for the assessment due Aug. 1, 2016.

The Commissioner of Insurance determined the amount to be assessed is $18,562,654 for the 2016-2017 biennium.

This assessment applies to property and casualty insurers writing homeowners insurance, fire insurance, farm and ranch owners insurance, private passenger auto physical damage insurance, commercial auto physical damage insurance or commercial multi-peril insurance.

Annual Sales Tax Holiday – Clothing, Shoes and School Supplies August 5-7, 2016

You can buy certain items tax free during the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. This year's holiday begins on Friday, Aug. 5, and goes through Sunday, Aug. 7. The exemption applies to certain school supplies, clothing, shoes and backpacks priced under $100.

Textbooks, computers and software are not exempt during this sales tax holiday.

See Texas Sales Tax Holidays for information about other sales tax holidays.

Policy Memo - Sales Tax

Heavy Equipment Inventory Tax

We are amending Rule 3.294 to clearly provide that a separately stated charge for property tax reimbursement is part of the taxable sales price. Until a rule amendment is adopted, sellers and purchasers can continue to follow the current policy, which allows separately stated charges for property tax reimbursement, including a separately stated Heavy Equipment Inventory Tax (HEIT) charge, to be excluded from the taxable sales price.

See State Automated Research System (STAR) document 201604756L for more information.

Public Outreach

Tax Policy Division Presentations

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

Division members recently participated in the following meetings:

  • Comal County Motor Vehicle Dealer Seminar – New Braunfels, Texas
  • Small Business Festival, Legal Launch, training for new businesses – Austin, Texas
  • Southwest Fuel and Convenience Store Expo exhibitor – Austin, Texas
  • Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council meeting – Austin, Texas
  • Texas Agricultural Council meeting – Austin, Texas
  • State Agency Energy Advisory Group meeting – Austin, Texas



The Comptroller's office proposed the following rule for public comment through the Texas Register.

Franchise Tax

Rule 3.584 – Margin: Reports and Payments
Publication date was May 20, 2016.
Comment period ended June 19, 2016.

Rule 3.588 – Margin: Cost of Goods Sold
Publication date was May 20, 2016.
Comment period ended June 19, 2016.

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

Rule 3.369 – Sales Tax Holiday – Certain Energy Star Products
Publication date was May 27, 2016.
Comment period ends June 26, 2016.

Rule 3.286 – Seller's and Purchaser's Responsibilities, including Nexus, Permits, Returns and Reporting Periods, and Collection and Exemption Rules
Publication date was June 17, 2016.
Comment period ends July 17, 2016.


The Comptroller's office filed the following rules for adoption with the Secretary of State:

Franchise Tax

Rule 3.582 – Margin: Passive Entities
Publication date is June 24, 2016.
Effective date is June 28, 2016.

Mixed Beverage Tax

Rule 3.1002 – Mixed Beverage Sales Tax
Publication date was April 29, 2016
Effective date was May 8, 2016

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

Rule 3.320 – Texas Emissions Reduction Plan Surcharge; Off-Road, Heavy-Duty Diesel Equipment
Publication date was May 13, 2016
Effective date was May 17, 2016