Sales Tax News and Hurricane Relief
As rebuilding efforts begin in Texas and Florida following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there are important sales tax updates to note. The declaration of a federal disaster in both Texas and Florida assists locals trying to clean up debris and rebuild lost homes and businesses with state tax exemptions on certain goods and services.
Hurricane Related Sales Tax Exemptions
Most services performed in the relief and rebuilding efforts are tax exempt, including labor charges for repairing, remodeling or rebuilding residential property. The federal disaster declaration in Texas and Florida also allows for any repairs made to commercial property in the affected area to be exempt from sales tax. Unfortunately, materials for such repairs that are purchased with a personal credit or debit card are not included in the sales tax exemption.
Residents affected by Hurricane Harvey or Irma are eligible for additional relief in the form of a FEMA debit card and Red Cross debit card or voucher. Any purchase made with these cards, including the purchase of hot meals, clothing items, household goods, pet care items, are exempt from state and local sales tax. The purchase must be made with the FEMA or Red Cross issued debit card in order to qualify for this exemption. Any purchase of relief items made out of a personal account, even if money has been deposited into a personal account by FEMA, will not qualify for the sales tax exemption.
While there are still significant costs associated with the rebuilding efforts after such severe damage caused by the recent Hurricanes, residents in the affected areas will find some relief with zero sales tax on certain purchases needed to fix up communities in Texas and Florida.
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