Posts Tagged ‘Texas’


State Sales Tax Holidays

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Family,Taxes on August 10, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , ,

Almost Better than Christmas…

A lot of people accept the fact there’s sales tax on most products and they pay it without complaint. Other people accept the fact that there’s sales tax, and they pay it, but grumble every time they do so. And then there are the people who order everything online so they don’t have to pay sales tax, or if they can’t find an item online, they drive around from city to city, looking for the one with the lowest sales tax rate. And finally, there are the die-hard-no-sales-tax believers, who have moved to Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon by now, so they don’t have to worry at all about a state sales tax.  

Now is the perfect time for anyone in those last three groups to take an end-of-summer trip across the United States. Many states have an annual, back-to-school State Sales Tax Holiday where consumers can buy certain items without paying sales tax. For example, from August 10-11 in Georgia, you can purchase school supplies worth up to $20 each, clothing items up to $100 each, and computers worth up to $1,000 each, without having to pay – you guessed it – sales tax.

In Connecticut, you have from August 19-25 to update your wardrobe – tax-free – on any clothing and footwear items under $300 each. While you missed your chance to buy a tax-free Energy Star air conditioner in Texas on Memorial Day weekend, you can still purchase tax-free clothing, backpacks, and school supplies ($100 max. cost each item) from August 17-19. Or you could just head over to Virginia anytime from October 5-8 to get your Energy Star products with no sales tax, at a maximum cost of $2,500.  Louisiana had the best offer in the first days of August with all tangible personal property (pretty much any item you can think of under $2,500) tax-free.

Unfortunately, there seems to be an absence of sales tax holidays on the west coast – perhaps that’s the price of good weather year-round.  However, Georgia just got on the State Sales Tax Holiday bandwagon in 2012, so it’s likely that other states will participate in the near future.  Texas, Connecticut, and the Carolinas have been doing this for over a decade, so if you missed the holiday this year, you can be pretty sure it will be back next year. That gives all of those “frugal” individuals out there time to look for the cheapest deals on flights and hotels. 

Happy Shopping, Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions


Don’t Have a Cow Because of the Drought?

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Taxes on October 16, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

IRS Extends Livestock Replacement Period….
First hurricanes, now drought – when will the bad weather end? The IRS is doing what it can to ensure that livestock businesses don’t become dead-meat in the heat. On Sept. 21, the agency announced in Notice 2011-79 that it was extending the replacement period for livestock involuntarily sold because of the drought.

The IRS issued the extension under Tax code Section 1033. This tax code allows a taxpayer to defer any taxes due to a gain on the sale of livestock – if that livestock is both involuntarily converted and replaced with property similar in service or use. A breeder who sold more dairy cows than usual because the animals didn’t have enough water or grass, will have four years to replace those extra cows he sold if he wants to delay paying taxes on his profit. (Assuming there is a profit!) Notice 2011-79 extends the start of this replacement period to the end of the taxpayer’s first taxable year without drought for the applicable region.

Texas has been hit the hardest by the dry skies, but “applicable region” refers to any United States county experiencing drought on account of which livestock was sold or exchanged, and all counties adjacent to it. The region needs to have experienced exceptional, extreme, or severe conditions. Moreover, while the consequences of the weather must spark the livestock exchange, the actual sale doesn’t need to occur in the affected area.

The IRS notice listed counties and parishes in 32 states, for which drought has been reported in the last twelve months, and which are eligible for relief. Taxpayers can also refer to the U.S. Drought Monitor to determine the extent of drought reported for any location in the applicable region. The extension should help many Americans survive the dry spell so that when April showers (and taxes) finally arrive, they can return to business as usual.

On the Money,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions