By John McPhaul
Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea announced on Wednesday a change in the date for the special sales and use tax-free sale of items and equipment necessary for the hurricane season, to the weekend of June 17.
“In response to the request of merchants to have more time to offer a broader inventory of items and equipment related to the hurricane season that is about to begin, we moved the sales dates without the IVU [the Spanish acronym for sales and use tax] to the weekend of the 17th, 18th and 19th of June,” Parés Alicea said in a written statement.
Parés Alicea noted that store owners approached him requesting additional time to be able to have more inventory of the items and equipment that were included in Law 20 of 2022, signed just a few weeks ago. The law amended the Internal Revenue Code of Puerto Rico of 2011 to exempt from the payment of the IVU certain essential items and equipment to encourage citizens to prepare for possible atmospheric events.
Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30 of each year. Law 20-2022 empowers the Treasury secretary to assign the IVU-free sales weekend during the first year in which the law goes into force. For subsequent years, it is established that sales will take place on the last weekend of May. The secretary will issue a department memo no later than May 1 of each year specifying the sales period.
The three-day period of IVU-free sales will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 17 and will end at 12 midnight on Sunday, June 19.
Preparedness items include: containers, tanks and cisterns for fuel and water; shutters; fittings, fasteners and screws; wood and untreated panels; ropes and moorings; zinc panels; nonperishable food; water, cleaning and sanitizing items; and parts and products for the repair and maintenance of generators and emergency solar equipment.
As for the preparation equipment, the following may be purchased without the IVU: portable generators whose price does not exceed $3,000; individual batteries or packs; battery- or alternative energy-operated lamps, flashlights, candles and matches; solar emergency kits; tools such as drills, saws and hammers; gas stoves and burners; gas in cylinders and tanks; ladders; hurricane shutters; axes and machetes; non-electric can openers; portable coolers; fire extinguishers; battery-operated smoke or carbon monoxide detectors; first aid kits; reusable or artificial freezing items; phone batteries and mobile chargers; portable radios; battery- or alternative energy-operated fans; and tarps or other flexible material.
The IVU-free period will also cover sales under payment plans or layaway, with vouchers or rainchecks, purchases by correspondence, telephone, email or internet and gift certificates and cards, as long as the final payment is made during the three days of exemption.