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Florida Sales Tax in a Word
Ready for a sunny new adventure? Get your sunglasses on, because we're heading to the Sunshine State! Welcome to our deep-dive guide into Florida sales tax. Like an airboat cutting a path through the Everglades, we'll help you navigate through the complex and sometimes mystifying world of sales tax in Florida. From understanding nexus to filing your returns, we'll provide the insight and information you need to make this journey not just doable, but even – dare we say it? – fun! So, whether you're selling key lime pies in Key West or surfboards in Daytona Beach, we're here to guide you every step of the way. Let's get started on this sun-soaked tax adventure!
Table of Contents
Florida Sales Tax Contacts
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) manages the sales tax in the state. Just like a guide at a theme park, they're there to make sure everything runs smoothly and provide assistance when needed.
To get in touch with them, you have a few different options:
Phone: The DOR operates a toll-free helpline for general tax inquiries: 1-800-352-3671. Think of it as a direct line to your tax tour guide!
Mail: If you prefer the trusty pen and paper method, you can write to them at their physical address: Florida Department of Revenue 5050 West Tennessee Street Tallahassee, FL 32399
In Person: Need to have a face-to-face meeting? The DOR has several service centers across Florida. You can find the nearest one on their website.
Online: For those who prefer the digital route, the Florida DOR website offers a wealth of resources and contact options. You can visit their site at www.floridarevenue.com.
Remember, getting in touch with the DOR is like asking for directions on your sales tax journey. They're there to help you navigate the Florida tax landscape with ease.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us so we can assist you with your sales tax needs.
Do You Have Nexus in Florida?
Let's set the scene: the sun is shining, palm trees are swaying, and the surf is up. Welcome to Florida! But this isn't just a beach getaway. It's time to talk about something every Florida business owner or out-of-state seller should know: nexus. In the land of sales tax, nexus refers to a business presence or connection that's substantial enough to require you to collect and remit sales tax in a particular state. For Florida, if you have a business location in the state, employees, inventory, or significant sales, you likely have nexus. Like spotting an alligator in the Everglades, it's important to recognize when you have nexus in Florida, because it means you have sales tax obligations to the state. So, if you're doing business under the Florida sun, keep an eye out for those nexus 'gators!
What Creates Sales Tax Nexus in Florida?
It's important to recognize the signs that signal you've established nexus in the Sunshine State. You see, nexus isn't just about physical presence, it's a wider net that can be triggered by various business activities. So, grab your compass, because here are the primary factors that can create sales tax nexus in Florida:
Physical nexus is primarily established in the following ways:
Business Locations: Having a brick-and-mortar location in Florida – whether it's a retail store, an office, or even a temporary booth at a festival or trade show – creates a physical nexus. It's like planting your business flag right in the Florida sand.
Employees: If you have employees working in Florida – whether they're salespeople, remote workers, or repair/maintenance staff – their presence in the state on your behalf also creates physical nexus.
Inventory: Storing goods or inventory in a Florida warehouse, fulfillment center, or any other type of storage facility triggers a physical nexus. It's as if your merchandise decided to take a vacation in Florida and now you're on the hook for sales tax!
Property: Owning or leasing property in the state creates physical nexus. This includes real property like land or buildings, as well as personal property such as equipment or vehicles used in the state.
Delivery Vehicles: Using company vehicles for deliveries in Florida is another way of establishing physical nexus.
Economic nexus is a measure of economic activity in a state that can create a sales tax collection obligation for out-of-state sellers. In Florida, economic nexus is established when a business has either:
- Sales of $100,000 or more of tangible personal property to Florida customers in a calendar year.
- Sales to more than 200 Florida customers in a calendar year.
If a business has economic nexus in Florida, it is required to collect Florida sales tax on all sales, regardless of the location of the buyer.
In Florida, affiliate sales tax nexus is created when an out-of-state retailer is a member of an affiliated group of corporations that has other members with nexus in Florida. This statute pertains specifically to mail-order sales.
Here are some examples of affiliate nexus in Florida:
- A retailer is a member of an affiliated group of corporations, and one of the other members has a physical presence in Florida.
- A retailer is a member of an affiliated group of corporations, and one of the other members has economic nexus in Florida.
If an out-of-state retailer has affiliate nexus in Florida, it is required to collect Florida sales tax on all sales to Florida customers, regardless of the location of the retailer's physical presence.
Florida does not have a click-through sales tax nexus law. This means that an out-of-state retailer does not have nexus in Florida simply because it has an agreement with a third-party to refer potential customers to the retailer's website.
As of July 1, 2021, marketplace facilitators established in Florida, or that facilitated more than $100,000 of retail sales or had more than 200 Florida customers in the previous calendar year, must register and collect state sales and use tax on transactions delivered into Florida.
Marketplace facilitators are third-party platforms that allow businesses to sell their goods and services to customers. Examples of marketplace facilitators include Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.
Florida's marketplace facilitator law requires marketplace facilitators to collect and remit Florida sales tax on all sales made through their platforms by sellers who do not have a physical presence in Florida. This includes sales made to Florida customers and sales made to customers outside of Florida who have a shipping address in Florida.
The marketplace facilitator law is designed to ensure that all businesses that sell goods and services to Florida customers collect Florida sales tax, regardless of whether they have a physical presence in the state.
Florida Sales Tax Registration
Fasten your life vests, tax adventurers, as we set sail into the exciting waters of Florida sales tax registration! Whether you're launching a new business in the Sunshine State or expanding an existing one, registering for a sales tax license is a crucial step on your journey. It's like getting a passport for your business – a document that allows you to navigate the complex sea of sales tax legally and smoothly.
The good news is that Florida makes the registration process relatively straightforward. You can register online through the Florida Department of Revenue's website, and it won't cost you a dime – that's right, registration is free in Florida! So, think of this process as charting your course on the sales tax map. It's a task that requires careful attention to detail, but once you've got it done, you'll be ready to set sail on your business journey in Florida. Hold steady, and let's navigate these waters together!
How to Register for Sales Tax in Florida
Embark on your tax adventure in the Sunshine State by registering for your sales tax permit! Navigating through this process might feel like finding a hidden treasure, but no worries, matey - we're here to help you through it. So, grab your compass and follow these steps:
Gather Necessary Information: Before you set sail, make sure you have all the necessary details in your captain's log. This includes your business name, address, EIN or social security number, NAICS code, and details about your products or services. Think of it as your business map!
Visit the Florida Department of Revenue Website: Your next step is to navigate to the Florida Department of Revenue's (DOR) online registration portal. It's the gateway to your sales tax permit.
Complete the Online Application: Now it's time to chart your course. The online application is pretty straightforward. You'll need to fill in all the requested details about your business. Remember, honest answers are your true north in this process.
Review and Submit: Before you submit, take a moment to review everything. It's like checking your coordinates before setting sail. Once you're sure everything is accurate, hit that submit button.
Save Your Confirmation: Upon successful registration, you'll receive a confirmation. It's your treasure chest – proof of your successful registration. Save it for your records.
Now, with your sales tax permit in hand, you're ready to do business in Florida. Remember, this tax journey is not a one-time voyage. Regularly review and understand your sales tax obligations to keep your business shipshape!
How Much Does it Cost to Register for a Florida Sales Tax License?
There is a $50 registration fee for a Florida sales tax license. You can pay the fee online or by mail.
If you register for sales tax online, you will be prompted to pay the fee when you submit your application. If you register for sales tax by mail, you will be mailed a bill for the fee.
The fee is non-refundable.
Do I Need a Federal Tax ID Number or EIN to Register for a Florida Sales Tax License?
Here's another important navigational point on our Florida sales tax journey: the Federal Tax ID Number, also known as the Employer Identification Number (EIN). This nine-digit number, issued by the IRS, is like the captain's ID for your business ship, identifying your business entity to various government agencies.
When registering for a Florida Sales Tax License, you will indeed need your EIN if your business is a partnership, corporation, or multi-member LLC. It's an important piece of the registration puzzle, so make sure you have it in hand when you're ready to register.
For sole proprietors or single-member LLCs, you have the choice of using your social security number instead, but an EIN is often preferred for privacy reasons. It's like choosing to sail under a flag that best represents your business.
So, keep your EIN handy, stay the course, and you'll navigate these tax waters like a true explorer!
Which Agencies in Florida Might I Need to Register With Additionally?
Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations: If your business is structured as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or you're using a fictitious business name, you'll need to register with this department. It's like officially planting your business flag on Florida soil.
Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation: Depending on the nature of your business, you may require specific state-level licenses or permits, like those for certain professions, building and construction, restaurants, and more.
Local City and County Offices: Don't forget about local ports! Many cities and counties in Florida require businesses to obtain local business tax receipts (formerly known as occupational licenses). Check with the local government in the areas where you operate.
Remember, every business is a unique vessel on this tax sea, so your registration requirements may vary. Seek guidance from a tax professional or legal advisor to ensure you've got all the necessary permits in your captain's quarters!
Collecting Sales Tax in Florida
Let's set our compasses towards the next crucial point of our Florida sales tax journey: collecting the actual tax. Think of this like fishing: it's your job to cast the net and gather the right amount.
How to collect sales tax in Florida
Florida is a destination-based sales tax state, meaning the tax rate you apply to your goods and services depends on the delivery location within Florida, not where your business is based.
What Sales are Subject to Sales Tax in Florida?
In the sunny state of Florida, almost every transaction is subject to sales tax unless it falls under the exempt category. When purchasing taxable goods or services, the buyer is responsible for paying the sales tax, which is added to the price at the time of sale.
Florida's general state sales tax rate stands at 6%, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance,
Retail sales of new mobile homes are subject to a reduced rate of 3%.
Amusement machine receipts is taxed at 4%
Rental/lease/license of commercial real property is taxed at 5.5% in 2023 and starting in 2024 will be reduced to 4.5%, and
Electricity is taxed at 6.95%
In Florida, sales taxes are not a uniform rate across all counties. Instead, most counties impose a discretionary sales surtax or local option sales tax, which is added on top of the state sales tax. These surtax rates vary depending on the county you're in. These surtaxes change every year, with new rates taking effect on January 1 and ending on December 31. You can find the current surtax rates for each county in the Discretionary Sales Surtax Information (Form DR-15DSS) or on the Florida Department of Revenue's website. Just head to the Discretionary Sales Surtax and Tourist Development Tax Rates section to access this information easily.
How to Calculate Your Florida Sales Tax Rate
Florida’s general sales tax rate is 6%. As previously mentioned, most counties have a discretionary sales surtax. To compute the total tax rate, add the state rate to the applicable discretionary sales surtax rate.
Florida General Sales Tax Rate + Sales Surtax Rate = Total Tax Rate
Is Software as a Service (SaaS) taxed in Florida?
Software as a service (SaaS) is not currently taxed in Florida. The Florida Department of Revenue has issued a Technical Assistance Advisement (TAA) that states that SaaS is not considered tangible personal property and is therefore not subject to sales tax.
The TAA cites the following factors in reaching this conclusion:
SaaS is delivered electronically and does not require the physical transfer of any tangible property.
SaaS is typically accessed through a subscription or usage-based model, which does not involve the sale of a tangible good.
SaaS is typically used in conjunction with other tangible personal property, such as a computer or mobile device, but the SaaS itself is not considered tangible personal property.
The TAA is not a binding legal opinion, but it is generally considered to be authoritative guidance on the interpretation of Florida sales tax law. As a result, SaaS is currently not subject to sales tax in Florida. However, it is important to note that the law in this area is constantly evolving, and it is possible that SaaS could be subject to sales tax in the future.
If you are a business that sells SaaS, you should monitor the situation closely and consult with a tax advisor if you have any questions.
What is Exempt from Florida Sales Tax?
The following items are exempt from Florida sales tax under Florida Statue, section 212.08.
Type of Sale
Certain Farm Equipment
Who is Eligible for Florida Sales Tax Exemptions?
Hold on to your captain's hat, tax adventurers! We're sailing into the world of sales tax exemptions in the Sunshine State. In the vast ocean of Florida sales tax, there are some intriguing islands of exemptions where sales tax doesn't have to be paid or collected.
Nonprofit Organizations: Just like trusted lighthouses guiding vessels at sea, certain nonprofit organizations in Florida, such as religious, charitable, educational, and governmental entities, may qualify for sales tax exemptions.
Resale Items: Merchants purchasing goods for resale, rental, or to be used in manufacturing or production are typically eligible for a sales tax exemption, much like a fisherman's bait isn't taxed if it's used to catch a dinner to sell.
Specific Goods and Services: Some items chart a course outside the realm of taxable goods. For example, most groceries, prescription medicine and certain medical devices, and agricultural supplies are tax-exempt in Florida.
Out-of-State Sales: If goods are sold to customers outside of Florida, you're sailing in international waters! These sales may be exempt from Florida sales tax.
Remember, eligible entities must apply for a Florida Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax to buy or rent property tax-free for resale. And always keep your documentation shipshape in case of audits.
Every good captain knows the waters they sail, so familiarize yourself with these exemptions and navigate your business tax journey with confidence!
What Should I Do If My Customer is Exempt from Sales Tax in Florida?
Here's the scenario: you're sailing along, collecting sales tax from your Florida customers when - blimey! - one of them claims they're exempt from sales tax. What's a tax captain to do?
Fear not! The procedure is pretty straightforward. If a customer provides you with a valid Florida Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax, you're off the hook for collecting sales tax on the items they’re purchasing for resale. Like a secret treasure map, this certificate guides you to sales tax exemption land.
For other types of exemptions – say, a nonprofit organization – the customer should provide you with a Florida Consumer's Certificate of Exemption. It's like they're waving a flag that says, "Tax-exempt passenger on board!"
Remember, it’s essential to keep these certificates on record. If the Florida Department of Revenue drops anchor for an audit, you’ll need to show these certificates as proof of why you didn’t collect sales tax from those customers.
So, there you have it, fellow explorers. If a customer is exempt, ensure you get the right documentation, keep it safe, and you’ll sail through the Florida sales tax seas with ease.
What Happens If I Lose a Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate?
Losing a Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate can feel like losing your compass in the middle of the ocean. But, don't send out a distress signal just yet. With the right action, you can navigate your way out of this situation.
If you lose a customer's Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate, the first step is to get in touch with that customer right away. Much like a ship's log, they should have a record of their issued certificate and can provide you with a new copy. If it's a Florida Annual Resale Certificate, they can reprint it from their online account with the Florida Department of Revenue.
If you've lost a Florida Consumer's Certificate of Exemption and can't obtain a copy from the customer, you can verify its validity through the Florida Department of Revenue's online system. This online system is like a lighthouse guiding you back on course.
Finally, make sure to stow these important documents in a safe harbor. Consider keeping digital copies as a back-up for the future. Remember, in case of an audit, you'll need these certificates as proof of why you didn’t collect sales tax from those customers.
We all encounter rough seas in our tax journey, but with quick thinking and resourcefulness, you'll weather this storm!
Filing and Paying Sales Taxes in Florida
Once your business is registered for sales tax in Florida, your voyage truly begins. Like a seasoned mariner receiving a ship's manifest, the Florida Department of Revenue will send you a notice indicating when and how often you'll need to file your sales tax returns. But remember, the frequency of your filings could change depending on your sales volume...
When to File and Pay Sales Tax in Florida
Whether you're required to file monthly, quarterly, or annually in Florida depends on your business's total sales tax liability.
If your annual tax collections are more than $1,000, you are required to file a sales tax return monthly.
If your annual tax collections are between $501 and $1,000 you are required to file a sales tax return quarterly.
If your annual tax collections are between $101 and $500 you are required to file a sales tax return semi-annually.
If your annual tax collections is less than $100 are required to file a sales tax return annually.
But hold fast, fellow navigators! It's essential to note that regardless of the collection amount, all newly registered businesses must file monthly during their first year. After the first year, the Florida Department of Revenue will re-evaluate your filing frequency.
What If a Florida Sales Tax Filing Date Falls on a Weekend or Holiday?
In Florida, when a sales tax filing due date falls on a weekend or holiday, you'll be pleased to know that the due date is extended to the next business day. It's like a hidden cove where you can safely dock your tax obligations.
Let's say your usual filing date is the 20th of the month, but that day happens to be a Sunday. Fear not! You'll have until the following business day to submit your return and make your payment. The Florida Department of Revenue understands that weekends and holidays can be like stormy seas for tax filing, and they provide this extension to keep you sailing smoothly.
Keep in mind that these extensions apply to both online and paper filings. However, it's always a good idea to double-check the specific dates with the Florida Department of Revenue to ensure you're in compliance and avoid any unexpected squalls.
So, whether it's a weekend or holiday, rest assured that the Florida sales tax filing due date will wait for you like a welcoming harbor. Set sail with confidence, knowing you have the extra time to navigate your way to compliance!
How Do I File a Florida Sales Tax Return?
Preparing to file your Florida sales tax return? Don't worry, fellow tax adventurers, because we're here to guide you through the process like an experienced navigator.
To file your Florida sales tax return, follow these steps:
Gather Your Sales Records: Before setting sail, ensure you have accurate and detailed records of your taxable sales during the filing period. This includes information such as the total sales amount, taxable sales amount, and any applicable local tax rates.
Access the Florida Department of Revenue Website: Steer your ship to the Florida Department of Revenue's website– your port of call for all your sales tax needs. Once there, navigate to the e-Services section, specifically the "File and Pay" option.
Log In or Create an Account: If you already have an account, log in using your credentials. If not, you'll need to create one. Think of it as hoisting your sales tax flag and officially joining the tax-paying crew.
Enter Sales Information: Once you're logged in, follow the prompts to enter your sales information accurately. The system will guide you through each step, ensuring you provide all the necessary details.
Calculate Tax Owed: Based on the information you enter, the system will automatically calculate the tax owed. Trust it like you trust your trusty compass.
Review and Submit: Before submitting your return, take a moment to review all the information for accuracy. Ensure you haven't made any errors or overlooked any important details. Once you're confident, submit your return.
Make Payment: After submitting your return, you'll need to make the corresponding payment for the sales tax owed. The e-Services platform provides various payment options, including electronic payment methods like ACH debit or credit card.
Remember, the Florida Department of Revenue expects timely and accurate filings. So, set your course, follow the steps diligently, and sail through the process with confidence. Anchors aweigh, tax adventurers!
Failure to FIle Penalty
The DOR may assess a failure to file penalty of $100 for each month or part of a month that a return is not filed.
Failure to Pay Penalty
The DOR may assess a failure to pay penalty of $250 for each month or part of a month that taxes are not paid.
Late Filing Penalty
The DOR may assess a late filing penalty of 5% of the sales tax due for each month or part of a month that the return is late. The late filing penalty is capped at 25% of the sales tax due.
Late Payment Penalty
The DOR may assess a late payment penalty of 1% of the sales tax due for each month or part of a month that the tax is late. The late payment penalty is capped at 25% of the sales tax due.
The DOR may assess an underpayment penalty of 1% of the sales tax underpayment for each month or part of a month that the underpayment is not paid. The underpayment penalty is capped at 25% of the sales tax underpayment.
The DOR may assess interest on any sales tax that is not paid on time. The interest rate is currently 1.5% per month.
Florida Sales Tax Discounts
Yes, Florida offers a discount for paying sales tax on time or early. The discount is 2.5% of the sales tax due. To qualify for the discount, you must file your return and pay your taxes electronically. You must also pay your taxes by the due date.
For example, if you owe $100 in sales tax, you would only have to pay $97.50 if you file your return and pay your taxes electronically by the due date.
The discount is available for all businesses that are required to collect sales tax in Florida.
Here are some tips for taking advantage of the discount:
File your returns electronically. You can file your returns electronically through the Florida Department of Revenue's (DOR) website.
Pay your taxes electronically. You can pay your taxes electronically through the DOR's website or through a payment processor.
Pay your taxes by the due date. The due date for filing your Florida sales tax return is the 20th day of the month following the reporting period.
Florida Sales Tax Holidays
Florida has several sales tax holidays throughout the year. These holidays exempt certain items from sales tax, which can save consumers money.
Here are some of the sales tax holidays in Florida:
Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday: This holiday is held in August and exempts sales tax on certain school supplies, such as backpacks, notebooks, and pencils.
Diaper and Baby Formula Sales Tax Holiday: This holiday is held in January and exempts sales tax on diapers and baby formula.
Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday: This holiday is held in May and exempts sales tax on certain disaster preparedness items, such as generators, batteries, and first aid kits.
Energy Star Appliance Sales Tax Holiday: This holiday is held in July and exempts sales tax on Energy Star-certified appliances.
Tools Time Sales Tax Holiday: This holiday is held in September and exempts sales tax on certain tools and home improvement items.
The dates and items included in each sales tax holiday may vary from year to year, so it is important to check with the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) for the most up-to-date information.
The DOR website has a wealth of information about Florida sales tax holidays, including a calendar of upcoming holidays and a list of items that are exempt from sales tax during each holiday.
5 Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes When Filing Florida Sales Tax Returns
Avast, tax adventurers! As you prepare to navigate the treacherous waters of filing Florida sales tax returns, we're here to help you avoid common pitfalls and sail smoothly through the process. Here are five essential tips to keep you on course and steer clear of mistakes:
Maintain Accurate Records: Set sail with a sturdy record-keeping system. Keep detailed and organized records of all your sales transactions, including dates, amounts, and customer information. These records will be your compass when it comes time to file.
Double-Check Your Numbers: Just as a keen eye spots distant land on the horizon, make sure you carefully review all figures before submitting your return. Confirm that your sales amounts, taxable amounts, and tax calculations are accurate. Even small errors can throw off your course.
Be Mindful of Filing Deadlines: Don't let deadlines sneak up on you like a stealthy pirate ship. Mark important filing dates on your calendar and set reminders. Filing late can result in penalties and interest charges, so stay on top of your timeline.
Stay Informed about Tax Rate Changes: Like shifting tides, tax rates can change over time. Keep an eye on any updates or revisions to sales tax rates, both at the state and local levels. The Florida Department of Revenue's website is a valuable resource for staying up-to-date.
Seek Professional Guidance if Needed: Don't hesitate to enlist the help of a tax professional or use specialized software to assist you in navigating the complex waters of sales tax compliance. They can provide guidance, ensure accuracy, and help you avoid costly mistakes.
With these five tips securely stored in your treasure chest of knowledge, you'll be well-prepared to conquer the challenges of filing Florida sales tax returns. Smooth sailing, tax adventurers!
Ready to work with a Florida sales tax expert?
We've love to work with you!
Have sales tax in more than one state?
Check out All of our Sales Tax Guides
Alaska Sales Tax Guide (N/A)
Montana Sales Tax Guide (NA)
Oregon Sales Tax Guide (N/A)
Delaware Sales Tax Guide (N/A)
New Hampshire Sales Tax Guide (NA)
And don't forget to check out our blog about Economic Nexus, which serves as an invaluable resource for businesses who have sales that are subject to sales tax.
This blog is for informational purposes only and the information is accurate as of 2023-06-19. If you want legal advice on sales tax law for your business, please contact a State and Local Tax (SALT) professional. Keep in mind that sales tax regulations and laws are subject to change at any time. While we strive to keep our blog current, this blog possibly may be out of date by the time you review it.
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