Florida Sales Tax FAQ

Do you run a business that sells in Florida? Did you pay Florida sales taxes and want to get your money back? Here’s what you need to know.

Florida Sales Taxes for Individuals

Here are some frequently asked questions about Florida sales taxes that apply to consumers.

Can you deduct sales taxes on your federal income tax return?

Sales taxes are eligible for the State and Local Tax itemized deduction on your federal income tax return. You can either deduct your income taxes or the sales tax you paid during the year. Florida residents don’t pay Florida income taxes, but you may have income taxes from other states you worked in.

You can deduct up to $10,000 in combined sales tax (or income tax but not both sales and income tax) plus property tax.

There are two ways to deduct sales tax. You can use whatever gives you the highest deduction or just do what’s easier.

As an example, I entered a married couple with two children earning the median Florida income of $59,227 and living in Tallahassee. The result was a deduction of $921.25.

Do I owe sales tax on online purchases if the company didn’t collect Florida sales tax?

Yes, you are required by law to pay sales tax even if the business doesn’t collect sales tax. You must file an Out-of-State Purchase Return to report your purchases and pay the sales tax due.

Out-of-State Purchase Returns are due on April 1st, July 1st, October 1st, and January 1st for purchases made during the three months before each due date.

How does the back-to-school sales tax holiday work?

Florida typically has a sales tax holiday for a few days during August. During the holiday, designated items are exempt from sales taxes.

Lawmakers pass a law to declare the sales tax holiday each year. Covered items usually include both school supplies and clothing. Computers, printers, and technology items are sometimes included. There are usually dollar limits on individual items (e.g., clothing items can’t cost more than $100 each).

You do not need to be a student to take advantage of the sales tax holiday. Anyone purchasing eligible items during this time will not pay sales tax. Local news organizations and major retailers usually post the current list of items and dollar limits when the legislature passes the tax holiday for the year.

How does the hurricane preparation sales tax holiday work?

The hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday works the same as the school sales tax holiday but for hurricane preparedness supplies. It is typically in May or early June each year.

Florida Sales Taxes for Businesses

Here are some frequently asked questions about Florida sales taxes that apply to businesses. The Florida Department of Revenue also posts a detailed guide for business owners.

When do businesses need to pay sales taxes?

When you need to pay sales taxes depends on your annual sales tax collections.

  • More than $1,000: Monthly
  • $501-$1,000: Quarterly
  • $100-$500: Semi-annually
  • $100 or less: Annually

Most new businesses start as quarterly sales tax filers.

Can a business change its reporting period?

FL DOR reviews each business’s reporting period annually. If your sales tax collections change or you were a new business, they will move you to the appropriate period based on the amount of sales tax you collect. If you would like to change your filing frequency sooner, call FL DOR Taxpayer Services at 1-850-488-6800.

You may be able to get an exception to the usual reporting periods under Florida Administrative Code Rule 12A-1.056.

  • You have an excessive amount of sales tax collections due to nonrecurring activities. Send a written request to the Florida Department of Revenue, Account Management, P.O. Box 6480, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6480.
  • Your business can’t reasonably file tax returns on the usual time schedule. Send a written request to the Florida Department of Revenue, Return Reconciliation/Sales and Use Tax Unit, Mail Stop 1-5730, 5050 West Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0162.

How do you get a sales tax exemption for items you purchase for resale?

If you purchase items for resale, you must obtain a Florida Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax. Show this certificate when you make eligible purchases to avoid sales taxes.

Certificates expire on December 31st, and you must obtain a new certificate each year.

You can apply online using Form DR-13.

What do I do if I receive notice of a sales tax audit?

Gather the records requested. If you need assistance, contact a tax accountant.

If you notice errors, do not change your original books but do note the errors separately. Changing your books can make it look like you’re trying to cover up tax evasion. Identifying a problem on your own and paying the taxes you owe may reduce your penalties.

What is the Florida sales tax rate?

The state sales tax rate is 6%. Counties can add an additional surtax. Most counties add 1% or 1.5% for a total sales tax of 7% or 7.5%.

County surtaxes, but not the base state sales tax, are only charged on the first $5,000 of an item’s price in some cases.

CountyCounty SurtaxTotal Sales Tax
Alachua County1.5%7.5%
Baker County1.0%7.0%
Bay County1.0%7.0%
Bradford County1.0%7.0%
Brevard County1.0%7.0%
Broward County1.0%7.0%
Calhoun County1.5%7.5%
Charlotte County1.0%7.0%
Citrus County0.0%6.0%
Clay County1.5%7.5%
Collier County1.0%7.0%
Columbia County1.5%7.5%
DeSoto County1.5%7.5%
Dixie County1.0%7.0%
Duval County1.5%7.5%
Escambia County1.5%7.5%
Flagler County1.0%7.0%
Franklin County1.5%7.5%
Gadsden County1.5%7.5%
Gilchrist County1.0%7.0%
Glades County1.0%7.0%
Gulf County1.0%7.0%
Hamilton County1.0%7.0%
Hardee County1.0%7.0%
Hendry County1.5%7.5%
Hernando County0.5%6.5%
Highlands County1.5%7.5%
Hillsborough County1.5%7.5%
Holmes County1.5%7.5%
Indian River County1.0%7.0%
Jackson County1.5%7.5%
Jefferson County1.0%7.0%
Lafayette County1.0%7.0%
Lake County1.0%7.0%
Lee County0.5%6.5%
Leon County1.5%7.5%
Levy County1.0%7.0%
Liberty County1.5%7.5%
Madison County1.5%7.5%
Manatee County1.0%7.0%
Marion County1.0%7.0%
Martin County0.5%6.5%
Miami-Dade County1.0%7.0%
Monroe County1.5%7.5%
Nassau County1.0%7.0%
Okaloosa County1.0%7.0%
Okeechobee County1.0%7.0%
Orange County0.5%6.5%
Osceola County1.5%7.5%
Palm Beach County1.0%7.0%
Pasco County1.0%7.0%
Pinellas County1.0%7.0%
Polk County1.0%7.0%
Putnam County1.0%7.0%
Saint Johns County0.5%6.5%
Saint Lucie County1.0%7.0%
Santa Rosa County1.0%7.0%
Sarasota County1.0%7.0%
Seminole County1.0%7.0%
Sumter County1.0%7.0%
Suwannee County1.0%7.0%
Taylor County1.0%7.0%
Union County1.0%7.0%
Volusia County0.5%6.5%
Wakulla County1.5%7.5%
Walton County1.0%7.0%
Washington County1.5%7.5%

What purchases are subject to Florida sales tax?

The following purchases are subject to Florida sales tax.

  • Sales of taxable items at retail
  • Software sold on a physical disk (but not when sold as a download or cloud subscription with no physical component
  • Repairs or alterations of tangible personal property
  • Rentals, leases, or licenses to use real property (for example, commercial office space or mini-warehouses)
  • Rentals of short-term living accommodations (for example, motel/hotel rooms, beach houses, condominiums, timeshare resorts, vacation houses, or travel parks)
  • Rentals or leases of personal property (for example, vehicles, machinery, equipment, or other goods)
  • Charges for admission to any place of amusement, sport, or recreation
  • Manufacturing or producing goods for retail sales
  • Selling service warranty contracts
  • Operating vending or amusement machines
  • Providing taxable services (for example, investigative and crime protection services, interior nonresidential cleaning services, or nonresidential pest control services)
  • Out-of-state businesses selling into Florida that have any number of transactions with total sales over $100,000 in the prior calendar year
  • Marketplace providers facilitating remote sales into Florida

What is the sales tax on cars in Florida?

Florida sales tax applies to both new and used car sales.

The statewide 6% sales tax rate applies to the entire purchase price. The additional county surtax only applies to the first $5,000 of the purchase price.

The taxable purchase price may be reduced by the value of any trade-in vehicle.

If you buy a vehicle out of state, you’ll have to pay the difference between Florida taxes and any out-of-state taxes you paid before you can register the vehicle in Florida.

What is the sales tax on boats in Florida?

The sales tax on boats is similar to the sales tax on cars.

The statewide 6% tax rate applies to the purchase price up to $300,000 or a maximum state tax of $18,000. The county tax only applies to the first $5,000 of the purchase price and is not included in the $18,000 limit.

Boats also have credits for trade-ins and out-of-state taxes.

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