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A sales tax is applied to the final cost of certain goods and services and pays the state or local governmental body. As Florida doesn’t have a personal income tax, state and local income largely comes from sales taxes and property taxes. Sales taxes are often collected by the seller of a good or service and must be paid to the government. In some cases, it is the consumer’s responsibility to pay the state government the sales use tax. A seller or consumer may be responsible for the state sales tax as well as a local or district tax, which varies based on the location.
The current sales tax in Florida as of 2023 is 6%. Sales tax collection is overseen by the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR). The final amount of certain sales is taxed at 6%, and this is paid to the DOR. There are certain transactions that are exempt from this sales tax. This includes:
A use tax is imposed in Florida when the sales tax wasn’t paid during a purchase. Often, these taxes are applicable to online purchases, mail-order purchases from catalogs, international purchases, or any out-of-state purchases. Use tax in Florida is also 6%. Use tax may be necessary when:
In these situations, the consumer is responsible for paying the state or local government the appropriate use tax if the seller doesn’t collect the tax. This payment should be made to the Florida DOR.
A discretionary sales surtax, or a county tax, is a transactional tax, like sales or use taxes. Discretionary sales surtaxes are imposed and collected by individual counties and vary based on the location of the transaction. When a mobile home or vehicle is purchased, the surtax is based on the address of the purchaser. For some transactions, the county surtax only applies to the first $5,000 in the sale. Discretionary sales surtaxes are paid to the state DOR.
Florida law also allows countries to impose taxes for certain accommodations. The includes rentals and leases for six months or less on locations such as:
Local transient rental taxes are paid to the local governmental body.
The sales tax in Florida in 2023 is 6%, which applies to sales, admissions, rentals, and storage. There are exceptions to this sales tax. Electricity is taxed at 6.95%, mobile home retail sales are taxed at 3%, and commercial real property is taxed at 5.5%. On December 1st, 2023, the commercial real property tax will change to 4.5%. Amusement machines, which include jukeboxes, arcade games, pool tables, and telescopes, are taxed at 4%.
There is a permanent exemption for sales taxes on certain baby and toddler products. Until June 2024, there is an exemption on energy star products between $1,500 and $3,000, on gas ranges and cooktops, and on hurricane-resistant doors and windows.
There are also several sales tax holidays that occur at different points in the year in Florida. Two are back-to-school shopping tax holidays, one of which is the first two weeks of January 2024. The Freedom Summer ends in September and exempts sales taxes for recreational supplies for boating, water activities, camping, outdoor supplies, and other items. This holiday also covers tickets to music and cultural events.
Without imposing a personal income tax, Florida state and local governmental bodies collect income through corporate income taxes, documentary stamp taxes, insurance taxes, and sales taxes. Local governments earn revenue through property taxes, which vary from county to county.
Some changes to Florida tax laws include:
Tax law can be complex, and even sales tax laws can get confusing for consumers and business owners. State and federal taxes come with significant requirements and regulations, and taxpayers who fall behind can find themselves subject to penalties and interest on top of their tax liability.
If you are in need of legal guidance for tax debt or other tax issues, the attorneys at TaxSmith, LLC want to help. Our attorneys have worked in tax law for many years and know how important it is that your attorney is knowledgeable in tax law and is able to individualize their legal approach to your requirements. Our team works to understand your situation and be honest about your legal options. We can help you review tax returns, determine what payments you should be making, and help you find a solution to tax liabilities and penalties. Contact our team today with your tax needs.
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