Florida Sales Tax Compliance And Rates

Florida Sales Tax Compliance And Rates

Florida’s tax rates are mostly consistent across the board, but there are a couple of exceptions that are useful for one to keep in mind while filing taxes. Florida has a state-level tax rate of 6%, but when it comes to commercial rentals, the tax rate is .5% less. This makes the state-level tax rate on commercial rentals 5.5%. Florida sales tax compliance also imposes a 4% tax on amusement machines and a 6.95% tax on electricity.

Florida Sales Tax

There are four different types of filing frequencies for tax returns in Florida: monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. Make sure to mark your calendar for the 19th of each month because that is the last day you can file your tax returns in Florida. If the 19th falls on a weekend or on a business holiday, then the deadline is changed to the first applicable business day before the 19th. This is different than how most states deal with their return due dates. Usually, states will push the due date back to after the weekend or holiday. Keep that in mind, so you do not end up missing the due date because you thought you had a little bit of extra time. Please note that all payments must be made before 5pm EST of the due date to be considered on time.

Aside from the regular state tax rate, if a taxpayer pays $200,000 or more in sales tax liability over the previous calendar year, they are also responsible for paying estimated tax. The specific amount a taxpayer must pay in estimated tax can be calculated in one of three ways:

1.      Calculate 60% of your tax liability of the same month from the previous year.

2.      Calculate 60% of your monthly average tax liability based off the previous year.

3.      Calculate 60% of the sales tax due for next month’s return and pay that amount.

When you are filing your taxes, please be aware that Florida has a Collection Allowance for taxpayers that file and pay on time. This allowance is 2.5% of the sales tax liability, but it’s capped at $30, so you can get some tax back for being a timely filer.

Florida sales tax compliance has its own unique version of local county taxes called Discretionary Sales Surtax. There are five different rate variations of this surtax, which range from 0.5% to 2.5% in increments of 0.5% depending on which county the sale was located. Taxpayers must report the amount of discretionary sales surtax on line 15(d) of their tax return. Any transactions over $5,000 cannot be subjected to discretionary sales surtax. Transactions over $5,000 are subject to the state and discretionary sales surtax up to $5,000, each dollar over the $5,000 threshold is only taxed at the state rate of 6%.

If you are curious to learn more information about Florida sales tax compliance, feel free to visit the Florida Dept. of Revenue’s website.

Have a question about staying compliant in Florida?

Contact Aaron Giles

Aaron C. Giles is the Founder and President of Agile Consulting Group. Aaron spent five years working within the specialty niche of Sales & Use Tax at Brown & Associates before forming his own firm in 2005. He has worked hundreds of audits in states all across the U.S. during that time and has delivered savings of over $75M in the form of refunds and credits to his clients. Today, he leads a group of talented, detail-oriented colleagues who focus exclusively on Sales & Use Tax.

Some of our firms’ greatest achievements have come in successfully arguing new and unique perspectives to existing tax law in various states enabling our clients to claim exemptions on categories of purchases previously held to be taxable. Included in these victories are: communication services taxes for religious nonprofit hospitals in FL, bulk purchases of drugs in VA, specific surgical tools and instruments for healthcare providers in TX, printing plates in GA, railroad utilities in KY, and most recently software in AL.

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