Each sale, admission charge, storage, or rental is taxable unless the transaction is exempt. Sales tax is added to the price of the taxable goods or service and collected from the purchaser at the time of sale. Florida’s general sales tax rate is 6 percent.
Use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase. For example:
- If you buy a taxable item in Florida and didn’t pay sales tax, you owe use tax.
- If you buy an item tax-exempt intending to resell it and then use the item in your business or for personal use, you owe use tax.
- If you buy a taxable item outside Florida and bring or have it delivered into this state and you didn’t pay sales tax on the item, you owe use tax.
Discretionary Sales Surtax
Most Florida counties have a discretionary sales surtax (county tax) that applies to most transactions subject to the sales or use tax. The county surtax rate applies to a taxable item or service delivered into a county imposing a surtax. The surtax rate that applies to motor vehicles and mobile homes is determined by the home address of the purchaser. Check the rates for each county (Form DR-15DSS) in which you sell or deliver taxable goods or services.
For certain transactions, only the first $5,000 of a taxable sale or purchase is subject to the discretionary sales surtax.
How Tax Is Calculated
Sales tax and discretionary sales surtax are calculated on each taxable transaction. Florida uses a “bracket system” for calculating sales tax when the transaction falls between two whole dollar amounts. Multiply the whole dollar amount by the tax rate (6 percent plus the county surtax rate) and use the bracket system to figure the tax on the amount less than a dollar. The Department of Revenue has rate tables (Form DR-2X) to help you.
Who Must Pay Tax?
- Before you begin business in Florida, you must first find out if your business activity or products used will be subject to sales or use tax. If it is, you must register to collect sales tax or pay use tax. Revenue provides a partial list of business activities that are taxable.
- Governments and nonprofit organizations may not have to pay sales tax.
You can accountant to collect and pay sales and use tax using our secure Internet site.
Once you are registered, we will send you a Certificate of Registration (Form DR-11), an Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax (Form DR-13) and tax return forms. Place the Certificate of Registration in a visible area of the business. You can use a signed copy of your current Annual Resale Certificate to buy products tax-exempt that you will resell or re-rent.
Filing and Paying Taxes
You can accountantaccountant using Revenue’s secure Internet site or you may buy software from an approved vendor. Before you can file and pay your taxes electronically, you must enroll in our e-Services program. Please take time to view our detailed electronic filing and payment information. Taxpayers who report and pay tax electronically can download a payment due date calendar. Helpful hints are available to prevent common mistakes, provide answers to common questions, and help ensure a successful filing.
Businesses whose sales and use tax collections are less than $20,000 per year may pay and report tax using a paper Sales and Use Tax Return (Form DR-15). Revenue has detailed instructions (Form DR-15N) to help you accurately complete your return. However, we encourage all taxpayers to file and pay electronically.
Monthly returns and payments are due on the 1st day of the month and late after the 20th day of the month following the collection period. For example, if the sale took place during January, then tax is due on the 1st of February and late after the 20th.
Quarterly returns and payments are due on the 1st and late after the 20th day of the month following the collection period. For example, if the sale took place during September, then tax is due on the 1st of October and late after the 20th.
If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, returns are timely if postmarked on the first working day following the 20th.
You can accountant to receive an e-mail every collection period, reminding you of the due date. This subscription service is for paper filers only. Electronic filers are automatically signed up to receive reminders when they enroll.
If you make your payments using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), it must be transmitted no later than 5:00 p.m., ET, on the banking business day prior to the 20th. Download a payment due date calendar (Form DR-659) to help you pay on time.