Florida Sales Tax Basics: What Business Owners Need to Know

Sales tax by definition is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. In 1949, the State of Florida began the requirement for business owners to collect and remit sales tax for specified business activities. It is a law outlined in Chapter 212 of the Florida Statutes, and when violated, this law can have serious consequences for business owners.

The following article provides an overview of the sales tax requirements in the State of Florida, as well as the risk associated with missing your sales tax deadlines and delinquent sales taxes.

Who Pays Florida Sales Tax

Before you register your business with the State of Florida, our tax attorneys recommend finding out if your business activities will require you to collect and remit sales tax. If you have previously registered your business with the State of Florida, we recommend working with an experienced tax professional to ensure you are properly charging and paying sales tax for your business activities.

This list features some of the activities that require a Florida-based business to collect and remit Sales Tax:

  • • Retail sales of taxable items
  • • Tangible personal property repairs or alterations
  • • Property rentals, leases, or licenses (i.e., commercial office space, warehouses)
  • • Short-term living accommodation rentals (i.e., beach rentals, condominiums, motel/hotel rooms, timeshare resorts, travel parks, or vacation homes)
  • • Admission charges for entertainment, recreation or sports venues
  • • Producing or manufacturing goods that will be sold at retail
  • • Service warranty contract sales
  • • Vending or amusement machine operations
  • • Taxable service providers, including:
  • o Investigative and crime protection services
  • o Interior cleaning services (nonresidential)
  • o Pest control services (nonresidential)

If you are unsure if your business activities require you to collect and remit sales tax, the Tax Attorneys at J David Tax Law can help. Click here to visit our Florida Sales Tax Services Page, or click here to request a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our firm.

Paying Florida Sales Tax

Businesses that collect over $1,000 in sales tax annually are required to file their sales tax reports every month (on or before the 20th). Florida Sales Tax is reported using Form DR-115. The Florida Department of Revenue has an online portal so you can electronically file and pay your sales tax. If you file and pay on time, taxpayers get a credit of up to $30. If you file and pay late, a 10% penalty is applied, and a floating rate of interest is also applied to under and late sales tax payments. The State of Florida will also charge a penalty if your return is incomplete.

Sales Tax Filing Tips

The State of Florida can assess penalties for being late and for incomplete reporting. Here are a few filing tips to ensure you stay compliant:

  • • Don’t miss a deadline (on or before 20th of each month)
  • • Set a calendar reminder
  • • Compute sales tax correctly
  • • Complete the entire form
  • • Don’t include tax collected in gross sales (this increases the amount you owe)
  • • Hire a tax professional to help with delinquent sales tax
  • When You Owe Delinquent Sales Tax

    If you owe delinquent sales tax, the State of Florida will take action by assessing fees and they will quickly escalate their collection attempts to aggressively pursue you and shut down your business activities if you do not resolve your sale tax issues. If the State of Florida is contacting you regarding your delinquent sales tax, our tax attorneys can help. Click here to visit our Florida Sales Tax Services Page, or click here to request a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our firm.

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