This blog post may now be out of date. For our most up-to-date info on Florida sales tax, check out our “Florida Sales Tax Guide for Businesses.”
This is the latest post for online sellers who need information about when and how to collect sales tax in Florida. To help simplify things, I’ve framed the info around the most common customer examples and questions we get at TaxJar. If none of these examples apply to your business then it’s a good idea to contact a tax professional.
You sell stuff online but don’t live in Florida
If you’re an online seller and you live in and do not have sales tax nexus in any state other than Florida, then you’re not required to collect sales tax on orders shipped to the Sunshine State.
You live and operate your business in Florida
In this example, you’re a resident of Florida and you operate your business in Florida. If you’re like a lot of online sellers that probably means you’re running your business out of your home. In this case, Florida considers your business to have nexus with the state. That means you’re required to collect sales tax on orders that are shipped to an address in Florida.
Before you collect sales tax, make sure your business is registered with the state. You can register to collect and pay sales tax in Florida online.
You don’t live in Florida but you use a fulfillment service
Let’s say you live outside of Florida, in Kansas for example, and use a fulfillment service to help make your business more efficient. That fulfillment service warehouses or stores your inventory in Florida. According to 2j in Florida Statute 212.0596, your inventory creates enough of a presence in Florida (there’s that nexus word again) that you’re required to collect sales tax on orders that are shipped to an address in Florida. So even if you never travel to Florida for business, the fact that your inventory does means you have to register your business with the state and collect sales tax.
How much sales tax should you collect?
Now that you know you need to collect sales tax you need to know how to collect it. First, Florida’s sales tax rate is a sum of the state rate (6.0% as I write this post) plus a discretionary sales tax surtax (also known as the local option county sales tax). The discretionary sales surtax rate depends on the county. Rates range from 0.5% to 1.5%. Only a few counties do not impose any surtax.
Florida is a destination-based sales tax state. That means that the rate you charge your customers is based on the address where the taxable item is delivered.
For example, if your business is located in Lee County and an order is to be shipped to Hardee County then the total sales tax rate you should charge is 7.0% (6.0% for the state and 1.0% surtax for Hardee County).
Now let’s say you live in Austin, TX and use a fulfillment service that stores your inventory in Flagler County. You sell a taxable item to a customer with a shipping address in Brevard County. In this case the state says to charge just the 6.0% sales tax since Brevard County does not have a surtax.
Shipping is also taxable in Florida, so the amount you charge for shipping must also be included in your calculations. However, shipping is not taxable if it meets the following two conditions:
- The charge is separately stated on a bill or invoice; and
- The charge can be avoided by a decision or action solely on the part of the purchaser.
Filing sales tax in Florida
If you need to file a sales tax return in Florida, TaxJar has your back. You can now enroll in AutoFile for the state of Florida and we’ll automatically file your sales tax return for you! Find out more about AutoFile from TaxJar.
Florida sales tax Summary: if your business has nexus, register with the state and collect sales tax
There are two very common reasons your online business will have to register with the state of Florida and collect sales tax. The first is that you live and operate your business in Florida. The second is that your inventory is warehoused or stored there. In both cases, your business has nexus with Florida. When you collect sales tax on orders shipped to an address in Florida, make sure you collect based on where the item is being shipped to.
Have any other questions about Florida and sales tax? Let’s chat in the discussion section below.
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