FL Sales Tax 101 Shipping States

Is Shipping in Florida Taxable?

by Mark Faggiano

Florida shipping taxability

Congrats! You just made a sale in Florida. Perhaps your business is headquartered in the Sunshine State, or you have a remote employee working from the state, or inventory stored in a warehouse there. No matter what, you know your business is required to collect sales tax on any taxable items you sell to your customer.

But are the shipping and handling charges you collect from the buyer also taxable? We took a look:

Sales Tax on Shipping in Florida? It Depends…

As with many sales tax related questions, here is no straight answer when it comes to shipping taxability in Florida. Often, shipping IS taxable, and you must collect sales tax on this charge and figure it into your calculations.

There are exceptions, though, which complicate things. In fact, if your order meets two separate criteria, then shipping is NOT taxable. These two criteria are:

  • The charge is separately stated on a bill or invoice
  • The charge can be avoided by a decision or action solely on the part of the purchaser

In other words, if your customer decides to take matters into their own hands and drive to pick up the item AND you had already listed the shipping charge separately on the invoice, the charge is not taxable. On top of that, though, if you even PRESENT the option for them to come pick it up, it’s not taxable.

So let’s say you have a business that sells Halloween decorations in Jacksonville. A customer who lives in Jacksonville buys a spooky skeleton. You give them the option to pick the item up and list the shipping separately. Whether or not they actually pick it up, the shipping cost is NOT taxable.

However, another customer from Miami also buys a spooky skeleton. There is no easy way for them to pick it up so you don’t give them the option. Even though you listed the shipping cost separately, shipping IS taxable in this scenario.

Further, in our understanding, if you sell through a fulfillment service like FBA, the shipping and handling charges aren’t separated out and there’s no way for your customer to pick up the item, so shipping in Florida is taxable for FBA sellers.

Here is Florida’s policy on shipping straight from the Florida Department of Revenue:

Shipping Taxability Florida

Summary of Sales Tax on Shipping in Florida

In Florida, whether or not you are required to collect sales tax on shipping charges depends.

If you charge for shipping and do not offer your customer the option to pick up their item, then shipping is taxable.

If you do not list shipping separately on the invoice, shipping is taxable.

But if you list shipping separately on the invoice and give your customer the option to pickup their purchase, then shipping is non-taxable.

Handling Florida Shipping and Handling Sales Tax with TaxJar

The TaxJar app defaults to the most common Florida scenario – that shipping and handling is non-taxable.

However, if your business does charge sales tax on shipping, then TaxJar’s Shipping & Handling Override allows you to update that in your state tax settings. This will make the Florida Expected Sales Tax Due Report more accurate.  This will also tell the TaxJar API to charge sales tax on Florida shipping.

Learn more about how TaxJar treats shipping and handling here.

Have questions or comments about taxable shipping in Florida? Leave a comment and start the discussion! And to learn more about TaxJar and get started, visit TaxJar.com/how-it-works.

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  • Traci Walters

    It sure is refreshing to get a real/clear/concise answer to a question. Thank you so much!!!

    • You are quite welcome!

  • Daniel D

    Hey so I have a question! do I have to charge tax on shipping if I am already paying tax for the shipping when I purchase the shipping from the provider and ship the item? If so than I am being taxed for shipping twice (once for sales and use and once at time of purchase of shipping). For instance, we charge a $5 flat rate on shipping and tax on that amount is technically different from the actual shipping charge amount ( between $3-$6) and tax I am being charged by the shipping company. So If I don’t charge at point of sale, I am still paying for the shipping taxes when the shipping provider charges me, but I am paying only enough tax on the purchase of the shipping to get the product to the customer (plus the product tax), the remainder of the “shipping charge” (that goes towards shipping supplies in my method) would technically be untaxed.

    • Even though you’ve already paid sales taxes on those items you’re selling, as a seller, you’ll still need to to collect sales tax on a taxable items you sell to customers in states where you have nexus…regardless of whether you (the seller) paid tax to buy or ship the item. The taxes you paid when you purchased the item have no bearing on this; it’s a myth that sellers wouldn’t need to collect taxes because they’ve already paid taxes. Think of it as the state cares about the tax on the transaction, not the actual item. I hope this helps!

  • Pamela

    My question is I buy something from a catalog and they don’t include sales tax for shipping,but if I buy that same item on their online store and they are allowed to charge me sales tax for shipping. I do not understand. They are calling it a tax for handling the merchandise. Can you please explain. Thank you

    • Hi Pamela,

      I can’t speak for the particular company, but I’ve looked at the sales tax on shipping in many different states and some states consider all shipping taxable, others don’t consider shipping taxable if some conditions are met, but others consider “shipping and handling” combined to be taxable. This could be for any number of reasons. I suggest you just ask them, especially if you think you were charged in error!

      • Pamela

        I asked that question and what they told me was,I can charge it for handling your merchandise. So I think I will give up their card. it is not something I want to pay. The merchandise I bought was about the same price as the shipping and tax charge so I don’t believe it is worth the extra. Thank you for your help.

  • Michael Cone

    Mark, I find these taxation of shipping articles very useful in my job and you are often the first place I turn. I was wondering how many states have laws similar to Florida’s law prohibiting sales tax if the customer can pick up the item?

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