Florida Sales & Use Tax
Florida DOR Official Overview

Getting Started

You must apply if you are doing business in Florida that is subject to Florida sales tax; use tax; gross reciepts tax on telecommunications, utilities or dry cleaning; or documentary stamp tax. Normally, a separate sales tax registration is required for each business and each physical location.

Dealer Responsibilities

As a newly registered dealer to collect and remit Florida sales and use tax, you are an authorized agent in partnership with the State of Florida. The tax dollars you collect are funds belonging to the state. You serve as the trustee or custodian of these funds until you remit them. You should keep accurate records and maintain a separate accounting of these funds. Copies of your filed tax returns, canceled tax payment checks, and documentation to support all transactions must be kept for five years.

Registration Certificate

Your Certificate of Registration, Form DR-11, authorizes you to conduct taxable activity at the location indicated. It shows the date you opened your business and the date your registration became effective. It also displays your sales and use tax registration number. You should include this number in all communications with the Department. Your certificate must be displayed in a prominent, conspicuous place at your business location.

Filing Requirements

Most new businesses are set up on a quarterly filing schedule initially. Your filing frequency will be re-evaluated each year based on the amount of tax collected

You must file your sales and use tax return (Form DR-15) regardless of whether tax was collected. Returns are due the first of the month and late after the 20th of the month following your collection period. However, if the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, returns will not be considered late if they are postmarked on the first working day following the 20th.

Penalty and Interest

If returns and payments are not postmarked on or before the 20th, a late penalty is assessed at 10 percent of the amount of tax owed per month, not to exceed 50 percent. Interest is assessed on unpaid tax at 1 percent per month, prorated at .000328767 per day. A minimum penalty is assessed on late returns, even if no tax is due.

Making Purchases for Resale

If you registered for sales and use tax because you are in the business of selling taxable tangible personal property for resale, you are permitted to make purchases of your inventory exempt from tax. Your vendors will want you to complete a resale certificate, which includes your registration number (located on your registration certificate - DR-11), the effective date of your purchases, and the intended use of the items purchased. The Department offers a suggested format for resale certificates on Form DR-97.

Purchases made for use by your business are taxable and tax should be paid to your supplier at the time of purchase. A use tax of the same rate as sales tax must be reported and remitted on your tax return for items purchased for use within your business, but on which no tax was paid. See Florida Use Tax on Out-of-State Purchases for more information.

If you registered for the purpose of collecting tax on real property rentals, boat docking slips, aircraft hangar space or vehicle parking facilities, or the provision of certain taxable services, you are not permitted to use your registration number to purchase items tax exempt

Making Exempt Sales

All sales of tangible personal property to your customers are taxable unless the items are specifically exempt, shipped out of state, or your customer presents a resale certificate or a valid Consumer's Certificate of Exemption. This is a certificate issued to qualifying nonprofit organizations that exempts them from paying tax on purchases for the organization's own use. Payment must be made by the organization named on the certificate. Personal payment that will be reimbursed by the organization cannot be accepted for tax-exempt purchases.

If Your Business Changes

If changes occur in your business activity, the ownership of your business, the legal entity of your business (i.e., from proprietorship to corporation), or your business location, you must contact your nearest Department of Revenue service center or call Central Registration at 850-488-9750.

If you open additional business locations, you must register each by completing Form DR-1, Application to Collect Tax in Florida.

Can I get information from you, rather than from the government?

Yes, just contact us by e-mail or phone.

    For more information:
        Florida Sales Tax - Q & A
        Florida Sales & Use Tax - A Summary
        Florida Use Tax on Out-of-State Purchases
        Small Business Services

Copyright 2001 Raymond S. Kulzick. All rights reserved. 010417. Information current as of 4/29/2000.

This publication provides business, financial planning, and/or tax information to our clients. All material is for general information only and should not be acted upon without seeking appropriate professional assistance.

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Copyright 2001 Kulzick Associates, PA - Last modified: September 13, 2008