The 2016 Florida State Sales Tax
What is the 2016 Florida Sales Tax Rate?
The Florida state sales tax rate is 6%, and the average FL sales tax after local surtaxes is 6.65%.
- Groceries and prescription drugs are exempt from the Florida sales tax
- Counties and cities can charge an additional local sales tax of up to 1.5%, for a maximum possible combined sales tax of 7.5%
- Florida has 993 special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
- Florida has a higher state sales tax than 55.8% of states
Florida collects state sales tax on most material purchases as well as on the rental of houses/apartments, rental of material goods, admissions fees, and services such as pest control and cleaning.
Counties and cities may apply a "discretionary sales surtax" in addition to the Florida sales tax, on all purchases up to $5,000 in their jurisdiction.Most counties use sales tax proceeds to fund education or transportation development. A 6% "tourist development tax" can also be collected by counties on seasonal (6 months or less) accommodation rentals (including hotels, condominiums, timeshares, etc).
There are yearly tax holidays set by the Florida legislature during which no sales taxes are collected, often during the holiday season or sometimes preceding hurricane season. Back-to-school tax holidays often exempt common school supplies like clothing and books.
If you are a Florida business owner, you can learn more about how to collect and file your Florida sales tax return at the 2016 Florida Sales Tax Handbook .
Florida Sales Tax Exemptions
Florida doesn't collect sales tax on purchases of most prescription drugs and groceries. Prepared Food is subject to special sales tax rates under Florida law. In most states, necessities such as groceries, clothes, and drugs are exempted from the sales tax or charged at a lower sales tax rate.
Some items may not be eligible for these reduced sales tax rates, such as expensive clothing, unhealthy food or drinks like soda, and certain non-essential pharmaceuticals. Florida does not treat candy or soda as groceries, which means they are not subject to reduced grocery sales tax rates. Other items including gasoline, alcohol, and cigarettes are subject to various Florida excise taxes in addition to the sales tax.
Florida has three sales tax holidays, during which certain items can be purchased sales-tax free. For more details, see the Florida sales tax holiday calendar.
In some states, items like alcohol and prepared food (including restaurant meals and some premade supermarket items) are charged at a higher sales tax rate. Prepared Food is subject to a higher state sales tax then other items. The FL sales tax applicable to the sale of cars, boats, and real estate sales may also vary by jurisdiction. Florida's sales tax rates for commonly exempted items are as follows:
$100 Restaurant Dinner
$100 of groceries
$100 in clothes
$100 of consumer products
$9.00 sales tax
$0.00 sales tax
$6.00 sales tax
$6.00 sales tax
Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
Unlike a Value Added Tax (VAT), the Florida sales tax only applies to end consumers of the product. Individuals and companies who are purchasing goods for resale, improvement, or as raw materials can use a Florida Sales Tax Exemption Form to buy these goods tax-free.
Companies or individuals who wish to make a qualifying purchase tax-free must have a Florida state sales tax exemption certificate, which can be obtained from the Florida Department of Revenue . On making an exempt purchase, Exemption Certificate holders may submit a completed Florida Sales Tax Exemption Form to the vendor instead of paying sales tax.
Sales tax exemption forms (as well as business sales tax id applications, sales tax returns, and the full Florida sales tax code) can be downloaded from the Florida Department of Revenue here .
Florida Sales Tax Calculator
Whenever you make a purchase at a licensed Florida retailer, your sales tax will be automatically calculated and added to your bill. To lookup the sales tax due on any purchase, use our Florida sales tax calculator.
Florida Use Tax
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If you buy goods and are not charged the Florida Sales Tax by the retailer, such as with online and out-of-state purchases, you are supposed to pay the 6% sales tax (less any foreign sales tax paid) for these items yourself as the Florida Use Tax.
Your are expected to voluntarily list your liable purchases on a Florida Use Tax Return, which should be attached with payment to your Florida Income Tax Return. Historically, compliance rates with with the Florida Use Tax have been low.
Florida Local Sales Taxes
Florida does not allow local jurisdictions like cities or counties to collect a local sales tax. The Florida state sales tax of 6% is applicable statewide. You can view the sales tax rates for various cities in Florida here.
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