With the every-so-exciting Florida Sales Tax Holiday (“Holiday”) running August 7th through August 16th, all Floridians must become knowledgeable so that we can maximize our savings as buyers. The Holiday does not solely apply to Parents and Students looking for their essential pencil sharpeners, the Holiday applies to all sales throughout Florida–so thrilling! Just think about all the wonderful school supplies you could stock up your office drawers this upcoming week. Like everything that seems too good to be true, this 10 day Holiday has a few rules that must be discussed. The following are the limitations for the Holiday:
• Clothing selling for $100 or less per item;
• Footwear selling for $100 or less per item;
• Certain Clothing Accessories selling for $100 or less per item;
• Certain School Supplies selling for $15 or less per item (Note – This does not include books); and
• Personal Computers and Certain Computer-Related Accessories on the first $750 of the sales price, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.
For those of you who have been waiting for the store discounts this time of year, wait no more, because this Holiday may be even better. If you were to purchase a $750 new tablet or computer, your savings are essentially $45 of sales tax, or 6% of $750. While this may not seem like a massive discount, look at the bigger picture. Who actually purchases just a new tablet or computer? Typically, at least for most computer geeks out there, many purchases would also include a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and case. Further, an even more ambitious buyer that is really going all out, a new home computer network may also be purchased. Well, the really exciting news is all the first $750 of that entire purchase is sales tax free!!!
A buyer could essentially make multiple purchases from various stores, to ensure fairness among all competing stores, of course, and be sales tax free on the first $750 of each purchase. How could a buyer not be thrilled with this Holiday?!?
Even more exciting is that for those buyers who are in need of new clothing for footwear, any full-priced item selling for $100 or less is sales tax free! As a buyer, be very conscious of your purchases. Businesses may not attempt to average “Buy One, Get One Free/Reduced” items to qualify for the exemption. Further, non-qualifying items separately packaged from a qualifying item would result in the obvious conclusion that only the qualifying item is non-taxable. However, if the two were packaged together, then full selling price of both items are subject to sales tax.
Also, for those lucky buyers who have gift cards stock-piled at home, eligible items may be purchased using those gift cards. However, for those buyers who are attempting to be sneaky by purchasing a gift card for further use and not be subject to sales tax, well bad news, any purchase outside the Holiday will be subject to sales tax. So, make all your purchases within this illustrious Sales Tax Holiday time frame.
Now, the question that many buyers have been anxiously reading this article waiting for me to address it–what about internet and mail-order sales? YES!! Internet and Mail-Order Sales are not subject to sales tax during this Holiday. However, I must state that not every company has their systems programmed for this Holiday. So, before making your purchase, double-check to see if the sale includes sales tax or not. One last thing to be cautious of online purchases, non-optional shipping and handling charges are subject to sales tax. If a buyer has the option to pick-up the item, then the shipping charge is not subject to sales tax.
From a buyer’s perspective, hopefully this article has given buyers an ultimate game plan for how to attack this almighty Florida Sales Tax Holiday. For further information, I may direct you to download the TIP 15A01-04.
Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA is a law firm dedicated to defending businesses against the Florida Department of Revenue, primarily in over sales and use tax matters. If your company or your client is having a problem with the Florida Department of Revenue, then please take advantage of our free initial consultation to see how you can fight back .
About the author: Mr. Donnini is a multi-state sales and use tax attorney and an associate in the law firm Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Donnini’s primary practice is multi-state sales and use tax as well as state corporate income tax controversy. Mr. Donnini also practices in the areas of federal tax controversy, federal estate planning, Florida probate, and all other state taxes including communication service tax, cigarette & tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and Native American taxation. Mr. Donnini obtained his LL.M. in Taxation at NYU. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact him via email JerryDonnini@Floridasalestax.com or phone at 954-642-9390.
Bryan Appel is a law clerk with a Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Appel’s primary practice areas are Florida sales and use tax and multi-state sales and use tax. Mr. Appel earned a B.S. in Accounting and a Minor in Legal Environment of Business from The Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Appel is currently a Juris Doctorate Candidate at Nova Southeastern University Law School with an expected graduation in May 2016. Presently, Mr. Appel is the Executive Editor of ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, a Student-Coach and Advocate for Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court, and a member of Nova Trial Association.