United States

Florida enacts sales tax relief bill

TAX ALERT  | 

On June 16, 2015, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 33A , which reduces the tax rates applicable to communications services and retail direct-to-home satellite services, expands sales tax exemptions and creates a sales tax holiday.

Communications and satellite services

Effective for all invoices dated on or after July 1, 2015, HB 33A reduces the communications services tax from 6.65 to 4.92 percent and the tax imposed on retail direct-to-home satellite services from 10.8 to 9.07 percent. Additionally, HB 33A authorizes dealers for the purposes of the communications services tax to report their taxes on a monthly period other than a calendar month.

Sales and use tax exemptions

HB 33A provides the following exemptions:

  • Aviation fuel used for flight training purposes by certain educational institutions
  • Food and drink sales by school support organizations
  • Motor vehicles imported by active members of the U.S. military and their spouses that were purchased and used for six months or more in a foreign country
  • Admissions to gun clubs

Additionally, HB 33A expands the farm equipment exemption to include property used to repair farm equipment and expands the applicability of the exemption to irrigation equipment. HB 33A also provides that the maximum amount of sales tax that may be imposed and collected on each repair of a boat in Florida may not exceed $60,000.

Sales tax holiday

HB 33A establishes a sales tax holiday that will run from Aug. 7, 2015, through Aug. 16, 2015. The holiday applies to purchases of clothes with a sales price of $100 or less per item, school supplies with a sales price of $15 or less per item, and the first $750 of the sales price of personal computers and personal computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

Takeaways

HB 33A contains a variety of targeted sales tax relief provisions that are largely intended to benefit individual consumers. Retailers should review the provisions of HB 33A and modify their systems to account for any applicable rate changes and exemptions, as well as the sales tax holiday.

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