2018 Florida Tax Legislation Update

The legislative session has finally come to an end and the governor has signed into law the Legislature’s 2018 tax package. There are a few exemptions that are renewed from last year. There are also some new exemptions available.

Rent Reduction

The commercial rental tax rate has dropped once again! The new state rate is 5.7% and will be effective as of January 1, 2019.

Refundable Sales Tax on Nursing Home Generators

Nursing homes purchasing equipment to generate energy at a nursing home facility are exempt. The period covered by the exemption is July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018. The exemption is limited to a maximum of $15,000 in tax for a single facility. This translates to a purchase price of approximately $250,000. To obtain the exemption, the purchaser must provide the seller with an affidavit certifying the equipment will only be used for a nursing home facility to generate energy.

Unique to this provision is not the fact the exemption may be applied just at the time of purchase, but rather the fact the exemption may be claimed via a refund of taxes previously paid. To claim a refund on purchases made before the provision became law, the purchaser must submit a refund application to the Department of Revenue within 6 months of the provision becoming law. If the purchase was made on or after the law’s effective date but the exemption was not applied to the purchase, the purchaser must submit a refund application to the Department of Revenue within 6 months of the date of purchase. The purchaser must also provide to the Department an affidavit stating the equipment will be used to provide energy to a nursing home facility.

Back to School Tax Holiday

The Legislature has renewed the back to school tax holiday. The holiday will be from August 3, 2018, through August 5, 2018. The holiday includes clothing, wallets, and bags sold for $60 or less each. Also exempt from tax are school supplies having a price of $15 or less per item.

Sellers have the option not to collect sales tax if less than 5% of the seller’s gross sales in the prior calendar year encompass items exempt under this exemption. To opt out, the seller must notify the Department of Revenue by August 1, 2018, of the seller’s intent to collect sales tax during the tax holiday. The seller must also post a notice in a conspicuous location at its business.

Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday

There is another sales tax holiday for certain supplies purchased for disaster preparedness from June 1, 2018, through June 7, 2018.

The exemption is for flashlights selling for $20 or less. Also included are self-powered radios, two-way radios, and weather-band radios selling for $50 or less. Tarps, once again, are exempt if sold for $50 or less. A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less is exempt. A gas canister selling for $25 or less qualifies for the exemption. AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt batteries are exempt if the price is $30 or less. Nonelectric Coolers, selling for $30 or less, are exempt. Portable generators with a sales price of $750 or less are exempt. If sold for $10 or less, reusable ice is exempt.

Marketplace Contractors

For re-employment tax purposes, the Legislature has added a provision about marketplace contractors.

A marketplace contractor is treated as an independent contractor for marketplace platforms if all of certain conditions are met. These conditions are: (1) the marketplace platform does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the marketplace contractor must be available to accept service requests; (2) the marketplace platform does not prohibit the marketplace contractor from using the technology application offered by other marketplace platforms; (3) the marketplace platform does not restrict the contractor from being engaged in any other business; (4) the marketplace platform and contractor agree in writing that the marketplace contractor is an independent contractor; (5) the marketplace contractor bears all or substantially all of his or her expenses of performing the service; and (6) the marketplace contractor is responsible for paying taxes on his or her income.

A marketplace contractor is defined as an individual or entity that enters into an agreement with a marketplace platform to use the platform’s technology application to connect with third-parties seeking services to obtain temporary household services. Additionally, the contractor must receive compensation for offering or providing temporary household services to these third-parties through the platform’s technology application.

A marketplace platform is an entity operating in Florida that offers an online-enabled technology application service, website, or system that allows marketplace contractors to provide services to third parties seeking temporary household services. The platform also accepts service requests from the public only through its online-enabled technology application.

“Household services” include furniture assembly, interior painting, television mounting, local moving help but not including transporting of items, hanging items (e.g., pictures, mirrors, curtains, blinds, and shelves), installation of in-home technology not requiring a hardwired electrical connection, or installing/replacing door hardware. However, household services do not include any service requiring licensure under Chapter 489, Florida Statutes.

Florida Sales Tax Attorney; Florida Sales Tax AuditAbout the author: David Brennan is an associate attorney with Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A. His primary practice area is multistate tax controversy. David received a B.S. in Accounting and Finance, with a minor in Computer Science, from Florida State University. He worked as an accountant for a CPA firm before attending law school at Regent University. He received his Juris Doctor in 2013 and was licensed to practice law in Florida in the same year. In 2015, David earned his Masters of Laws in Taxation from Boston University. David worked for the Florida Department of Revenue as a Senior Attorney before entering private practice. You can learn more about David in his BIO HERE.

At the Law Office of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, PA, our primary practice area is Florida taxes, with a very heavy emphasis in Florida sales and use tax. We have defended clients against Florida sales and use taxes for more than 25 years with over 100 years of cumulative experience working for our firm. Our partners are both CPAs/Accountants and Attorneys, so we understand both the accounting side of the situation as well as the legal side. We represent taxpayers and business owners from the entire State of Florida. Call our offices today for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to confidentially discuss how we can help put this nightmare behind you.


MUNICIPAL GOLF COURSE - NEW SALES TAX EXEMPTION, published July 25, 2017, by Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A.

FLORIDA SALES TAX BACK TO SCHOOL HOLIDAY - AUG 4-6TH, published July 23, 2017, by Jeanette Moffa, Esq.

NEW FL SALES TAX EXEMPTION - DATA CENTERS, published July 21, 2017, by Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A.

FLORIDA FINALLY REDUCES THE SALES TAX ON COMMERCIAL RENT, published July 1, 2017, by James H. Sutton, Jr., C.P.A., Esq.