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2019 Florida Sales Tax New Legislation Update


The 2019 legislative session has ended. The governor signed this year’s tax changes. There are some familiar exemptions from years past; however, a few new exemptions were enacted.

Rent Reduction Again

The commercial rental tax rate has reduced once again! The new state sales tax rate will be 5.5% effective January 1, 2020.

Back to School Tax Holiday

The Legislature has renewed the back to school tax holiday. The holiday will be from August 2, 2019, through August 6, 2019. The holiday includes clothing, wallets, and bags sold for $60 or less each. Footwear with a price per item of $60 or less is exempt. Also exempt from tax is school supplies having a price of $15 or less per item. Different from last year, a new exemption for computers and computer accessories having a price of $1,000 or less per item was created.

Sellers have the option to not offer the sales tax exemptions if less than 5% of the seller’s gross sales in the prior calendar year encompass items exempt under this holiday. To opt out, the seller must notify the Department of Revenue by August 1, 2019 of the seller’s intent to be excluded from the tax holiday. The seller must also post a notice in a conspicuous location at its business.

Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday

There was another sales tax holiday for certain supplies purchased for disaster preparedness from May 31, 2019, through June 6, 2019.

The exemption was for flashlights selling for $20 or less. Also included were 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 was exempt. A gas canister selling for $25 or less qualified for the exemption. AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt batteries were exempt if the price was $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.

Donations to 501(c)3 Organization

The Legislature added a new exemption for donations to a 501(c)(3) organization. If a dealer purchases an item tax-free for resale purposes but donates the item to a 501(c)(3) organization, the dealer does not have to pay tax on the original purchase of the item. A caveat is if the 501(c)(3) has been issued a final disqualification order by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (“AG”). If AG has issued such an order, then the dealer is not exempt on the item donated to the 501(c)(3) organization.

Fencing & Building Materials for Agriculture

To provide relief from Hurricane Michael, a couple of new exemptions were passed. One exemption involves fencing materials used in agriculture to replace or repair fences damaged by Hurricane Michael. The other exemption is for building materials to repair or replace a nonresidential farm building damaged by Hurricane Michael.

For both exemptions, the materials will be exempt if purchased between October 10, 2018, through June 30, 2019. The only way to obtain the refund is to apply for a refund with the Florida Department of Revenue by December 31, 2019. Very specific information must be provided in the application. If an individual provides a false application, there is the potential for a 200% penalty and third-degree felony charges.

Department of Revenue Attorney; Florida Sales Tax attorney; Florida sales tax audit defense; Tallahassee sales tax attorney; Orlando Sales Tax AttorneyAbout 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 read 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.


Florida House Bill 7123


FL BACK TO SCHOOL SALES TAX HOLIDAY, published June 29, 2019, by David J. Brennan, Jr., Esq.

2018 FLORIDA TAX LEGISLATION UPDATE, published March 30, 2018, by David J. Brennan, Jr., Esq.

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.