Back to School Florida Sales Tax Holiday 2018

Posted on August 01, 2018

The State of Florida Department of Revenue has issued a Tax Information Publication (TIP #18A01-07) regarding its 2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which begins Friday, August 3, 2018 and runs through Sunday, August 5, 2018. Passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott, the sales tax holiday temporarily removes from taxation certain qualifying items purchased during the holiday period.

Specifically, most school supplies priced at $15 or less per item and clothing, footwear, and listed accessories selling for $60 or less per item are included in the exemption from tax. Clothing is defined as “any article of wearing apparel including footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body.” Watches and jewelry do not meet the definition of clothing as defined by the State of Florida. While most school supplies are included in the exemption, examples of ones that would be considered taxable include computer paper, masking tape, staplers, staples, printer paper, and correction tape/fluid/pens.

For more details and a list of items subject to the sales tax holiday, see the complete list here: https://revenuelaw.floridarevenue.com/LawLibraryDocuments/2018/06/TIP-121808_TIP%2018A01-07%20FINAL%20RLL.pdf. The list provides examples of both taxable and exempt items.

Restrictions

Note that the sales tax holiday does not apply to sales of eligible items if purchased at a theme park, airport, or public lodging facility. Rentals and leases are not included as well as repairs and alterations of eligible items. The sale of a gift card is excluded from the exemption, and the use of a gift card does not result in reducing the selling price of the item for consideration regarding the exemption.

For online sales, eligible items are exempt only when the order is accepted by the seller during the sales tax holiday period for immediate shipment regardless of delivery being made after the sales tax holiday period has ended.

Not all businesses may elect to participate in the sales tax holiday. Qualified businesses may choose not to engage in the sales tax holiday if less than 5% of their gross sales of tangible personal property during the prior calendar year were sales of items that would be exempt during the sales tax holiday period. Businesses that have elected not to participate and have notified Florida Department of Revenue must post a notice in a conspicuous place at each business location indicating their choice not to participate in the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday.

Tips for the Taxpayer

If you are shopping for school-type supplies or clothing, check out the list of items in advance to see what might be exempt during the weekend sales tax holiday in Florida. Take advantage of planning your purchases around the holiday to reduce your tax spend.

Contributor: Trisha Davidson


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