Spaceships, Storms, and Sales Tax – What’s Hot in Florida

Posted on May 27, 2020

Spaceships, Storms, and Sales Tax – What’s Hot in Florida

As Florida prepares to witness a new era in space travel history this week, sales tax news heats up with the disaster preparedness sales tax holiday. With most of the U.S. continuing to deal with COVID-19 impacts on business and daily life, many states have begun phased openings of businesses in a gradual approach of returning to the new normal. States rely heavily on commerce for funding. With commerce shut down, non-existent, or adapted, the impact is far-reaching.

In a map provided by Tax Foundation based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the state of Florida ranks 10th in the U.S. for sales tax collections as a percent of total state and local tax collections for the 2017 fiscal year. With over 36% of collections associated with sales tax and no personal income tax, Florida has relied heavily on transactional tax.

Space Revisited

In the last nine years, the U.S. has not sent American astronauts into space from its own soil or on its own spacecraft. The final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011 marked the last time this has occurred. SpaceX has revolutionized the American mission into space with its partnership with NASA and innovative spaceship design. With the prior success of rockets that can return to the launchpad and be reutilized, creativity and conservation are evident in the mission in the SpaceX.

The spaceship known as SpaceX Crew Dragon is planned to launch today carrying two NASA astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station.

For the local area impacted by the space industry, known as the Space Coast of Florida, the advent of the SpaceX manned mission could indicate a rebirth of economic activity. Previous days of a space shuttle and rocket launches have historically brought large crowds to the area and increased tourism benefitting not only the hospitality industries such as hotels and restaurants but also local economies dependent on visitors. Today’s planned launch will be different as the Kennedy Space Center remains closed to visitors and public launch viewing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales Tax Holiday

Visitors and residents of Florida can take advantage of tax savings starting this week. Typically associated with a hurricane or tropical storm preparedness, the Florida 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The sales tax holiday this year commences on Friday, May 29, 2020, and runs through Thursday, June 4, 2020. Certain qualified items are exempt from sales tax based on their relationship to disaster preparedness. There are exclusions in that the sales tax holiday is not applicable to sales transpiring in a theme park, public lodging facility, airport, or entertainment complex.

Qualifying items are categorized in selling price ranges ($10, $20, $25, $30, $50, and $750 or less, respectively). Items such as reusable ice, portable lights, gas containers, certain batteries (not automotive or boat), coolers, tarps, tie-downs, plastic sheeting, and portable generators can all be found on the list of qualifying items.

Specific rules apply to items normally sold as a unit and BOGO (buy one, get one free or for a reduced price) items. Online orders qualify when the order is accepted by the mail-order, catalog, or internet seller during the sales tax holiday timeframe regardless of when delivery is made even if after the holiday period.

The complete Tax Information Publication can be found here: https://revenuelaw.floridarevenue.com/LawLibraryDocuments/2020/05/TIP-123007_TIP_20A01-02_FINAL_RLL.pdf

Support for Your Business

Whether you need a helping hand in terms of employee or personnel support in the Tax field or if you require tax consulting as a result of COVID-19 impacts or otherwise, Allyn is here to support your business. Allyn’s Tax operation has been working diligently serving our clients throughout the global crisis maintaining operations, exceeding expectations, and filing state and local business tax returns far ahead of scheduled original due dates. Allyn Tax is providing compliance throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as tax consulting, audit defense, and exemption certificate management

Allyn is providing solutions that enable businesses to focus on their core purpose while Allyn manages the tax function. From supporting a select project to ensuring the end to end operational support, Allyn Tax will help your business throughout today and beyond. Our goals for your business are that we improve your tax compliance, reduce your costs, and maximize your tax savings.

Tips for the Taxpayer

The information outlined in this article and Allyn Tax Reference Materials from Allyn’s website will assist your business in obtaining high-level, quick answers. It is extremely important to explore the details associated with each state’s position as compared to your business situation to ensure your business has the tools necessary to file and pay both timely and accurately without incurring penalty or interest and while taking advantage of tax relief. For specific details, receiving guidance from a tax professional such as Allyn can help ensure your business is sales tax compliant in states and localities.

How Can We Help?

Allyn’s tax team is staffed with seasoned tax professionals and consultants experienced in all aspects of Federal, multi-state and local tax compliance and consulting for large U.S. and global corporations. We use that experience to your advantage.

Allyn files state and local tax returns in every U.S. taxing jurisdiction and manages the process from data acquisition and analysis to return filing and payment of taxes. Allyn manages exemption and resale certificates in every applicable state. Allyn offers web-based software that electronically stores exemption certificates and key certificate data while Allyn’s Tax team reviews certificates for validity and accuracy upon receipt before they are electronically stored for compliance and audit defense.

Contact us and we can provide a customized cost-effective solution to meet your company’s needs. For further information on Allyn Tax services, please contact: tax@allynintl.com.

For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or other tax topics, please visit our Tax Publications under News & Publications at www.allynintl.com. Allyn provides additional Tax Resources available at https://www.allynintl.com/en/tax-services/tax-resources/reference-materials/.

Contributor: Trisha Davidson 


About Allyn International

Allyn International is dedicated to providing high quality, customer centric services and solutions for the global marketplace. Allyn's core products include transportation management, logistics sourcing, freight forwarding, supply chain consulting, tax management and global trade compliance. Allyn clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Allyn conducts business in more than 20 languages and has extensive experience in both developed and emerging markets. Highly trained experts are positioned throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Allyn’s regional headquarters are strategically located in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S.A., Shanghai, P.R. China, Prague, Czech Republic, and Dubai, U.A.E. For more information, visit www.allynintl.com.