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Essentials of Sales Tax Preparedness
Florida “Freedom Week” Means New Sales Tax Holiday
byJune 21, 2021
Floridians are accustomed to the Sunshine State’s annual springtime “hurricane preparedness” sales tax holiday, but this year Florida residents and visitors get to enjoy a second, one-off sales tax holiday.
In May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that both extends Florida’s Back to School sales tax holiday and creates a new “Freedom Week” sales tax holiday in July. Both are intended to get Floridians shopping and getting out and about again now that the COVID-19 pandemic and, according to Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, encourage people to embrace “everything that’s great to be a Floridian.”
What is Florida’s newest sales tax holiday?
As part of comprehensive tax bill HB 7061, Florida now has a third sales tax holiday.
“Freedom Week” takes place from July 1 to July 7, 2021. During this time, certain taxable items and activities are not subject to sales tax. Both products such as kayaks, and admission fees, such as concert tickets, are exempt from sales tax under this holiday.
What is non-taxable during Florida” Freedom Week”?
Most sales tax holidays are designed to give shoppers a break on necessities such as back to school clothing and supplies or items to help prepare for natural disasters. Florida’s “Freedom Week” is a bit different. Instead of helping people buy necessities, it is designed to help them get out and have fun again.
Here’s what is tax free in Florida from July 1 to July 7.
Event Tickets or Admissions Fees
Event tickets or admissions bought during the tax free week are non-taxable, as long as those events take place between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. They include:
- Concert tickets
- Sporting event tickets
- Movie tickets (for movies shown in theaters)
- Museum entry, including annual passes
- Start park entry, including annual passes
- Ballet, play or musical theater performances, or season tickets
- Entry to a fair, festival or cultural event
- Use or access to private and membership clubs
Recreational and Outdoor Items
Recreational and outdoor items are also non-taxable during the July 1-7 holiday. This includes several categories, listed below.
Boating and water activity supplies:
- The first $75 of the sales price of life jackets and coolers
- The first $50 of the sales price of safety flares
- The first $150 of the sales price of water skis, wakeboards, knee boards, and recreational inflatable water tubes or floats capable of being towed
- The first $300 off the sales price of paddle boards and surfboards
- The first $500 off the sales price of canoes and kayaks
- The first $75 of the sales price of paddles and oars
- The first $25 of the sales price of snorkels, goggles and swimming masks
- The first $200 of the sales price of tents
- The first $50 of the sales price of sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves and collapsible camping chairs
- The first $30 of the sales price of camping lanterns and flashlights
- The first $75 of the sales price of rods and reels if sold individually, or the first $150 of the sales price if sold as a set
- The first $30 of the sales price of tackle boxes or bags
- The first $5 of the sales price of bat or fishing tackle if sold individually, or the first $10 of the sales price if multiple items are sold together
- Excludes commercial fishing supplies
General outdoor supplies:
- The first $15 of the sales price of sunscreen or insect repellent
- The first $100 of the sales price of sunglasses
- The first $200 of the sales price of binoculars
- The first $30 of the sales price of water bottles
- The first $50 of the sales price of hydration packs
- The first $250 of the sales price of outdoor gas or charcoal grills
- The first $50 of the sales price of bicycle helmets
- The first $250 of the sales price of bicycles
- Any item used in individual or team sports, not including clothing or footwear, selling for $40 or less
How should e-commerce businesses handle Florida’s sales tax holiday?
Long story short, Florida sprang this holiday on retailers. However, according to the Florida Department of Revenue, this is a mandatory sales tax holiday. A representative from the Florida Department of Revenue also confirmed that any retailers who unknowingly collect sales tax on items that shouldn’t be taxed during Florida Freedom Week should just remit that erroneously collected sales tax to the state as normal.
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