Sales Tax in Florida Can Be Complex

Think You Understand Florida Sales Tax? Confusion can be as close as your next trip to the grocery store.

While many think it’s a simple as what you can eat and what you can’t — this is just not true.

Let’s review some examples.

Plain, drinking water is exempt from sales tax, but if it’s carbonated or flavored, it’s subject to Florida sales tax.  Natural fruit juice with 100% fruit is exempt, but the moment it wears the labels “drink,” “ade,” “beverage,” “cocktail,” or “flavored,” it’s taxable.

Cookies, muffins, bagels and other bakery food items, when sold by bakeries, pastry shops, or similar establishments, where the “seller” does not have an eating facility — the goodies are exempt from sales tax. If the Seller has an eating facility, then the baked goods are taxable, unless the products are sold for consumption off premises. To that end, here’s what the Department’s Form DR-46NT actually says “Bakery products sold in quantities of five (5) or fewer are presumed to be TAXABLE.”

If your business deals with items subject to Florida sales tax, or you are not sure if your products or services are subject to Florida sales tax, it’s important to consult an expert. Not knowing can cost you as a merchant. A business is responsible for sales tax even when they fail to collect it from their customers. This means your business could be held responsible for the sales taxes it failed to collect on items it should have taxed but failed too due to lack of knowledge.