April 23, 2021

Florida is one of only two states that does not require out-of-state retailers to collect and remit sales tax, but that is about to change.

The Florida Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 50 (SB 50) by a supermajority in both chambers and the measure was recently signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Under SB 50 new sales tax revenue is first directed towards replenishing the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund and will later be used to pay for a 3.5% reduction of Florida’s Business Rent Tax. [5.5% to 2%, effective 2025, or upon replenishment of the unemployment compensation trust fund.]

Cuhaci and Peterson is proud to stand at the forefront our industry partners by providing continued advocacy for regulatory relief and reform.

Let’s take a closer look at what the bill passage means to our partners and customers:

  • Levels the playing field between online, remote sellers and bricks and mortar stores. A sale is a sale regardless of whether it takes place on Main Street or on the Internet.
  • Makes sales and use tax compliance easier for Florida’s consumers and retailers.
  • This does not represent a new tax or tax increase. Legally, every Floridian is required to pay the sales and use tax on items purchased from remote sellers, whether they were collected at the point of sale or not.
  • Will result in collection of sales taxes that are already due to the State of Florida.
  • Supports the more than 129,601 retail real-estate establishments in Florida, and the 2.4 million retail real-estate jobs.
  • Nearly all of the 45 states that impose a sales and use tax have already adopted remote seller sales tax requirements, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

As you may know, Florida is one of the last states with a state sales tax to pass e-fairness legislation. In the wake of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court South Dakota v. Wayfair case, most states were quick to utilize their new authority to collect online sales taxes, leveling the playing field for community-based retailers.

With this development, Missouri is the only sales tax state that has not adopted a policy to collect remote sales taxes from out-of-state-sellers.

The passage of SB 50 is a major legislative victory for Florida’s brick and mortar retailers and is an opportunity for the state to collect this additional sales tax revenue.

If you have any questions about the bill please do not hesitate to contact me at bill.tomala@c-p.com

Note: In addition to serving as Manager of Business Development for C&P, Bill serves as Florida Government Relations Chair for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

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