Category Archives: Florida Tax

Florida Department of Revenue Offers Sales Tax and Property Tax Relief

The Florida Department of Revenue has granted relief to certain adversely affected taxpayers suffering from business interruptions caused by COVID-19.  This relief extends the deadlines for reporting and remitting property tax and sales and use tax for affected taxpayers.

Florida property tax assessments for the 2019 tax year are generally due on March 31, 2020.  The Florida Department of Revenue has applied an extension to all 67 counties in Florida, pushing the due date on property taxes back to April 15, 2020 for all taxpayers, regardless of whether the extent a taxpayer’s ability to pay has been affected by COVID-19.

The Florida Department of Revenue has also provided an extension for businesses to remit sales and use taxes to the state and file related tax returns, but this extension only applies to certain Adversely Affected Taxpayers rather than any taxpayer collecting sales and use tax.  To be treated as an Adversely Affected Taxpayer and qualify for the sales and use tax deadline extensions, a taxpayer’s business must experience one of the following:

  • The business closed in compliance with a state or local government order and had no taxable sales transactions as a result; or
  • The business experienced sales tax collections in March 2020 that are less than 75% of March 2019 sales tax collections; or
  • The business was established after March 2019; or
  • The business is registered with the Department to file quarterly.

Florida’s sales and use tax is the state’s largest source of revenue, producing over $26 billion annually for the state.  Sales and use tax, along with other related tax returns and payments, are generally due on the first day of the month following the month of collection and are considered late if filed after the 20th day of the month.  The Florida Department of Revenue has extended this due date to April 30, 2020, for sales tax collected in March for Adversely Affected Taxpayers.  Taxpayers who do not fall within the definition of Adversely Affected Taxpayer must still follow the normal due date of April 20, 2020.

For businesses unable to meet their March 20 deadline for collections of February sales and use tax, the Florida Department of Revenue has waived penalty and interest on late payments if the taxes are reported and paid by March 31, 2020.

The Florida Department of Revenue’s emergency order extending the property tax filing and payment deadline is available on the Department’s website.

The Florida Department of Revenue’s emergency order extending the sales and use tax filing and remittance deadline is also available on the Department’s website.

Jamie E. Koepsel
(941) 552-2562

When is an Assessment from the DOR Not an Assessment?

Upon completion of a Florida tax audit, the Department of Revenue (“DOR”) will issue a Notice of Proposed Assessment (“NOPA”) to assess any additional tax, interest, and penalties. By its terms, the NOPA provides that it will become a “final assessment” within 60 days of issuance if it is not challenged by the taxpayer. At the end of an audit of Verizon, the DOR issued a NOPA within 60 days prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Verizon took the position that the NOPA did not constitute an assessment for statute of limitation purposes until 60 days after its issuance, and by that time the assessment was time barred because the statute of limitations expired. Verizon lost at the trial court on a summary judgment motion, but the First District Court of Appeal recently ruled for Verizon, in a unanimous decision, that a NOPA does not constitute an assessment for statute of limitations purposes because it’s not a “final” assessment. Here is a link to the opinion:

Michael J. Wilson

Florida Tax Legislation Provides a Hodgepodge of Tax Breaks Totaling Over $400 Million

Florida House Bill 33, which was enacted just a few weeks ago, provides a number of tax cuts and incentives. The bill’s key provisions include:

1. A $60,000 cap on the amount of sales tax paid on repairs of a vessel, which would apply to a repair costing in excess of $1 million;

2. An expansion of the number of sales tax exemptions for agricultural equipment, including aquacultural products and feed for aquacultural products, storage, equipment, irrigation equipment, trailers, and plant stakes;

3. Changed the corporate income tax credit program from a first-come first-served basis to a prorated credit and limited the target industries allowed to claim the credit;

4. An additional $14 million for the corporate income tax research and development tax credit program in 2016;

5. A sales tax exemption on admissions for gun club memberships;

6. An extension of the community contribution tax credit programs to June 30, 2018, and a $3 million increase in the tax credit cap for housing projects;

7. An additional $16.6 million to be spent in fiscal year 2015-2016 on the brownfields tax credit program;

8. A 1.73% Communications Services Tax reduction, which went into effect July 1; and

9. A 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday from August 7 through August 16.

Michael J. Wilson