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Florida 2014 Sales Tax Holidays


 Many school supplies would be exempt during the 2014 Florida August sales tax holiday, if enacted.

Update 5.14.14: All three sales tax holidays have been approved by Governor Scott, who stressed the importance of preparing for hurricanes.

Sitting on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s (R) desk, waiting for his signature, is Florida Department of Revenue to administer three sales tax holidays in 2014: a tax-free period for emergency preparedness supplies in June, a tax-free period for clothing and school supplies in August, and a tax-free period for Energy Star and WaterSense products in September.

Emergency preparedness supplies

Senate Bill 5601 allows a sales tax holiday for a variety of emergency preparedness supplies between 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, June 1, 2014 through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Exempt item would include the following:

  • Portable self-powered light sources costing $20 or less;
  • Portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weatherband radio costing $50 or less;
  • Self-contained first-aid kit costing $30 or less; and
  • Gas or diesel fuel tank costing $25 or less.

A complete list of qualifying items is included in the legislation.

Clothing and school supplies

The bill allows a sales tax holiday for certain clothing and school supplies between 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 1, 2014 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 3, 2014.

Exempt items would include:

  • Clothing, wallets, or bags, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs and diaper bags, having a sales price of $100 or less per item;
  • Any article of wearing apparel intended to be worn on or about the human body, excluding watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, and handkerchiefs;
  • All footwear, excluding skis, swim fins, roller blades and skates; and
  • School supplies having a sales price of $15 or less per item, including pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue or paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses, and calculators.

In addition, no Florida sales tax would be collected on “the first $750 of the sales price of personal computers or personal computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.” Exactly what would and wouldn’t qualify for the exemption is listed in the legislation.

Energy efficient products

The bill also permits a sales tax holiday for energy efficient products bearing the Energy Star and WaterSense labels. It would begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014, and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

As written, it would exempt from sales tax “The first $1,500 of the sale price of a new Energy Star product or WaterSense product.” It would also limit a buyer to “one purchase of each specific type of Energy Star or WaterSense product listed in paragraph (2)(a) or paragraph (2)(b) with a sales price of $500 or more. A second or subsequent purchase of a specific type of Energy Star product or WaterSense product with a sales price of $500 or more is subject to tax.”

Qualifying Energy Star products would be:

  • Air conditioner
  • Air purifier
  • Ceiling fan
  • Clothes washer
  • Clothes dryer
  • Dehumidifier
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Refrigerator
  • Water heater
  • Swimming pool pump
  • Package of light bulbs that is designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy as meeting or exceeding each agency’s requirements under the Energy Star program and that is affixed with an Energy Star label.

Qualifying WaterSense products would be:

  • Bathroom sink faucet
  • Faucet accessory
  • High-efficiency toilet or urinal
  • Showerhead
  • Weather or sensor-based irrigation controller that is recognized as water efficient by the WaterSense program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and that is affixed with a WaterSense label.

Exemption encourages physical fitness

The legislation also suspends the collection of the physical fitness admissions tax, from 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2014 through 11:59 p.m. on September 8, 2014. During that period, there would be no tax collected on “the sale of athletic, exercise, and physical fitness facility memberships by a health studio registered under ss. 501.012-501.019, Florida Statutes.”

As of this writing, Governor Scott has not yet signed this legislation into law.

How do you handle sales tax holidays, in Florida and other states? An automated sales tax solution makes it simple. Learn more.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.