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Taxable and Exempt Pet Food in Florida

  • Feb 10, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Ostrich food is exempt from Florida sales tax.

Although most food sold for pets is subject to sales tax in Florida, certain “therapeutic veterinary diets” have been exempt since July 1, 2014. But what makes food therapeutic?

According to relevant Florida law:

“Sales of therapeutic veterinary diets specifically formulated to aid in the management of illness and disease of a diagnosed health disorder in an animal and which are only available from a licensed veterinarian are exempt” from sales and use tax.

The Florida Department of Revenue provides the following example to illustrate the law:

  • ABC cat food, “specifically formulated to aid in the management of bladder health in cats and … sold only through a licensed veterinarian” is exempt from sales tax as a therapeutic veterinary diet.
  • EFG dog food, “marketed as specifically formulated for dogs over 10 years of age… [and] available through various retailers and licensed veterinarians” is not a therapeutic veterinary diet or exempt from sales tax.

Other exempt animal foods

Therapeutic veterinary diet food is not the only animal food exempt from Florida sales tax. The following are foods are also exempt:

  • Animal foods that can only be dispensed by a prescription (under state or federal law).
  • Feeds for poultry, ostriches, livestock, racehorses, and dairy cow.
  • Food for guide dogs for the blind (seeing-eye dogs).

Additional information is available in Florida Statutes Section 212.08 and Tax Information Publication #15A01-02.

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photo credit: Avestruz 02, Colombia via photopin (license)

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.