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It Pays to Study: College Textbooks Exempt from Florida Sales Tax


 Textbooks are expensive, but they may be temporarily tax -free in Florida.

Higher education is expensive in Florida, as it is in most states. To help ease student costs, Florida is providing a temporary sales and use tax exemption for the purchase or lease of certain college textbooks. Certain instructional materials are also exempt. It’s as good a reason as any to stay in school.

Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, qualifying textbooks (hard bound or e-books) are exempt from Florida sales and use tax so long as the purchaser is a student at a qualifying school and provides the vendor with a physical or electronic copy of both of the following:

  • The student’s school identification number
  • An applicable course syllabus or list of required and recommended textbooks and instructional materials that meet the criteria outlined in 1004.085(3), F.S.

Qualifying textbooks are those that are “required or recommended for use in a course offered by a public postsecondary educational institution as described in Section (s.) 1000.04, Florida Statutes (F.S.), or a nonpublic postsecondary educational institution that is eligible to participate in a tuition assistance program authorized by s. 1009.89 or s. 1009.891, F.S.”

Proof

Students aren’t the only ones required to furnish proof. According to the Florida Department of Revenue,

“The vendor must maintain proper documentation to identify the complete transaction or portion of the transaction that involves the sale of textbooks and/or instructional materials that are not subject to tax.”

 For additional information, please see TIP #15A01-06.

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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.