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Florida to exempt animal vaccines, mandatory fingerprinting, tampons, and more


 Fingerprinting will soon be an exempt service in Florida, at least in certain circumstances.

Updated 9.1.2017

A curious selection of goods and services will soon be exempt from Florida sales and use tax. These changes are due to the recent enactment of House Bill 7109, now Chapter 2017-36. Some take effect July 1, 2017, while others are effective January 1, 2018.

Changes effective July 1, 2017

An exemption for agriculture

Certain animal health products used to ease the pain of animals or cure or prevent sickness, disease, or suffering in animals are exempt from sales tax. These include:

  • Absorbent cotton
  • Antiseptics
  • Gauze for bandages
  • Lotions
  • Vaccines
  • Vitamins
  • Worm remedies

Aquaculture heath products “used by aquacultural producers to prevent or treat fungi, bacteria, and parasitic diseases” are also exempt.

An exemption for data center property

Property leased, purchased, or rented for use in constructing, maintaining, or operating computer server equipment at a data center constructed on or after July 1, 2017, is exempt when purchased by the owners or tenants of a qualifying data center property. Additional details are available in the text of Chapter 36, Laws of 2017.

An exemption for golf lovers

A municipally owned golf course that pays for purchases or leases needed for its operation or maintenance with golf course revenues (or other funds provided by that municipality) is considered an exempt government entity provided both the following conditions are true:

  • It is located in a county with a population of at least 2 million residents
  • Youth education programs run by an exempt nonprofit organization are delivered on an ongoing basis in that location

Additional details are provided on the Department of Revenue Tax Information Publication #17A01-09.

An exemption for people who conceal guns

When the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services requires fingerprints to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, fingerprinting services are exempt from sales and use tax. The cost of services is borne by the consumer, but is exempt as of July 1, 2017.

An exemption to spark growth

In a rural area of opportunity (RAO), building materials, pest control services, and the rental of tangible personal property used in new construction are exempt from sales and use tax. Designated by the governor, an RAO is an area adversely affected by an extraordinary economic event, natural disaster, or severe or chronic distress. This exemption cannot be claimed at checkout; it must be obtained as a refund of taxes paid, and there is a maximum tax (cap) of $10,000 per qualifying parcel.

Changes effective January 1, 2018

An exemption for women

Tampons, pads, and other products used to absorb menstrual flow are exempt from Florida sales and use tax.

Tax on admissions

Resellers of admissions may seek a credit or refund from the Florida Department of Revenue for sales tax paid on purchases of admissions resold to an exempt consumer or entity.

Tax rate on rentals of real property

The tax imposed on rent or licensee fees charged for real property is reduced from 6 percent to 5.8 percent. However, the tax rate in effect when a person “occupies, uses, or is entitled to occupy or use the real property is the tax rate applicable to the transaction.”

Changes to sales and use tax can occur any time a bill is passed. Legislation creating new exemptions, repealing existing exemptions, and increasing or reducing rates is commonplace. In addition, definitions are tweaked, sometimes substantially, sometimes minimally. All of this transpires to make sales and use tax compliance challenging for companies that do business in one state. Those that sell to consumers in multiple states can have an even harder time.

For more information about sales and use tax in Florida, check out Florida Sales Tax Rates.


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.