Florida’s 2023 Sales Tax Holidays

Florida’s 2023 Sales Tax Holidays. Florida sales tax runs anywhere from 6% to 8%, depending upon the county where you are making the purchase. Several years ago the Florida legislature started sales tax “holidays,” beginning with the back-to-school season.

Flush with a budget surplus again this year, the legislature passed several more holidays which begin in May. Some of them last a week, while others last up to 2 years. For a major purchase you might be considering, it pays to know the timetables.

Because the legislature waited until May 5 to pass this year’s changes, the Department of Revenue has not yet published all of the changes. Below are a few of the immediate changes as we know it from the bill passed 5 days ago.

Disaster Preparedness: May 27 – June 9 and August 26 – September 8

There has been an annual sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness for a few years now. If you are in or near Florida, and getting low on batteries, bungee cords, coolers, tarps, portable generator(s?), or several other items listed in the link below, you can save the sales tax by waiting until the week of the holiday to stock up.

In 2023, a second week has been added in late August, right before the busiest part of hurricane season.

Of note, the holiday includes all kinds of pet provisions – pet food, pet kennels, pet beds, leashes, and even pet waste disposal bags.

Also new for 2023, consumable household goods like paper goods, soap, hand sanitizer, and trash bags.

Here is the link to the 2022 list of exempted disaster preparedness items: (as of post time the updated list of 2023 items had not yet been published)

https://revenuelaw.floridarevenue.com/LawLibraryDocuments/2020/05/TIP-123007_TIP_20A01-02_FINAL_RLL.pdf

Big Deal – Home Hardening Disaster Preparedness: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024

This one is a bigger deal and can save major bucks. Impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors will be fully exempt from sales tax until June 2024.

So if you are planning a major home improvement, talk to your contractor about placing the order. On a $5,000 order, in a 7% sales tax county, that’s a $350 savings.

Unlike most of the other holidays, this exemption also applies to commercial orders.

More detail on home hardening exemptions here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-07.pdf

Also Big Deal – Appliances: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

Thinking about replacing appliances? The tax exemption was scheduled to expire in June. With this exemption you can save the sales tax on Energy Star appliances. High-end appliances are not included, and the definition of “high-end” appears to be about $1500 ($3000 for refrigerators). $1500 x 7% = $105 in possible savings.

More detail on appliance exemptions here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-05.pdf

Fun Events, Outdoor Supplies and Annual Passes: Usually the week of July 4

This sales tax holiday began during the pandemic in 2020. Event tickets, camping supplies, paddle boards, kayaks, binoculars, grills, and bicycles are some of the larger ticket items included in the holiday.

Of note also – annual or season passes for museums, theater series, ballet, and state parks.

New for 2022: pool supplies and parts. Stay tuned for 2023 changes

The complete list for events and supplies during “Freedom Week” is here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-04.pdf

Children’s Diapers, Clothing and Shoes: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

This has been proposed but blocked in the past. Finally parents and guardians of young kids got a little relief in 2022.

But this is one of two holidays (the other being back-to-school) where the state outlines what is excluded, in addition to what is included. And, as I wrote in 2021, the inclusions and exclusions aren’t always easy to guess.

What constitutes “clothing” and “shoes” for this holiday for toddlers and babies? A few head-scratchers:

Snow ski boots – Yes; Fishing boots/waders – No

Snow ski suits – Yes; Skin diving suits – No

Hunting vests – Yes; Life jackets – No

Garden gloves – Yes; Bicycle gloves – No

Click for the complete list of diapers, clothing and shoes: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-06.pdf

Back-to-School: Usually late July – early August

See 2022’s complete back-to-school list: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-08.pdf

Labor Day/Skilled Workers

Larger-ticket items on the “Tool Time” holiday include power tools under $300, power tool batteries, toolboxes, and work boots. It also includes shop lights, plumbing tools, and duffle bags.

More detail on “Tool Time” exemptions from 2022 here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-09.pdf

A Lack of Preparation Story

During Hurricane Irma in 2017, the middle of the spaghetti models 5 days out showed the storm was likely going up Florida’s east coast. This is the opposite coast from where we live. My husband and I got double-busy with clients who wanted to squeeze in appointments before it hit. We got caught up in the work and ignored our own preparations. I didn’t fill up my car, and we didn’t check our stock of Coleman stove propane canisters. By the time the forecast shifted, there was no gas to be found – for the car, for the stove – of any kind, anywhere.

Irma left us without power for 7 days. Cooking on a tiny charcoal grill in the backyard got old quickly. After 3 days, when the charcoal started getting low, the temperature inside climbed to 83 with humidity of 100, and the frozen fish was rotting, we called it quits and found a hotel with electricity that had managed to reopen.

For a Florida native, experienced with hurricanes, whose job title includes the word “planner,” it felt like I should have done better.

Lesson Learned

For Ian in 2023, I paid more attention to all the strings on the spaghetti model, not just the ones in the middle. We stocked up, and I evacuated to a location outside of the projected storm surge zone. Although we ended up safe from storm surge, it was nice to feel better prepared this time around.

The sales tax waiver was a nice nudge for procrastinators like me. Disasters of all different sorts happen. Take advantage of the holidays to prepare yourself, and enjoy a little inflation relief.

Have you found a great deal using a sales tax holiday? Please share by leaving a comment.

Holly Donaldson

Holly Donaldson, CFP® runs an hourly and fee-for-service financial planning practice virtually from her Tampa Bay, Florida office. She also works with clients throughout the U.S. (except Texas) interested in retirement and tax planning advice without product sales or investment management. Holly is the author of The Mindful Money Mentality: How to Find Balance in Your Financial Future (Porchview Publishing, 2013) and publisher of the award-winning monthly e-letter, "The View From the Porch."

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