Florida’s Sales Tax Holidays

Florida’s 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.

Disaster Preparedness: June 1 – 14 and August 24 – September 6

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.

The second sales tax holiday in late August occurs 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 last yaer, consumable household goods like paper goods, soap, hand sanitizer, and trash bags.

Here is the link to the list of exempted disaster preparedness items: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_24A01-04.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 through the end of June.

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

Fun Events, Outdoor Supplies and Annual Passes: The whole month of July

This sales tax holiday began during the pandemic. 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.

The complete list for events and supplies during “Freedom Month” is here: https://floridarevenue.com/FreedomMonth/Documents/2024/FM%20poster%2011×17.pdf

Back-to-School: July 29 – August 11

The list of back-to-school items has a few surprises in it. Items you would assume are included are not, and others you assume are not, are. (Example: snowsuits included, swimsuits not). More information on the strange list of exemptions here: What Does Qualify for Florida’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday?

Also, see the back-to-school flyer (complete list not available yet as of publication): https://floridarevenue.com/backtoschool/Documents/2024/BTS_poster11x17.pdf

Labor Day/Tool Time Tax Savings: September 1- September 7

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.

Continue ReadingFlorida’s Sales Tax Holidays

Floridians: Wait ‘Til July 1 to Buy Kayaks, Grills and Broadway Passes

Floridians, wait until July 1 to buy that kayak, new grill, or Broadway series pass. The state of Florida has a Freedom Week sales tax holiday encouraging us to a) get outside and b) get back to sharing space with strangers.

The holiday lasts from July 1 to July 7, 2022. Depending on the county in which you live, that could mean a 6% to 8% savings.

Two Exemption Categories

The savings cover two main categories: a) outdoor activity supplies and b) events.

“Outdoor activity supplies” include everything from bug spray to gas grills (the first $500 – sorry, gourmet grillers). Reading the list of exempted items makes me want to spend the rest of the summer in the water (many of these do have limits ranging from $500 down to $10):

  • canoes and kayaks
  • water skis and wakeboards
  • paddleboards and surfboards
  • coolers
  • goggles, snorkels, and masks
  • sunglasses and sunscreen
  • rods, reels, bait and tackle

For woodsy type landlubbers, exempt (also with limits) are:

  • binoculars
  • bicycles
  • bug spray
  • camping supplies
  • outdoor gas or charcoal grills

Camping supplies include stoves, tents, collapsible chairs, lanterns, flashlights, and sleeping bags. (Gee, this also reads like my hurricane preparedness list.)

Events and Annual Passes

For even more fun, “events” include tickets to any concert, movie, game, fair, festival, cultural event, or gym with attendance dates through December 31, 2022. Note: You have to buy the ticket between July 1 and July 7 for any event scheduled through the rest of 2022 to get the exemption.

Events also include annual passes to:

  • museums
  • theaters (hello, Broadway series, orchestra, and opera)
  • state parks (which I didn’t know they charged sales tax on in the first place?)

Despite its property-tax-free status (for now), sorry, but Disney does not count as a state park.

No limits on the cost for the passes. So if you’re considering venturing out for the Broadway series, purchasing the pass between July 1 and July 7 might save you enough to cover dinners before the shows.

For a complete description, see the state of Florida’s TIP sheet at: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-04.pdf

There are other sales tax holidays also going on right now. Read the comprehensive list here and mark your calendar for May of next year to watch this space for 2023: Inflation Relief: Florida 2022 Sales Tax Holidays

How will you take advantage of the Freedom Week sales tax holiday?? Leave a comment below.

Continue ReadingFloridians: Wait ‘Til July 1 to Buy Kayaks, Grills and Broadway Passes

Inflation Relief: Florida 2022 Sales Tax Holidays

Inflation relief: Florida 2022 Sales Tax Holidays. In inflationary times, every bit of savings can help. 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 this year, the legislature passed several more holidays which begin this summer. 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.

Disaster Preparedness: May 28 – June 10, 2022

This has been an annual sales tax holiday 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 May 28 to stock up.

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

Here is the link to the 2022 list of exempted disaster preparedness items:

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 for 2 years starting July 1.

So if you are planning a major home improvement, talk to your contractor about placing the order after June 30. 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? Wait until July 1 and 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

Children’s Books: May 14 – August 14, 2022

Sales tax on any book written for children under 12 is waived all summer. One of my personal favorites: The Four Money Bears by Mac Gardner. This website also has a fun financial literacy game for kids called “Berryville.”

Fun Events, Outdoor Supplies and Annual Passes: July 1 – July 7, 2022

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.

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 will get a little relief.

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: July 25 – August 7, 2022

New exemptions for 2022 include learning aids like puzzles, flash cards, and games.

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

New Holidays for 2022: Labor Day/Skilled Workers September 3 – September 9, 2022

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 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

Next time I will pay attention to all the strings on the spaghetti model, not just the ones in the middle.

The sales tax waiver is a needed 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 do share by leaving a comment.

Continue ReadingInflation Relief: Florida 2022 Sales Tax Holidays