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Q: FLORIDA SALES TAX ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Category: Business and Money > Finance
Asked by: mdpa173-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 22 Feb 2005 04:11 PST
Expires: 24 Mar 2005 04:11 PST
Question ID: 478636
selling an item on ebay, seller and buyer both live in florida.  is
sales tax applicable?  amount?   can the buyer take responsibility for
paying the sales tax?
Answered By: legolas-ga on 22 Feb 2005 08:23 PST
Hi mdpa173-ga,

Florida has an informative website with commonly asked questions on
this subject which can be found here:

The bottom line is that if you are a seller of goods (i.e. a business
or someone who sells more than a few times a year) you may be required
to remit sales and use tax to the state.

There is a general 6% tax rate, and counties/cities are free to add
their own discretionary taxes as well. You would charge tax based on
where YOU live/where the business exists. You can find a County Tax
list here:

Sales and Use Tax creates a liability for the seller. Technically
speaking, the buyer never *needs* to pay the tax. The seller can
decide to incur the tax liability all by themselves. However, the
liability can't be 'transferred'. Or, at least, can't be transferred
while releiving one of their tax liability (until it's paid). The
reason you see tax on a store receipt is that the store is allowed to
charge back to the buyer what it's eventual tax liability will be. The
buyer pays the tax at the check-out stand because that's part of the
agreement between the seller and buyer. In other words, the store wont
sell the item to the customer without the customer agreeing (and
paying) the tax owed.

So, the bottom line is this. If you sell only a few things a year (say
at a Garage Sale for example), you'll be fine not collecting/paying
tax. If you make a business out of selling on ebay, or you sell more
than a few items per year, you need to collect and remit tax. You'd be
well advised to charge the winning bidder for the tax owed.

Incidently, since this was ebay, unless your auction allowed for the
tax to be charged to a Florida purchaser, you're pretty much out of
luck, and you'll owe the tax (if you sell a lot of items, etc..) all
by yourself. Auctions are binding contracts--if you didn't specify it
was "plus tax", you may not be able to get it now.

Hope that helps. If any part of this question is unclear to you,
please ask for clarification prior to rating and thus closing this


Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 22 Feb 2005 08:37 PST
Whoops! Almost forgot..

Search used (on google):

forida sales tax

Request for Answer Clarification by mdpa173-ga on 22 Feb 2005 09:59 PST
if the buyer agrees in writing to pay the sales tax to the state, will
the seller be protected from repercussion?

is there an item threshold or an annual threshold before small
transactions are taxable?

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 22 Feb 2005 10:32 PST
1) Can the buyer agree in writing?

Well, sure, but, who are they agreeing TO? In other words, you and the
state are the interested parties in Sales Tax. Your buyer has no
fiduciary (or otherwise) duty to the State. They can agree with you to
pay the state on your behalf, but, the bottom line is that the state
will come after YOU. You would then need to go after the buyer.

Besides, if they are willing to pay the state, why don't they just pay
you? The BUYER is not obligated to ensure that you paid the tax.

The safest way is to just collect the tax if you think it's owed, and
remit it on the buyers behalf.

2) Minimum threshold?

Well, the Florida site was pretty quiet on that issue. However, I know
from other states like California that Sales and Use Tax need to be
paid if there is are many sales of taxable items. Is that 2? or 3? or
10? Depends. If you sell 10 items at a single garage sale, that's
probably fine.. No tax needed. If you have garage sales daily as a
business, you'd need to pay tax. It's really a question of degrees.
Are you selling a few items to just 'clean the house', or are you
making a business of selling the items? If you're a BUSINESS, you need
to pay tax (that's obvious and clear). If you're just a person selling
items, the 'how many items' is something that you'd need to be
realistic about. There is no specific amount of items that are
'exempted'. If you sell one yacht, you'd probably need to pay tax. If
you sell three old baseballs from your garage, you're probably ok.

Please note, Google Answers is NOT intended to provide legal advice.
See the disclaimer below.


Request for Answer Clarification by mdpa173-ga on 22 Feb 2005 12:25 PST
is the issue wheter i am conducting a business, which i am not, or is
it the value of what i am selling, or is it a gray zone.

Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 22 Feb 2005 21:28 PST
Florida's Sales and Use Tax Guide talks only about 'Businesses who
sell'. However, you can be a sole proprietor who sells one item and is
classified as a business. It is really quite silent on "what" a
business is. I'd suspect that you can make a good argument that you
aren't a business if you aren't Schedule C'ing it for your Federal
Taxes. If you are, you'd need a tax ID.

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