Florida to begin Internet sales tax collection

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - After what one state lawmaker called a ‘historic’ vote, legislation to require out of state retailers to collect the sales tax on Internet sales is on its way to the Governor.

Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the legislation but only because the new revenue will be used to offset another tax.

Few people in Florida know they are required to pay the sales tax not collected on online purchases, but starting in July, out of state merchants will begin collecting the tax for you.

“Is this a perfect bill? No,” said House Sponsor Representative Chuck Clemmons.

What’s not perfect in the eyes of Democrats is that the billion of dollars collected each year will be used to replenish the state’s unemployment trust fund.

“We could use this money to offset drivers license fees,” said Representative Anna Eskamani.

“This is really a tax. A regressive tax on workers,” said Representative Angie Nixon.

But supporters argue the money will avoid a tax increase on 2.5 million small businesses

“We look in there, and there’s a twelve hundred dollar increase for my unemployment tax. Now my in my world, twelve hundred dollars is a few workers. Blue collar workers,” said Representative Nick DeCeglie.

If you haven’t voluntarily paid the tax in the past, the legislation forgives you for breaking the law and protects you from being audited in the future.

“We prevent Floridians from mistakenly breaking the law by not paying tax on something they were supposed to pay tax on for years,” said Representative Bob Rommel.

College student Hanna Raymon has mixed feelings.

“Now, I guess I don’t have to pay back, but now I have to pay in the future, so I don’t know how I feel,” said Raymond.

It will take about four years to replenish the unemployment trust fund.

After that, the money will lower the tax businesses pay on commercial rentals.

The legislation only applies to retailers with a $100,000 or more in sales.

Local governments are expected to see an extra $239 million starting in July and $250 million a year starting in 2022.