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Florida Consumer Information

Have you bought or received merchandise from out of state or through the internet?

You Might Owe Florida Tax

Many Florida citizens are not aware that this state has a "use tax." Use tax normally applies to items purchased outside Florida, including another country, which are brought or delivered into this state and would have been taxed if purchased in Florida. The use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate, 6%.

Examples include:

  • Purchases made through the Internet.
  • Mail-order catalog purchases.
  • Purchases made in another country.
  • Furniture purchased from dealers located in another state.
  • Computer equipment ordered from out-of-state vendors advertising in magazines.

If an out-of-state seller fails to collect sales tax, it is your responsibility to comply with Florida law. You must submit payment directly to the Florida Department of Revenue. This payment is required by section 212.06(8), Florida Statutes. You can file and pay use tax online or complete an Out-of-State Purchase Return (Form DR-15MO). If the tax owed is less than one dollar, you do not have to file a return.

  • To file and pay online, you will need to enter your bank's routing number and your bank account number on our secure site.
  • To submit your return and payment by mail, download Form DR-15MO and pay by check.

Is there an exception?

Yes. Items you purchase and use in another state, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia for 6 months or longer before bringing them into Florida are not subject to use tax. Items you purchase and use in another country do not qualify for this exception.

Is there a credit for any tax paid at the time of purchase?

Yes. If you paid 6% or more sales tax to the seller at the time of purchase, no tax is due. However, if the seller charged less than 6% tax, you must pay "use tax" equal to the difference between what you paid in tax and the 6% tax imposed by Florida. You cannot use any sales tax paid in another country as a credit against the Florida tax due.

Example: You buy a table from a company located in Georgia and you pick it up at the store. The furniture company charges you 4% Georgia sales tax and you transport the table to your home in Florida. You are required to pay an additional 2% Florida use tax (unless the tax is less than $1) by submitting a DR-15MO tax return and payment.

When must the tax be paid?

The tax is due on the first day of the month following the quarter in which purchases are made and is late after the 20th. If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, your payment and return must be postmarked on the first business day after the 20th. However, taxpayers who make occasional purchases from out of state find it easier to pay the tax and file the DR-15MO when the purchase is made. There is no limit on the number of DR-15MOs that you can file with the Department during any calendar year.

Example: If you purchase an item from outside Florida on February 1, the tax is due on April 1 and late after April 20.

Normally, the Department will waive penalties for taxpayers who voluntarily pay use tax liabilities. Failure to voluntarily comply with Florida sales and use tax laws subjects you to certain penalties.

Quarterly Schedule
Purchases made   Tax due   Tax late after
January - March   April 1   April 20
April - June   July 1   July 20
July - September   October 1   October 20
October - December   January 1   January 20

Who should NOT use Form DR-15MO?

Registered Florida dealers should not use a DR-15MO, Florida Tax on Purchases form, to remit use tax. Florida dealers should pay any use tax due on their sales and use tax returns (as explained in the sales and use tax instructions).

Also, taxpayers who purchase an aircraft or boat outside Florida and then bring the aircraft or boat into the state should NOT use Form DR-15MO to send in use tax. Form DR-15AIR Sales and Use Tax Return for Aircraft, should be used to report sales and use tax on purchases of aircraft when the purchaser does not pay Florida sales tax to the seller.

When use tax is due on a boat purchase, tax is paid to the county tax collector, licensed private tag agency, or the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles when registering the boat in Florida.

State law requires Florida businesses or professionals that make repeated untaxed purchases through the Internet or from out-of-state vendors to register with the Department of Revenue. If you make these types of purchases for your business and are unsure whether you are required to register to pay sales and use tax, go to our online registration site. The site uses an interactive wizard to help you determine your tax registration requirements. You may also call the Department at 800-352-3671 to discuss your individual situation.