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Tax Collection Process

The Department of Revenue begins the collection process when a taxpayer fails to file a return, fails to make a payment, underpays the amount due, files late, pays late, or owes additional money that was discovered in an audit. A delinquency notice (Notice of Delinquency) is issued when a return is not filed and a bill (Notice of Amount Due) is issued when a return is filed late or additional money is due.

The delinquency notice issued to a taxpayer indicates a return has not been filed, while the initial bill contains a breakdown of the additional amount due. It is extremely important to take prompt action for resolution when you receive a billing or delinquency notice. Penalties and interest continue to accumulate until the entire amount of the tax is paid. If the debt remains unpaid for 90 days, the Department will charge a 10% administrative collection processing fee to cover the costs of collecting the debt.

Failure to resolve your debt may result in your account being sent to a private collection agency. If your account is sent to a private collection agency and the debt includes reemployment tax (formerly known as unemployment tax), you will be charged a separate fee by the collection agency.

The quickest way to resolve a bill is to pay it online. If a delinquency notice is received, it is important to file the missing return(s) and pay the tax as soon as possible. If a taxpayer is already enrolled for e-file and pay, they need to submit the missing returns and payments as they normally would. If not currently on e-file, enrollment for e-Services is easy. A user ID and Password will be sent within 48 hours and then the taxpayer can electronically file and electronically pay past-due returns.

A taxpayer who believes they received a delinquency notice in error, disagrees with the billing amount due, or has already filed or paid the return or billing in question, should contact the Department immediately to resolve the issue. Taxpayer Services can be reached at 800-352-3671 or call or visit a local service center. If sending written correspondence, be sure to include name, business name, tax type, business partner number, and telephone number.

Failure to respond timely may result in further enforcement actions which could include: filing liens against property, freezing bank accounts, and revoking sales tax registration and other professional licenses.

What to do if it's not possible to pay in full

If it's not possible to pay in full, contact the Department by calling your local service center or the 800 number and requesting a stipulated time payment agreement. The taxpayer will be required to provide financial documents that support their inability to pay the debt in full. They should also be prepared to pay a minimum of 25 percent down and the full balance within a year.

Taxpayer Rights Advocate

The Taxpayer Rights Advocate helps resolve taxpayer problems and complaints not solved through normal channels. Read the Florida Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. If a taxpayer believes that they have not been treated fairly by Department employees, they should try to resolve the issues/problems through normal channels. If this has already been done but the taxpayer still believes the Department has not addressed the concerns, contact the Taxpayer Rights Advocate at 850-617-8168 or write to:

Taxpayer Rights Advocate
Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 5906
Tallahassee FL 32314-5906

What taxpayers can do to avoid becoming delinquent

  • Learn about tax responsibilities by carefully reading the instructions for completing a tax return. Visit our Taxpayer Education page to take tutorials and download publications.
  • File electronically. Electronic filing reduces errors, allows warehousing of payments, and saves time and money.
  • Know when taxes are due. Sign up to receive due date reminders for sales and use tax and reemployment tax (formerly unemployment tax).
  • Promptly notify the Department of address and phone number changes, or to inactivate, reactivate, or cancel your account. These changes can be submitted online.
  • Read all mail and e-mail from the Department of Revenue; it may contain reporting instructions, due dates, changes in laws or tax rates or other important information.
  • Set up a separate bank account and regularly deposit collected sales tax or other taxes that are owed. Withdraw the funds only when paying the taxes.
  • Visit one of our service centers for questions and information or call Taxpayer Services at 800-352-3671.