Retailers Navigate Florida’s “Freedom Week” Sales Tax Holidays

Lou Piniella, Florida — Florida’s first “Freedom WeekIs in progress. It is a consumption tax holiday, similar to the tax incentives for “Disaster Countermeasures Week” and “New Semester”.

From July 1st to July 7th, tickets for concerts, movies, sporting events, etc. will be tax-free as long as they are held from now until December 31st.

It also includes a long list of outdoor recreation items such as sunscreen, water bottles, bicycles, kayaks, paddle boards, fishing and camping equipment.

Freedom Week is similar to other tax exemptions in Florida, but with some major differences, you can hit the road.

Dally Jackson, co-representative Bill Jackson Located in Pinellas Park, an outdoor sporting goods store in Pinellas Park.

“Kayaking, we have paddle boards, fishing tackle, some backpacks, hydration systems and water bottles,” Jackson said.

He is happy with the holiday.

“I think it’s great. It will definitely attract people, and we want people to go outdoors. Anything can help,” Jackson said.

However, Freedom Week regulations would not have been possible without a twist for outdoor retailers.

“What we know is that the person who wrote this law was never a cashier,” Jackson said.

They say the problem lies with the cashier and will maintain a proper count of inventory and margins.

Dee Schilling, an employee of Bill Jackson, said:

This is the big difference between Florida’s disaster preparedness or new semester sales tax holidays.

For disaster prevention and the new semester, consumption tax is exempted as long as the price is below a certain price.

For example, a cooler during disaster preparedness is exempt from sales tax as long as it is under $ 60. If the cooler is over $ 60, you will have to pay sales tax on the whole.

“It’s very easy. It’s either taxable or tax-exempt,” Schilling said.

But for Freedom Week, things are a little different.

Let’s use the cool example again. For this holiday, the first $ 75 of the cooler is exempt from sales tax. If the cooler is over $ 75, the rest will be taxed, saving you a little money.

But for retailers, it’s not that simple.

If the first $ 5 of the selling price says “”, you will need to reimburse that tax amount of $ 0.35. There is no button for that, “says Schilling.

But from the Florida retail federation’s point of view, they believe these twists can be resolved.

“These are good issues to have. We have to overcome the stumbling block above all else. We hear concerns about” how to classify items “and” how to program the system “. I have had it. This is because many are automated. Indeed, we work with Congress and with the Revenue Department. We’ll streamline and make it as efficient as possible, but generally we’re not dissatisfied, “said Scott Shirley, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation.

They want to see the holidays coming year after year.

“When shopping locally, traveling locally, or spending vacations locally, we support the people who support the local community, so it’s a great opportunity for Floridians to support each other. I think, “Shalley said.

From the Florida Tax Watch point of view, they are happy to have it and think it will be a great time.

“I think it shows that it’s very sensitive. It’s unique,” ​​said Dominic M. Carabro, President and CEO of Florida Tax Watch.

But they are not sure if it should be annual.

“I don’t know if it should be done every year. That’s great. I think people need to be accustomed to paying sales tax,” says Carabro.

Anyway, it’s here for 2021, which runs from July 1st to 7th, and Bill Jackson thinks they’ve settled things down.

But if it comes back, I hope the legislature can paraphrase the holiday rules and make things easier.

“If you’re told that all paddle boards are under $ 500 and have no taxes, you can easily accept that,” says Jackson.

But until then, they want patience from their customers.

“As you can see, some shops can have problems and can stumble a bit, but I hope we’ve made every effort to make it a great experience for our customers and cashiers. “We do,” says Schilling.

Here’s a complete breakdown of the items covered this year: Freedom Week:

Admission fee

  • Live music event * +
  • Live sporting event *
  • movies*
  • Admission to the museum, including the annual pass
  • Admission to state parks including annual pass
  • Ballet * +
  • Theater * +
  • Musical theater performance * +
  • Fair *
  • festival*
  • Cultural event *
  • Private clubs and membership clubs that provide physical fitness facilities *

* Held on any day from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021
+ Including season tickets

General outdoor equipment

  • The first $ 15 of the selling price:
    • Sunscreen
    • Insect repellent
  • The first $ 30 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 50 of the selling price:
    • Hydration pack
    • Bicycle helmet
  • The first $ 100 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 200 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 250 of the selling price:
    • Outdoor gas or charcoal grill
    • bicycle
    • Fishing equipment
  • First $ 5 of Selling Price:
    • Bait or fishing equipment if sold individually (first $ 10 if sold as a set)
  • The first $ 30 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 75 of the selling price:
    • If you sell the rod and reel separately (the first $ 150 if you sell them as a set)

Boating and water activity supplies

  • The first $ 25 of the selling price:
    • Snorkel
    • goggles
    • Swimming mask
  • The first $ 50 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 75 of the selling price:
    • Life jacket
    • cooler
    • paddle
    • All
  • The first $ 150 of the selling price:
    • water skiing
    • Wake Board
    • Knee board
    • Towable recreational inflatable water tube or float
  • The first $ 300 of the selling price:
  • The first $ 500 of the selling price:

Camping equipment

  • The first $ 30 of the selling price:
    • Camping lantern
    • flashlight
  • The first $ 50 of the selling price:
    • sleeping bag
    • Portable hammock
    • Camping stove
    • Folding camp chair
  • The first $ 200 of the selling price:
  • Items used in individual or team sports.Clothing and

Footwear, sold for under $ 40

Florida Revenue Department

Retailers Navigate Florida’s “Freedom Week” Sales Tax Holidays

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