With its sandy beaches, countless tourist attractions and lack of state taxes on personal income, it's no wonder why Florida is a top choice for retirees looking to stretch their savings or retirement benefits — and have fun while doing it. However, the Sunshine State does have state sales taxes on most purchases. The good news is that not everything you purchase in Florida is subject to the state 6 percent sales tax, plus any extra sales taxes levied by counties. Which items are taxable, and at what rate, can cause a bit of confusion, however.
Are My Groceries Taxable?
In general, groceries are not taxable in Florida, but the state is rather specific as to what falls under this category of food items. Some items you might consider to be groceries are, in fact, not considered groceries by the state of Florida as far as sales taxes are concerned. Although food items typically are not taxed in Florida, anything classified as a snack such as candy, sodas and certain carbonated beverages or hot and cold prepared foods from the deli are taxed. Even unassuming products such as ice and ice cream packaged in a container that is a pint in size or less are subject to tax. To be sure which purchases are nontaxable, it's best to familiarize yourself with the exhaustive list of which food items you can expect to be taxed upon. Determining this ahead of time can save you the frustration of unexpected costs when planning a party, large event or weekly food budget.
Medication and Supplies
As the costs associated with routine healthcare and medical expenses are steadily rising, it's nice to know that all prescription medication purchases in Florida are exempt from state sales tax, as well as certain over-the-counter remedies used to treat, prevent or mitigate illness. These household remedies, whether or not they're prescribed by your physician, aren't taxable. Items including adhesive tape or bandages for wound care, allergy relief products, female personal care products, digestive and sleep aids, and cold remedies aren't taxed in Florida. The list of tax-exempt medications and supplies is rather extensive. For a complete list of which medications or supplies are exempt from sales tax, check the Florida Department of Revenue's website for document DR-46NT, Nontaxable Medical Items and General Grocery List.
Other Nontaxable Items
In the state of Florida, gardeners are pleased to see a bit of a tax break on any seeds, herbicides, pesticides, potting soil, plants, seedlings and fruit trees needed to produce food for humans because they're all nontaxable. Parents also get a break on products for their infants such as baby food, formula, teething medication and oral electrolytes.
- Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini: Florida Sales Tax Rules
- Sales Tax Handbook: What purchases are exempt from the Florida sales tax?
- Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini: Florida Sales Tax Rules 12A-1.020 Licensed Practitioners; Drugs, Medical Products and Supplies.
- Florida Dept. of Revenue: Nontaxable Medical Items and General Grocery List
- Florida Tax Guide