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December 1, 2020

Fla. Bill For Online Sales Tax Back On The Table For 2021 [Law 360]

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Paul Williams of Law 360 writes:

"Florida lawmakers are primed to again consider legislation to impose a sales and use tax collection obligation on remote sellers and marketplace facilitators next year under a bill introduced in the state House of Representatives.

H.B. 15, introduced Monday, would require remote sellers and marketplace facilitators such as Amazon.com to collect and remit tax if they have 200 or more sales or more than $100,000 in sales into the state in the previous calendar year. If enacted, the bill would take effect July 1, although some of the bill's marketplace sections would apply as of Oct. 1.

Esteban Leonardo Santis, a policy analyst for the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added] who focuses on tax and revenue issues, told Law360 on Tuesday that the organization is advocating for the state to enact a tax on online sales as one of several measures to counter the pandemic's drain on Florida's coffers. In the past, the institute has also outlined its support for a shift to combined reporting and conforming to the federal code as other means to raise revenue.

'FPI's position is that modernizing enforcement of online sales taxes is one strategy to address pandemic-related revenue shortfalls, and it should be prioritized alongside initiatives to close corporate tax loopholes and other revenue-raising strategies,' Santis said."

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