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    3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2009 3:15 PM by drronin

    Sales tax in Florida for an Online store

    crediske Newbie
      My company, which is located in Orange County, Florida, has recently launched an online store. We've run into varying advice about how sales tax needs to be collected - the main discrepancy being whether a customer should be taxed according to what county they live in (Florida has varying sales tax rates by county), or by what county we (the company they're ordering from) reside in. The latter makes more sense to me, as it's the county we're located in that should benefit from the sale and resulting tax (just as it would if the purchase was from a brick and mortar store), but the former is what I'm currently being asked to do (i.e. provide a county dropdown for customers to manually choose what county they reside in and tax them accordingly).

      Any guidance about the proper way to handle this would be appreciated.

        • Re: Sales tax in Florida for an Online store
          quickbooksgal Wayfarer
          Hi C,
          Unfortunately Florida Statute says you must collect the sales tax for the delivery address. So if you are shipping to Clearwater, you need to collect 7%. The State of Florida offers free tax classes, usually weekly. You can go to their site at for their locations to find the closest one to you and call for class schedules. If you need assistance with setting up your accounting program with your online shopping cart, or just need a professional business and accounting consulting firm, let us know.
          Best of luck!
          • Re: Sales tax in Florida for an Online store
            Newbie1 Newbie
            I am starting an online store in Florida, and I am trying to figure out how to set up the sales tax thing. I just spent over a week inputting every Florida zipcode and tax rate into my Yahoo Store tax database, in order to charge the correct tax for every different county. (I hope this is going to actually work with the online store; I haven't tried it out yet; in retrospect, I guess I should have tested it first!)

            Anyway, it looks like most online stores (if not all; I don't know) just charge a flat rate for the whole state. Isn't that illegal, if different counties have different rates? Or do you just have to give an estimate of taxes with an online store, and then do the actual calculations offline and send an e-mail to the customer? That seems like a very inconvenient thing to have to do in the computer age. Thanks for any help you can give me, to help me understand how this all works!
              • Re: Sales tax in Florida for an Online store
                drronin Wayfarer
                I just spotted your post--I made a similar post on related issues today.

                I think you have it right--the law seems to require calculating sales tax for each specific county in which a customer accepts delivery of an item.
                Your zip code approach is appealing (except for all the work involved), but isn't it true that a few zip codes actually straddle counties? I hope I'm wrong.

                An approach I am taking is simpler but not as elegant: in the drop down list of states I list FLORIDA-COUNTY (that is FLORIDA followed by each county name) which makes the state/province list rather longer but may accurately meet the legal requirements.

                Anyway, I would be very interested to learn any related info or solutions you may have at this point.