Corporate Income Tax Forms
Sales Tax Forms
Property Tax Forms
The predominant concern in Florida is very similar to the concerns felt by almost the entire nation: the economy. The economic situation in Florida is fairly poor at present time, with an unemployment rate hovering between 11 and 12 percent, above the national average, and with almost 20% of the population living near or below the poverty level. Perhaps the biggest concern has been the relative decline in Florida's tourist industry, which formulates the bulk of its tax revenue.
Since Florida has no individual state income tax, much of its tax revenue is made from sales taxes, which yields more revenue in Florida than most states because of Florida's year-round tourist trade. Therefore, when the tourist trade is down, state tax revenues are down.
Since the economic downturn of 2007-2008, many people world over has been forced to conserve, and thus luxurious trips to places like Florida are no longer a realistic expense for many. As a result, Florida has been trapped in downward cycle of fewer tourists, who are themselves spending less, giving the state far less revenue than normal.
Due to the comparatively large amount of unemployed and impoverished citizens statewide, as well as the high rates of insurance (caused by Florida's high volume of hurricanes each year), it is widely considered than any implementation of a state income tax financially unrealistic. This would lead only to raising property taxes, which would only cause further financial hardships to a state already trapped in a recession.
It would seem that all that remains is for Florida and its tourist industry to really do at present time is to encourage tourism to the state, because that remains the main avenue for Florida to sustain solvency. Whether that will happen, or not happen, remains to be seen.
Florida has no state income tax, one of only nine states that do so. As a result of this, as well as the tropical climate, Florida has become a premier retirement location for senior citizens as well as affluent celebrities and corporate executives who want to retain a significant portion of their income. Therefore, many Floridians only have to file a Federal tax return each year, provided they are not incorporated owners of a business or earning income from another state.
Corporate Income Tax:
Florida does have a corporate income tax, which is levied toward corporations that operate and earn income in Florida, even if they are based out of state. However, the income tax specifically effects corporations, meaning businesses that have need incorporated with partners and/or shareholders. Therefore exempted from income tax are sole proprietorships, estates, and most individual trusts. Even if a business owes no taxes, it still must file a return or be found in violation of the law.
The corporate income tax rate is a flat 5.5% of net income. Net income is derived after making a standard state deduction of $5000. For corporations drawing income outside of the state, they must apportion their entire income in Florida.
Florida property taxes, labeled specifically as “ad valorem taxes” is handled by local county and municipal governments exclusively because this is constitute the largest portion of their tax revenue. The state of Florida does not collect property taxes. Property taxes are limited mainly to real estate, both private and commercial. Each locality assesses a Millage rate each year based on the needs of the county, a "mill" equaling $1 out of every $1000. Therefore, a property with a value of $100,000 with a millage rate of 0.0095 ($0.95 out of a $1000) will mean that the property tax will $950.
The taxable value of a property is determined by subtracting assessment limitations to get the assessed value. Assessment limitations refer specifically to caps placed on the growth of property owned by people who have received a homestead exemption; in other words, the cap insures the value remains constant, therefore if the value is over the cap, then the difference is subtracted to bring it back to the "capped" amount, which is the assessed value. All exemptions are then subtracted from the assessed value to determine the taxable value, which is then multiplied by the millage rate.
The formula would resemble:
Market Value – Assessment Limitations = Assessed Value
Assessed Value- Applicable Exemptions = Taxable Value
Taxable Value x Millage Rate = The Amount of Property Taxes.
Sales tax in Florida is 6% across the board on most goods and services, save unprepared food and prescription and non-prescription drugs. Most Florida counties implement an additional surtax, sometimes of up to 1.5%, though on average it is usually 1%. In terms of large purchases, only the first $5,000 are subject to these surtaxes under state law. State law also allows certain counties to add an additional 6% tax on hotel rooms as a way of taking advantage of the tourist trade.
It is because of the sizable tourist trade statewide that Florida is very precise in the ways in which it collects sales tax, and therefore even many small businesses see the process as a tradeoff for limited corporate and individual sales taxes. Generally, this means filing monthly returns on collected sales tax. And businesses collecting over $20,000 in sales tax annually must file them electronically.
Florida also has a considerable communications services tax on cable and satellite services, which combines a local and state surtax. The local surtax is 2.37%, while the state tax on these services is 6.7%. Satellite services can be as high as 13.7%, and are exempt from local taxes.