Each year, during the regular legislative session, state lawmakers pass an omnibus tax bill — commonly known as the Legislature’s “tax package” — that offers an opportunity to make temporary or permanent changes to the state’s tax code. On May 7th, 2024 Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7073, providing $1.07 billion in tax relief for taxpayers and consumers over the next two years.

Here’s what tax cuts Florida residents and businesses can expect and when they take effect:

Home Insurance Tax Exemption

  • For one year, insurers will be required to provide discounts to residential policy holders for the insurance premium tax (1.75 percent) and the fire marshal regulatory assessment (currently 1.0 percent on fire policies). In addition, another 1.75 percent discount is required for a policy, contract, or endorsement providing personal or commercial flood insurance. The exemption only applies to residential policies with effective dates between Oct. 1, 2024 and Sept. 30, 2025.

2024 Florida sales tax holidays

  • Florida will run a two-week Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday from July 29, 2024, through August 11, 2024. Like last year, the 2024 tax holiday will make several items, including clothing, computers, backpacks, and school supplies tax-exempt.
  • Freedom Month, which makes the purchase of certain recreational tickets, passes and admissions tax-exempt, will run from July 1 to July 31, 2024. (Admission to the events can be used from July 1 through the end of 2024.)
  • The Skilled Worker Sales Tax Holiday, which makes certain tools, equipment and safety clothing tax-exempt, will run from Sept. 1  through Sept. 7, 2024.
  • Florida will have two Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays this year (June 1 to June 14, 2024 and Aug. 24 –September 6, 2024). The Florida Disaster Sales Tax Holidays exempt items, such as generators and batteries, from sales tax to help Floridians prepare for natural disasters.

Corporate Income Tax Credits

  • Individuals with Unique Abilities Credit – A corporate income tax credit is created for corporations that employ individuals with disabilities. The credit is for up to $1,000 per employee per year. The credit is available for three fiscal years, up to $10,000, and unused credits may be carried forward for up to five taxable years.
  • Class II and Class III Railroads Tax Credit –The bill allows qualifying railroads to apply for corporate income tax credit after the end of the applicant’s taxable year, allows the credit to be transferred to any corporate income taxpayer, and makes other administrative changes.

Other Tax Credits

  • Strong Families Tax Credit – The annual cap for the Strong Families Tax Credit Program will be increased from $20 million to $40 million.
  • Child Care Tax Credit – For a company that operates a child care facility for its employees, a tax credit is created for 50 percent of the startup costs of a child care facility for the taxpayer’s employees and $300 per employee per month. A credit is also created for a taxpayer making child care payments on behalf of an employee. Tax credit under this program is capped at $5 million for three years. Unused credits can carry forward for five years.

Documentary Stamp Taxes

  • Reverse mortgages – Requires the documentary stamp tax to be applied to the principal limit amount (maximum that can be borrowed) instead of the entire mortgage obligation amount.
  • Alarm System Agreements – Requires promissory notes executed by alarm system contractors to be exempt from the documentary stamp tax if non-interest bearing and valued at $3,500.

Property Taxes

  • Back Taxes When Due to a Property Appraiser Mistake – If a taxpayer improperly receives an property assessment limitation or exemption back taxes will no longer be owed if they are due to a clerical mistake or omission by the property appraiser and the taxpayer voluntarily discloses the error before the property appraiser notifies the owner of the mistake.
  • Utility Tangible Personal Property (TPP) –The bill provides that TPP constructed or installed by an electric utility is not deemed substantially completed until the earlier of when all permits or approvals required for commercial operation have been received or approved or one year after being connected to preexisting, taxable, operational system or facility.
  • Biogas – Expands the ad valorem tax benefits for renewable energy source devices to include pipes, structural facilities and support, machinery and equipment used to capture and convert biogas to renewable natural gas.
  • Rebuilding Homestead Property – Expands the time in which a property owner may begin rebuilding homestead property that has been damaged and continue to maintain homestead property tax benefits is extended from three years to five years.
  • Affordable Housing – For Monroe County only, the number of units that must be set aside as affordable will be reduced from 70 to 10. Taxing authorities will be able to opt out of offering the exemption if the county has a surplus of available affordable housing.

Miscellaneous Taxes

  • Sales Tax on Leased Vehicles – Expands the ability for a leasing company to pay tax up front on the purchase of a motor vehicle, instead of collecting and remitting tax on the subsequent long-term lease or rental of the vehicle.
  • Natural Gas Tax – Currently, a new tax on natural gas used as motor fuel of 4 cents per motor fuel equivalent gallon is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2026. That tax will now be set at 2 cents for the first year. The tax will go to 4 cents on January 1, 2027. 2.9 cents of the tax will be indexed to inflation beginning in 2026.

Tax Administration

  • Automatic filing extensions – The Department of Revenue (DOR) will be required to grant an automatic 10-day extension from the due date for filing a return and remitting sales tax if the Governor has declared a state of emergency within 5 business days before the 20th day of the month. The extension only applies to taxpayers within the counties affected by the state of emergency.
  • Assessment challenge deadline – DOR will now be allowed to consider a request to settle or compromise any tax, interest, penalty, or other liability if the taxpayer demonstrates that the deadline was missed due to: the death, injury, or illness of the taxpayer, a family member, or someone with substantial responsibility for management of the taxpayer; acts of war or terrorism; or natural disasters, fire, or other catastrophic loss.
  • Indigent Care and Trauma Sales Surtax – Duval County can now levy a 0.5 percent indigent care sales surtax if approved by voters. Consolidated counties are currently prohibited from levying this tax.
  • Local Option Food and Beverage Referendum Requirements – The minimum vote threshold needed for the approval of a referendum to levy the Local Option Food and Beverage tax will be changed from the majority of registered voters to the majority of people voting in the referendum. This tax is only available to municipalities in Miami-Dade County.
  • Property Tax Liens – Additional information must be provided to a taxpayer when the property appraiser serves a notice of tax lien. The information must explain why the owner is not entitled to the exemption or limitation, for which years unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest are due, and how unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest have been calculated. In addition, before a lien may be filed, the taxpayer must be given 30 days to pay the taxes.
  • Purchases of boats/trailers – Requires that the sale of a boat and corresponding boat trailer must be taxed as a single item when sold to the same purchaser, at the same time, and in the same invoice. Additionally, the bill requires the surtax to be imposed based on the county where the purchaser resides.
  • Boat and aircraft sales – The bill removes the requirement that a purchaser sign an affidavit attesting to having read statutory provisions and instead requires an affidavit that the purchaser qualifies for the exemption and that the documentation required to substantiate the exemption will be provided.
  • Garnishment – Authorizes DOR to include all taxes, penalties, interest, costs, surcharges, and fees authorized by law to be included in a garnishment or levy, which will avoid multiple collection efforts. DOR may also deliver its notices of levy by personal service or electronic means.
  • Invalid Discretionary Sales Surtaxes – In preparation for another case like the one in Hillsborough County where a surtax was ruled unconstitutional, language was added providing that the local government must transfer any funds collected and interest earned to the state.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster 
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa Bayshore, Tampa Downtown, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 290 attorneys and consultants, and over 290 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com

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