Another January has arrived which means another round of renewing everyone’s Florida resale licenses. Florida, unlike most states, doesn’t allow resellers the opportunity to complete blank sales tax exemption forms. The state issues brand new resale licenses, each and every year. I know Florida wants to closely monitor who gets to purchase sales tax exempt, but at this time of year there are always so many important things that have our attention. It never feels like soliciting my customers for a copy of their newly-printed license is the best use of anyone’s time.
Could there be hope? The question being kicked around our offices is will 2012 be the year that Florida finally ditches their old format and joins SST? Florida claims their goal is to be revenue neutral through the decrease in property taxes which pay for schools and the increase in sales taxes. The first thing that jumps to mind is a percentage increase when you hear “sales tax increase,” but Florida is saying that tax rates will remain the same. There is no efficient way for Florida to collect sales tax on internet purchases at this time, but the state is hoping to quickly tap into that river of cash and the fastest path to that appears to be joining SST.
I have no idea if what they’re proposing will create a revenue neutral situation. All I can focus on is the chance that I can use the SST form for Florida in future years. SST certificates do not expire as long as the buyer and seller maintain an ongoing sales relationship, defined as new sales at least once a year. Wouldn’t it be great to get a certificate for a customer and be done with it, forever?
Another aspect is how it effects the online collection of exemption certificates in ecommerce. Currently, the CertCapture exemption certificate management software has to send a sad little message to the buyer that they cannot fill out the form online through the web portal or as part of their shopping cart checkout process. They must upload a copy of the Florida resale license which hopefully the buyer scanned into his computer before he began the purchase process. If Florida jumps on the SST bandwagon, buyers can join the rest of the logical world and fill out their information online, right in the shopping cart process.
What’s next? Maybe Florida will allow the use of the MTC form without the license as support. It’s on my wish list. (What's on yours?)
Other recent “Exemption Certificate Mgmt.” posts by Silvia Aguirre:
- Exemption Certificates for Federal Government Purchases
- Marketplace Fairness: What Does It Mean For Exemption Certificates?
- Will Oregon Start Charging Sales Tax? If So - Are You Ready?
- Canada is Bringing Back Exemption Certificates!
- Louisiana Changes State Forms to Include Parish Exemptions
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