Oct 082012
 

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled that foreigners and out-of-state residents may qualify for the homestead exemption from property taxes found in the Florida Constitution when their home is the permanent residence of a dependent who is eligible for the homestead exemption. The case involved David and Ana Andonie, who migrated to Florida from Honduras on investment visas, and were denied a 2006 homestead exemption on their $1 million home despite the fact that their three minor children were born in Miami, were U.S. citizens, and had never resided outside the State of Florida.  The Miami-Dade Property Appraiser More…

Sep 252012
 
Overview Of The 5 Tax Amendments On The 2012 Florida Ballot

Included among the eleven measures which are set to appear on the November 6 ballot are five that will give Florida voters the opportunity to put more tax breaks into the Florida Constitution.    Here is a brief overview of each amendment: Amendment 2 – also known as the Florida Veterans Property Tax Amendment would amend Article VII Section 6 (Homestead exemptions) of the Florida Constitution to expand property tax discounts for disabled veterans.  As written now, the Constitution only provides a deduction if the disabled veteran was a resident of the state at the time of entering the military service.  More…

Sep 172012
 
Transfer Of Business Assets In Florida May Come With State Tax Liability

A recently enacted Florida statute clarifies that the transfer of a Florida business’s assets is considered a sale of the business and that the sale may come with Florida tax liability.  Florida Statute § 213.758 states that when a taxpayer who is liable for taxes with respect to a business transfers either the business, the assets of the business, or the stock of goods of the business, the taxpayer must file a final return and make full payment of taxes within 15 days after the date of the transfer.  The statute goes on to state that a transferee, or a More…

Sep 142012
 
Amazon To Begin Collecting Sales Tax In California, When Will Florida Get Its Due?

Beginning this Saturday, September 15, 2012, online retailer Amazon.com will begin collecting sales tax for orders made in the State of California.  This will mark an end to a long fight between the internet sales giant and one of the largest states in the union. For years, Amazon relied on the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota to justify not collecting and paying state sales tax.  In that case, the Quill Corporation sold office equipment and supplies by soliciting business through catalogs and flyers, advertisements in national periodicals, and telephone calls.  Its annual national sales More…

Sep 042012
 
What Qualifies As “Compensation” For The Purposes Of Florida’s Documentary Stamp Tax In Real Estate Transactions?

Section 201.02 of the Florida Statutes imposes an excise tax at the rate of $.70 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that transfer an interest in real property, such as warranty deeds, quit-claim deeds, easements, and deeds in lieu of foreclosure.  The tax is reduced for transfers in Miami-Dade County, where the rate is $.60 per $100 (or portion thereof), when the property is a single-family residence.  This documentary stamp tax is calculated based on the amount of “consideration” that passes between the buyer and the seller. So what qualifies as “consideration” for these purposes?  According to the above-referenced More…

Aug 102012
 
Florida TRIM Notices Come Out In August; Owners Have 25 Days To Appeal A Property Value Determination

It’s that time of year again.  Florida property owners can expect to receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, also called a Truth in Millage (TRIM) Notice, mailed by mid-August.  This is not a bill, but rather an estimate of property taxes based on proposed tax rates, property value, and applicable exemptions (e.g. homestead).  The TRIM Notice contains several important pieces of information, such as: Property reference by key number, parcel number and abbreviated parcel description. A list of the taxing authorities which levy taxes on the property. Information regarding non-ad valorem assessments commonly known as MSBU’s (Municipal Service Benefit More…

Jul 262012
 
2012 Florida Sales Tax Holiday Is August 3-5

Next week, Florida will host its annual Sales Tax Holiday.  This year’s holiday runs August 3-5, allowing consumers statewide to purchase clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $75 or less, and certain school supplies for $15 or less per item, with no sales tax or local option tax, according to the Florida Department of Revenue website.  Florida’s general sales tax rate is 6 percent.  The tax exemption applies no matter how many items a consumer buys in one transaction. Consumers will be able to purchase the following items with no sales tax or local option tax (discretionary sales surtax), More…

Jun 042012
 
Supreme Court Rules That Cities Have The Ability To Forgive Future Tax Payments Without Violating Equal Protection

In a case that could impact the future tax policy of municipal governments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the city of Indianapolis did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it decided to forgive future property tax obligations for certain taxpayers, but refused to the refund the payments made by other taxpayers for the same assessments. In the case of Armour v. City of Indianapolis, the high court ruled by a 6-3 vote that authorities in Indianapolis had not violated the Constitution in their handling of a special sewer tax More…

May 312012
 
Why Florida Is A Great Tax State For Retirees

Earlier this week we talked about the recent survey  which ranked Florida among the three states to do business in tax-wise.  Now it is time to discuss why Florida is a great state for retirees as well. While people certainly enjoy the year round sunshine, sandy beaches, and copious availability of world-class golf courses, it is Florida’s generous tax structure that truly makes it a great retirement destination.  This is primarily because Florida residents pay absolutely no income tax or intangibles tax (a tax on the value of intangible personal property, such as stocks, corporate bonds, mutual funds, U.S. government More…

May 292012
 
Florida Tax Structure Ranked As One Of The Most Attractive For Businesses

A new survey of corporate chief financial officers released by Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC, a tax consulting firm based in New York, ranks Florida among the top three states with the most competitive business taxes. According to the survey report, “amidst political, economic and regulatory change, CFOs say certainty in the tax code has become even more important than a reduction in corporate tax rates.  While CFOs generally believe tax rates should be reduced to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in an increasingly global economy, when given the opportunity to eliminate or significantly change one aspect of the tax More…