Taxes on Freight Forwarders in Florida

If I am a freight forwarding company in Florida, how can I mitigate sales tax liability?

Freight forwarding companies in Florida have several options for mitigating their sales tax liability. First, companies can use the “resale” exemption. This means that when companies purchase goods to resell to consumers, they will not have to pay sales tax on the goods at purchase. Companies must provide a valid resale certificate to their supplier to claim this exemption. Second, companies can use the “export” exemption if the company is shopping for goods from Florida to another country. A company must provide documentation showing that the goods are being shipped out of the country. Third, companies should review their tax classification because freight forwarding companies may be classified differently for tax purposes depending on what services they provide. A “common carrier” may be eligible for tax exemptions that are not available to other businesses. Fourth, freight companies should keep accurate records of their sales and purchases and review their records regularly to identify errors that could lead to higher tax liability. Fifth, freight companies should work with a tax professional familiar with the freight industry to find other strategies for mitigating tax liability. 

How do I claim a resale exemption as a freight forwarding company? 

There are a series of steps required to claim a resale exemption as a freight forwarding company. First, obtain a resale certificate from the Florida Department of Revenue. A Form DR-13 can be found on the department’s website or can be obtained by mail request. Next, the company must fill out the certificate with the company’s information including name, address, and sales tax registration number. The company will also need to provide information regarding the items that will be purchased for resale. Then, the company must provide the resale certificate to the supplier who will keep a copy for their records. Finally, the freight company should ensure that the resale certificate was accepted and that the supplier has not applied a sales tax to the purchase. A resale exemption only applies to items that will be resold to customers. Any purchases to be used for business purposes are still subject to sales tax. 

What is Amazon’s tax exemption program? 

Under Amazon’s tax-exempt program, buyers can request a tax refund for purchases fulfilled by Amazon and delivered to a valid freight forwarding company. A tax refund can only be requested for shipments delivered to a licensed customs broker or a forwarding agent. Additionally, brokers and agents must present some supporting documentation that the freight forwarded items are shipped to a location outside of the US. Orders that are hand-carried outside of the US or delivered to a residential address do not qualify for a tax exemption. 

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Silvino Diaz

Silvino E. Diaz’s practice ranges from Civil and Commercial Litigation to Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. Silvino has earned a reputation as one of Puerto Rico’s foremost advocates for independent musicians and artists. As a result of his sustained commitment to creative industries, he was named Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Atlantic University College (Guaynabo, PR) – the Caribbean’s leading digital arts institution – where he spearheaded the “Introduction to IP” course for both the graduate and undergraduate programs, and was appointed by the Office of the President to develop an Intellectual Property graduate curriculum, where he served until moving to Miami in 2017. He is the founder of the service known as Starving Artists, where he offers innovative business and legal counsel for artists and creatives.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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