You should know the difference between sales and use tax because consumers are liable for both.  It is up to businesses to collect and remit sales tax from consumer purchases unless the transaction is exempt.  There are different regulations that apply depending on the state in which a sale occurs and the state in which an item purchased is delivered to or used.

Sales Tax

Florida imposes a general state sales tax rate of 6% on sales and purchases of items, services, and transient rentals.  In addition to the state sales tax rate, many Florida counties have a discretionary sales surtax that applies to most transactions subject to sales and use tax.  The county surtax rate varies by county and applies to a taxable item or service delivered into a county imposing a surtax.

Use Tax

Use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when Florida sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase.  Many consumers are not aware of the use tax.  However, items that are purchased online from out-of-state merchants (i.e. get delivered to the consumers home where it is subsequently used.  If the merchant did not collect a sales tax from the consumer, the consumer may be liable to report and pay a use tax.

To learn more information about Florida Sales & Use Tax, visit the Florida Department of Revenue website.