Tax Lawyer in Florida

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Florida Tax Laws: Definition and Legal Overview

Tax laws in Florida may seem confusing to many people. However, it is essential to know how these rules may apply to you or your business. In addition to understanding the potential for fines and penalties, tax law in Florida may also affect your ability to claim certain deductions. 

If you need help filing your taxes or need guidance to avoid running afoul of tax law, it can be wise to seek assistance from a tax attorney in Florida. With their guidance, you can feel confident that you will know what is expected of you as a resident of the state.

Florida Tax Law

The FL Department of Revenue (DOR) is the governmental agency that oversees taxation within the state. Of note, the state does not levy personal income tax on those who earn money within the state. 

With regard to property taxes, the amount a property owner may owe depends on the value that a local property appraiser sets for your property, based on the current market value. To reach the taxable value, the appraiser subtracts any exemptions from the assessed value. There is no state-level property tax in Florida.

In determining the local tax rate, each local jurisdiction uses a millage rate, which equals one-tenth of 1%. The average Florida property tax rate is about 0.98%, with Local tax collector’s offices send tax bills in November and payment is due the following March 31.

What Is Tax Law

Taxes are money that you are required by law to pay to the state, local, or federal government based on activities in which you engage, purchases you make, and goods or services that you sell. Some of the common things against which the government may levy legal taxes include:

  •   Income that you earn through your job or business
  •   Property that you own
  •   Goods or services
  •   Licenses
  •   Certificates

In Florida, the taxes that the government collects may be used for many things, including human services, law enforcement and other first responders, education, transportation, municipal infrastructure, and environmental initiatives.

You may wonder about the scope of services that a tax attorney in Florida can provide. Generally speaking, they usually do not engage in courtroom litigation. However there are circumstances under which a tax lawyer may represent an individual in court proceedings. If your specific situation falls within one of the following categories, a tax lawyer may be able to represent you in court:

  1. You have been audited by the IRS. The IRS may have claims that you owe back taxes for years in which a tax lawyer could contest and fight to avoid penalties and fines.
  2. The IRS or a state agency has leveled a criminal charge against you, along with a civil tax claim being filed by the Department of Justice. In this situation, the tax lawyer may be able to negotiate with the Department of Justice and advise you on what options are available.
  3. The IRS needs to get a judgment against you in court before it can seize your property, bank account, or other assets. A tax attorney may be able to stop them from taking these actions while representing you in court.

Florida Sales Tax Laws

In general, Florida levies a 6% sales tax, with exceptions for amusement machine receipts (4%), commercial real property leases or licenses (5.5%), and electricity (6.95%). If you have questions about rates, a Florida tax attorney can provide assistance.

The state’s use tax is also 6% and usually applies to items that consumers purchase outside of Florida and are then brought into Florida for use. Some of the most common situations in which the use tax may apply include:

  • Online purchases
  • Mail-order purchases
  • Furniture or computer equipment bought from an out-of-state dealer
  • Purchases made outside the United States

Use tax may also apply if a person buys an item that is tax-exempt with the intention of reselling it but instead uses that item for personal use or in the course of their business.

Definition of Tax Law in Florida

For detailed explanations of tax law in Florida or a definition of an unfamiliar term relating to taxation, the DOR maintains a Tax Law Library on its website. It is designed to allow users to enter a search term and then provides the information the user seeks, including relevant:

  • Legal documents
  • Statutes
  • Rules
  • Tax Information Publications
  • Technical assistance advisements

Tax law can be confusing to understand, so it is important to call a Florida tax attorney if you need assistance. If you need a competent legal professional who can provide guidance, we are here to help. Contact us today.

(866) 691-5299