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TAX NEWS - January 2010

Florida: Documentary Stamp Tax

Documentary stamp tax is levied at the rate of $.70 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that transfer interest in Florida real property, such as warranty deeds and quit claim deeds. (The Miami-Dade County rate is $.60 on all documents plus $.45 surtax on documents transferring anything other than a single-family residence). This tax is usually paid to the Clerk of Court when the document is recorded. The Clerks of Court send the money to the Department of Revenue and the Department distributes the funds according to law.

A reference sheet is available to help determine the correct amount of documentary stamp tax due on documents that transfer an interest in Florida real property.

Documentary stamp tax is also levied at the rate of $.35 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that are executed or delivered in Florida, for example:

- Notes and other written obligations to pay.
- Certain renewal notes.
- Bonds (original issuance).
- Mortgages.
- Liens.

Florida law limits the maximum tax due on notes and other written obligations to $2,450. However, there is no limit on the documentary stamp tax due for mortgages or liens filed or recorded in Florida. Tax is paid to the Clerk of Court if the document is recorded, or sent directly to the Department of Revenue if the document is not recorded.

Documentary stamp tax is payable by any of the parties to a taxable transaction. If one party is exempt, the tax must be paid by the nonexempt party. United States government agencies; Florida government agencies; and Florida's counties, municipalities, and political subdivisions are exempt from documentary stamp tax.


Registration

Businesses or individuals with five (5) or more taxable documentary stamp tax transactions per month must register with the Department of Revenue. You can register online.


File and Pay Tax

Registered taxpayers use the Documentary Stamp Tax Return for Registered Taxpayers' Unrecorded Documents (Form DR-225) to report tax. Tax returns and payments are due by the 20th day of the month following each collection period. You must file a return even when no (zero) tax is due. Registered taxpayers can pay the tax electronically. Those who paid $20,000 or more in documentary stamp tax during the most recent state fiscal year are required to pay electronically during the next calendar year. Find out how to enroll for electronic payment and download a due date calendar.

Non-registered persons who have fewer than five (5) taxable transactions per month use the Documentary Stamp Tax Return for Non-registered Taxpayers' Unrecorded Documents (Form DR-228) to report and pay tax. E-filing and payment is not available for non-registered taxpayers.
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