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Sales of roaming services by a Florida mobile communications services provider were not subject to Florida communications services tax because the services were provided to customers whose "places of primary use" were outside the state of Florida. Florida communications services tax and local communications services tax apply to sales of all mobile communications services provided to a customer by a home service provider if the customer’s service address is located within Florida. The taxpayer provided mobile communications services to end users under an agreement with the end users’ home service provider, which was a foreign carrier. The end users were billed by their home service provider. Because of this, the services were deemed to be provided by the home service provider rather than by the Florida taxpayer. Since the customers’ "places of primary use" service addresses were not in Florida, the taxpayer’s sales of roaming services to the customers were not subject to communications services tax. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 15A19-001, Florida Department of Revenue, January 7, 2015)


On December 16, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, for sales and use tax purposes. The Act includes a provision that extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) until October 1, 2015 with all provisions unchanged.


On January 9, 2015, the House of Representative introduced a bill (un-numbered) that would permanently extend the ITFA, banning states and local jurisdictions from imposing any new tax on internet access. The proposed bill removes the current effective dates of November 1, 2003 through October 1, 2015 and changes the effective date to be effective for new taxes imposed after the date of the enactment.  It is not clear if states that have been grandfathered under the existing provision could retain their current tax on internet access but it appears that may be the case.  No formal legislation has been introduced that would incorporate the Marketplace Fairness Act into this bill. The bill is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, among others.


For our previous news item on this topic, see Internet Tax Freedom Act is Extended Through December 11, 2014.


For an update on this news item, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until December 11, 2015.


(Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015; H.R. 235)


The Florida Department of Revenue has released a free mobile app that allows taxpayers to document tax-exempt sales. The app can verify Florida sales tax certificate numbers or Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption numbers and provide a transaction authorization number for valid certificate numbers. The app can be used on the iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets, and the Windows Phone. The free FL Tax mobile app can be downloaded from the app store on mobile devices. Taxpayers must enter their 13-digit sales tax certificate number in the seller field and their customer’s Florida sales tax or tax exemption certificate number in the buyer field when downloading the app. If the certificate is valid, a confirmation number will be provided that can be used to support the tax exempt sale.  (Tax Information Publication, No. 14A01-08, Florida Department of Revenue, September 26, 2014)


President Barack Obama has signed federal legislation extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through December 11, 2014 as part of the joint resolution which made continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015. The ITFA was previously set to expire on November 1, 2014. The ITFA bars state and local governments from imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and taxes on Internet access.


For an update to this news item, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until October 1, 2015, Permanent Extension Introduced.


(P.L. 113-164 (H.J. Res. 124), 113th Congress, 2nd Session, Laws 2014)


Sales of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), simple storage services, and data transfer fees charged in conjunction with those two services are information services and are not subject to sales and use tax or communications services tax (CST) in Florida. Simple storage service allows a customer to utilize the storage capacity within the seller’s server/computer equipment, but the seller does not actually provide access or license to use that equipment or the real property facilities where the servers are located. As such, this service is not a taxable communications service. Additionally, the customer is not purchasing or being granted a license to use tangible personal property or real property, and, as such, the service is not a sale subject to sales tax. IaaS is properly classified as a nontaxable information service. The IaaS service is an information service whether the customer chooses an open source or a third-party instance. As an information service, it is not subject to CST. IaaS is not subject to sales tax because there is no sale or lease of software, tangible personal property, or real property. For the data transfer fees, while the seller may utilize communications services to move the data from or between data centers, the charge is not for the seller providing the communications service to the customer, because the customer is not being sold the ability to transmit, convey, or route data. The charge is for the seller to make the data or the computing power accessible in the data center or region in which the customer has requested it. Whether this charge is incurred as part of either the simple storage service or the IaaS, the charge is an information service not subject to sales tax or CST. (Technical Assistance Advisement, No. 14A19-001, Florida Department of Revenue, March 13, 2014, released June 13, 2014)



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