Nonprofit Organizations and Sales and Use Tax

Florida law grants certain nonprofit organizations that meet the criteria described in Section 212.08(7), Florida Statutes (F.S.), and certain state-chartered financial institutions described in Section 213.12(2), F.S., an exemption from Florida sales and use tax. To be eligible for the exemption, Florida law requires that nonprofit organizations obtain a sales tax exemption certificate (Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption, Form DR-14) from the Florida Department of Revenue.

Organizations holding a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption may present a copy of the certificate to a selling dealer to purchase or rent taxable items or services tax-exempt as authorized by Florida law. Payment for the purchase must be made with the organization’s funds. When payment is made with the personal funds of an authorized representative, the purchase is subject to tax, even if the representative is subsequently reimbursed with the organization’s funds.

How to Obtain a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption

Submit a completed Application for a Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption (Form DR-5 PDF Icon) with the Department. The application instructions provide details on the exemption criteria and the information to be provided to the Department for each type of nonprofit organization qualified to obtain a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption (Form DR-14).

Nonprofit Organizations that Qualify

501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations

Organizations determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be currently exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3).

Your organization’s federal tax-exempt status will be verified using the FEIN provided and the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check, a publication of organizations exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a nonprofit organization used in carrying out the organization’s customary nonprofit activities are exempt.

Community Cemeteries

Nonprofit corporations determined by the IRS to be currently exempt from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(13) that operate a cemetery donated by deed to the community.

Purchases and leases of items or services by a qualified nonprofit corporation used in maintaining the donated cemetery are exempt.

Credit Unions

State-chartered and federally-chartered credit unions. The National Credit Union Administration charters credit unions.

Purchases and leases by a credit union are exempt.

Fair Associations

Nonprofit fair associations incorporated and permitted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as provided in Chapter 616, F.S.

The following are exempt:

  • The sale, use, lease, rental, or grant of license to use items, services, or real property made directly to or by a qualified fair association;
  • Rentals and subleases of items or real property between the owner of the central amusement attraction and a concessionaire, vendor, exhibitor, or licensee for the furnishing of amusement rides;
  • Charges by a qualified fair association or its agents for parking, admissions, or for temporary parking of vehicles used for sleeping quarters;
  • Charges for rentals by the owner of the central amusement attraction and the owner of an amusement ride for furnishing amusement rides at a public fair or exposition; and
  • Other transactions incurred directly by the fair association in the financing, construction, and operation of a fair, exposition, or other event or facility authorized by Section 616.08, F.S.

Florida Retired Educators Association

The Florida Retired Educators Association and its units (chapters).

Purchases of office supplies, equipment, and publications made by the Association or by its units (chapters) are exempt.

Library Cooperatives

Library cooperatives that hold a letter or certificate issued under Section 257.41(2), F.S., by the Division of Library and Information Services of the Florida Department of State.

Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a certified library cooperative are exempt.

Nonprofit Cooperative Hospital Laundries

A Florida nonprofit corporation treated as a cooperative under IRC Subchapter T for federal income tax purposes, whose sole purpose is to offer laundry supplies and services to their members who are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a nonprofit cooperative hospital laundry are exempt.

Nonprofit Water Systems

Nonprofit corporations recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(12) organization, whose sole purpose is to construct, maintain, or operate a water system in Florida.

Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a nonprofit water system are exempt.

Organizations Benefiting Minors

A Florida nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to provide activities contributing to the development of good character or good sportsmanship, or to the educational or cultural development of minors. Only the level of the organization that has a salaried executive officer or an elected non-salaried executive officer qualifies.

The following are exempt:

  • Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, an organization benefiting minors.
  • Sales of donated property (any property transferred to the organization for less than 50 percent of its fair market value) by an organization benefiting minors.

Parent-Teacher Organizations and Parent-Teacher Associations

Any parent-teacher organization (PTO) or parent-teacher association (PTA) associated with a K through 12 school whose purpose is to raise funds for the school.

For more information, see the Department's Sales Tax Information for School Associations and Organizations web page.

Religious Institutions with Established Physical Place for Worship

Any church, synagogue or other religious institution with an established physical place for worship at which nonprofit religious services and activities are regularly conducted and carried out.

The following are exempt:

  • Purchases and leases of items or services directly by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations directly to, a qualified religious institution used in carrying out its customary nonprofit religious activities.
  • Sales and leases of items of tangible personal property by a qualified religious institution.

Religious Institutions as Providers of Free Transportation

Any nonprofit corporation whose sole purpose is to provide free transportation services to church members, their families, and other church attendees.

Purchases and leases of items or services directly by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations directly to, a qualified provider of transportation services used in carrying out its free transportation services to church members, their families, and other church attendees are exempt.

Religious Institutions as Governing or Administrative Offices

Any nonprofit state, nonprofit district, or other nonprofit governing or administrative office that functions to assist or regulate the customary activities of religious institutions.

Purchases and leases of items or services directly by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations directly to, a qualified nonprofit governing or administrative office used in carrying out its customary nonprofit religious activities are exempt.

Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Any state tax-supported school, college, or university.

Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a qualified school, college, or university are exempt.

For more information on K through 12 schools, see the Department's Sales Tax Information for School Associations and Organizations web page.

Veterans’ Organizations

Any nationally chartered or recognized veterans’ organization and its auxiliaries that holds a current exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(4) or 501(c)(19).

The following are exempt:

  • Purchases and leases of items or services by, and rentals or leases of real property and living or sleeping accommodations to, a qualified veterans' organization and its auxiliaries used in carrying out a veterans’ organization's customary activities.
  • Sales of food or drink by qualified veterans’ organizations in connection with customary veterans’ organization’s activities to members of qualified veterans’ organizations.

Volunteer Fire Departments

Any Florida nonprofit corporation that is a volunteer fire department.

Purchases of firefighting and rescue service equipment and supplies by the volunteer fire department are exempt.

Sales by Nonprofit Organizations

With a few exceptions, when a nonprofit organization sells taxable items or services, or leases or rents commercial real property or transient rental property to others in Florida, the organization must register with the Department to collect, report, and remit sales tax.

Churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions with an established physical place for worship at which nonprofit religious services and activities are regularly conducted and carried out may sell, lease, or rent items of tangible personal property tax exempt. This exemption does not apply when religious institutions lease or rent out commercial real property or living or sleeping accommodations to others. To qualify, the religious institution must hold a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption as a religious institution with an established physical place for worship. Such religious institutions are only required to register with the Department to collect, report, and remit sales tax due on the lease or rental of commercial real property or living or sleeping accommodations.

Nonprofit corporations whose primary purpose is to provide activities contributing to the development of good character or good sportsmanship, or the educational or cultural development of minors, may sell donated property tax exempt. To qualify, the nonprofit corporation must hold a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption as an organization benefiting minors.

For more information on sales by K through 12 schools, see the Department's Sales Tax Information for School Associations and Organizations web page.

Expiration of Certificates

Sales tax exemption certificates expire after five years. The Department reviews each exemption certificate sixty (60) days before the current certificate expires.

For those nonprofit organizations located in Florida, the Department uses available public information to determine whether an organization continues to qualify for a sales tax exemption certificate. If an organization continues to meet the statutory exemption criteria, a new exemption certificate is issued. If additional information is needed, a letter requesting documentation is mailed to the organization.

For those nonprofit organizations located outside Florida, the Department mails a letter requesting whether the organization or entity wishes to have their certificate renewed. The letter also provides a list of documentation needed for the Department to renew the exemption certificate.

If the nonprofit organization fails to respond to the written requests for information or documentation, or the Department is unable to confirm that the organization continues to qualify for an exemption, a written notice denying the renewal of the exemption certificate is mailed to the organization.

Registration

You can register using the online registration system or submit a paper Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1 PDF Icon).

Once registered, you will be sent a Certificate of Registration (Form DR-11), a Florida Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax (Form DR-13), and tax return forms. The Certificate of Registration must be displayed in a visible place at the business. You may provide a copy of your Annual Resale Certificate for Sales Tax to the seller when you purchase items your organization will sell.