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Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program authorizes the tenant of a commercial rental property to receive a credit against the state sales tax due on rent or license fee payments for contributions paid to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization. The Florida Department of Education establishes the eligibility of nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations to participate in the Program. Tenants of commercial rental property apply to the Florida Department of Revenue to receive an allocation of the funds available for sales tax credits each state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).

More information on eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations is available on the Florida Department of Education - School Choice web page.

Tenant - Applying for and Receiving a Credit Allocation

Applying for a Credit Allocation

Florida law requires the Department to approve allocations of funds available under the Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program on a first-come, first-served basis. As a tenant of commercial rental property, you must apply with the Department to receive an allocation of the available funds.

A separate application is required for each commercial rental property. A separate application is also required to contribute to more than one eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.

To apply you will need the following information:

  • Business names for tenant and landlord
  • FEIN or EIN (if available) for tenant and landlord
  • Landlord sales tax certificate number of rental property (when FEIN or EIN is not available)
  • Business mailing address for tenant and landlord
  • Name of contact persons for tenant and landlord
  • Telephone number for tenant and landlord
  • Physical street address of commercial rental property

The fastest and easiest way to receive a credit allocation is to apply using the Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program online application. The online application allows you to:

  • create a secure, online account where your application information will be stored;
  • quickly complete your application and receive a confirmation number with the date and time of submission;
  • easily submit applications for multiple commercial rental properties; and
  • view a summary of your applications and the status of each application.

You may also apply by submitting the paper Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program Application for a Credit Allocation (Form DR-117000 PDF Icon).

Applications will be reviewed for an allocation of the funds available for the fiscal year in which the application is submitted. When funds are available, and you are eligible to receive a credit allocation, a letter indicating the amount of credit allocation approved will be issued to you. If the Department is not able to approve the allocation you requested, a letter explaining why a credit allocation could not be approved will be mailed to you.

Contributing to an Eligible Nonprofit Scholarship-Funding Organization

If your credit allocation is approved, you must make a monetary contribution to the organization you selected in your application before receiving the tax credit. The contribution must be made within the same state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) the credit allocation was issued. When you make your contribution, the organization receiving the contribution will issue a certificate of contribution containing the amount of the contribution and the date received.

Receiving the Allocated Tax Credit

After you receive the certificate of contribution, you may take the tax credit against the state sales tax due on the rent or license fees paid to your landlord on or after October 1, 2018. The tax credit may only be taken against state sales tax due. Any discretionary sales surtax due must be paid to your landlord.

When taking the tax credit against the state sales tax due, provide your landlord a copy of the credit allocation approval letter issued by the Department and the certificate of contribution issued by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization. Retain the original letter and certificate in your records.

If you are unable to use the total amount of the available tax credit on a single rent or license fee due to an insufficient amount of state tax due, you may take the credit against future rent or license fees due to the landlord for a period of up to 10 years.

Tenant - Changing, Transferring, or Rescinding a Credit Allocation

Changing a Credit Allocation

After you receive a letter from the Department approving a credit allocation, you must notify the Department when:

  • your landlord collecting and remitting sales tax on the property changes; or
  • you move to another commercial rental property and you plan to use your approved credit allocation at your new commercial rental property location.

To notify the Department of these changes, submit a Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program Application to Change a Credit Allocation (Form DR-117100 PDF Icon).

If you contributed to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization to receive the tax credit under the Program, attach a lease payment schedule regarding the rent or license fees paid on the commercial rental property for which your original credit allocation was applied, beginning with the date your credit allocation was approved by the Department, and include the following information:

  • the amount of each rent or license fee payment;
  • the date of each rent or license fee payment;
  • the sales tax and discretionary sales surtax due on each payment; and
  • the amount of the tax credit claimed for each payment.

The Department will review your application to determine whether you remain eligible for the credit allocation. If approved, a letter will be issued to you indicating the amount of credit allocation approved for the new landlord or for the new commercial rental property, or both the new landlord and the new commercial rental property location. If the Department is not able to approve the changes in the credit allocation you requested, a letter will be mailed to you explaining why a credit allocation could not be approved.

Transferring a Credit Allocation

The tax credit may not be conveyed, assigned, or transferred to another tenant unless all assets of the tenant are conveyed, assigned, or transferred in the same transfer transaction, and the successor business continues the same lease with the landlord.

To transfer any unused tax credit, send a written notice containing information about each party to the transfer and the transfer of all assets to the successor business to:

Florida Department of Revenue
Revenue Accounting
PO Box 6609
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6609

Rescinding a Credit Allocation

If you no longer plan to contribute to the selected organization, you may rescind any unused tax credit allocation to allow other tenants of commercial rental property to receive a credit allocation. You must apply to rescind your credit allocation during the same fiscal year for which your credit allocation was approved.

To apply for rescindment of a previously approved credit allocation, visit the Department's Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program online application.

You may also apply by submitting the paper Florida Sales Tax Credit Scholarship Program Application for Rescindment of a Credit Allocation (Form DR-117200 PDF Icon).

A separate application is required to rescind each previously approved credit allocation. If your application is approved, a letter indicating the amount of the approved rescinded credit allocation will be issued to you. If the Department is not able to approve the rescindment you requested, a letter explaining why the rescindment could not be approved will be mailed to you.

Landlord Information

As a landlord, you will need to provide your federal employer identification number, if available, to any tenant desiring to participate in the Program. If you do not have a federal employer identification number, provide your sales tax registration number for the commercial rental property to the tenant.

The tenant should provide you with a copy of the credit allocation approval letter issued by the Department and the certificate of contribution issued by the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization. Retain these documents in your records.

When your tenant takes a credit allowed under the Program, you may take the tax credit against the state sales tax due to the Department. Any discretionary sales surtax due must be paid.

To receive the tax credit, you must file an electronic Sales and Use Tax Return (Form DR-15) and pay the tax due electronically. The total amount of tax due reported on your tax return must include the total sales tax due (state sales tax plus any discretionary sales surtax) before deducting the contribution of state sales tax to the Program. For more information, see Tax Information Publication #18A01-15.

If you are filing the shorter Form DR-15EZ, and you need to report this credit, call the Department's Taxpayer Assistance at 850-488-6800 Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, to change your filing return to Form DR-15.

References