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Florida Hope Scholarship Program

The Hope Scholarship Program (Program) provides a public-school student who was subjected to an incident of violence or bullying at school the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend an eligible private school rather than remain in an unsafe school environment.

You can find eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations at the Florida Department of Education - School Choice webpage.

Making a Contribution

Beginning on or after October 1, 2018, anyone who purchases or registers a motor vehicle qualifying for the Hope Scholarship Program in Florida may designate $105 of the state sales tax due at the time of purchase or registration to an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization (SFO) participating in the Program. If the state sales tax due is less than $105, the designated amount would be the state sales tax due.

Example 1: A purchaser buys a motor vehicle from a dealer with a taxable sales price of $25,000 in a county that imposes a 1% discretionary sales surtax. The 6% state sales tax is $1,500. The amount of discretionary sales surtax is $50. The purchaser elects to contribute to an eligible SFO. The dealer would remit $1,445 to the Department and $105 to the SFO.

Sales price: $ 25,000 Total Tax and Surtax Due: $ 1,550
6% state sales tax: $ 1,550 Contribution to SFO: $ 105
1% discretionary sales surtax: $ 50 Sales Tax Due to DOR: $ 1,445
$ 26,550

Example 2: A purchaser buys a motor vehicle from an individual with a taxable sales price of $1,000 in a county that imposes a 1% discretionary sales surtax. When the purchaser registers the vehicle with a private tag agent or county tax collector, the purchaser pays the sales tax and surtax due to the private tag agency or county tax collector. The 6% state sales tax is $60. The 1% discretionary sales surtax due is $10. The purchaser elects to contribute to an eligible SFO. The private tag agent or county tax collector would remit $10 to the Department and $60 to the SFO.

Sales price: $ 1,000 Total Tax and Surtax Due: $ 70
6% state sales tax: $ 60 Contribution to SFO: $ 60
1% discretionary sales surtax: $ 10 Sales Tax Due to DOR: $ 10
$ 1,070

Example 3: An out of state resident buys a motor vehicle from a Florida dealer for a taxable sales price of $10,000. The out of state resident completes and provides the dealer with notice of their intent to license the vehicle in their home state. The home state imposes a 2% sales tax. The dealer will collect $200 sales tax. The purchaser elects to contribute to an eligible SFO. The dealer would remit $95 to the Department and $105 to the SFO.

Sales price: $ 10,000 Total Sales Tax: $ 200
2% state sales tax: $ 200 Contribution to SFO: $ 105
$ 10,200 Sales Tax Due to DOR: $ 95

"Motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck with a net vehicle weight of 5,000 pounds or less and any other vehicle operated on the roads of Florida, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power. Heavy trucks, truck tractors, trailers, motorcycles, and mopeds are not "motor vehicles" for purposes of the Hope Scholarship Program.

Motor vehicle dealers, private tag agencies, and county tax collectors are required to provide a Hope Scholarship Program - Contribution Election (Form DR-HS1 PDF Icon) to each purchaser or registrant of a qualified motor vehicle. If the purchaser or registrant chooses not to contribute, the Form DR-HS1 does not need to be completed or retained. The dealer, agency, or county tax collector receiving the contribution must remit the contribution directly to the designated nonprofit scholarship-funding organization.

Reporting Contributions

Motor Vehicle Dealers, Private Tag Agencies, and County Tax Collectors

Beginning on or after October 1, 2018, motor vehicle dealers, private tag agencies, and county tax collectors receiving contributions for the Hope Scholarship Program must report the amount of contributions received during each reporting period to the eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization designated and to the Department.

The fastest and easiest way to complete the Hope Scholarship Program - Dealer Contribution Collection Report is online. You may also report by submitting the paper Hope Scholarship Program - Dealer Contribution Collection Report (Form DR-HS2 PDF Icon).

Reports by motor vehicle dealers and private tag agencies are due on the 1st day of the month following the sales and use tax reporting period and are late after the 20th day of the month following each reporting period. If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, the report will be timely if received on the first business day following the 20th.

Reports by county tax collectors are due at the same time sales and use tax reports and payments are due to the Department, as prescribed in Section 219.07, Florida Statutes.

Motor vehicle dealers, private tag agencies, and county tax collectors who had no contributions to collect or report during a reporting period are not required to file a report (Hope Scholarship Program - Dealer Contribution Collection Report) for that reporting period.

Reporting Tax Credits

Motor vehicle dealers, private tag agencies, and county tax collectors receiving contributions of state sales tax Hope Scholarship Credits must report the contributions on their sales and use tax returns for reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 2018. The total amount of tax due reported on the tax return for vehicle sales or registrations must include the total state sales tax and discretionary sales surtax due before deducting the contribution of state sales tax to the Hope Scholarship Program from the sales tax and surtax due to the Department. For more information, see Tax Information Publication #18A01-16.

Nonprofit Scholarship-Funding Organizations

Nonprofit scholarship-funding organizations receiving contributions must file a Hope Scholarship Program - Contributions Received by an Eligible Nonprofit Scholarship-Funding Organization (Form DR-HS3 PDF Icon) with the Department each month. The report must contain the contributions received from each motor vehicle dealer, private tag agency, and county tax collector during the reporting month. Reports are due to the Department on or before the 20th day of the month following the month of collection. If the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state or federal holiday, the report must be received on the first business day following the 20th.

Penalties

Any motor vehicle dealer, private tag agency, county tax collector, or eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that fails to file a required report is subject to a penalty of $1,000 each month, or a portion of a month, up to $10,000.

Florida law requires the Department to notify an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization upon a finding that a motor vehicle dealer, private tag agency, or county tax collector claimed a Hope Scholarship Program sales tax credit and failed to remit a contribution to the affected organization. The notification will include the name, address, federal employer identification number (FEIN), and information related to the difference between the amount of credit claimed and the contribution amount remitted to the organization.

References