Sales Tax Exemption Certificates for Governmental Entities

Florida law grants governmental entities, including states, counties, municipalities, and political subdivisions (e.g., school districts or municipal libraries), an exemption from Florida sales and use tax. To be eligible for the exemption, Florida law requires that political subdivisions obtain a sales tax Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption (Form DR-14) from the Florida Department of Revenue.

The United States government or any (of its federal agencies) is not required to obtain a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption; however, obtaining a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption to present to Florida retail dealers makes it easy for selling dealers to document their tax exempt sales.

How to Obtain a Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption

File a completed Application for a Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption (Form DR-5 PDF Icon) with the Department. Provide a copy of the statute or law creating or describing the federal or state agency, county, municipality, or political subdivision with your application.

How to Make Tax Exempt Purchases

Provide a copy of the Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption to the selling dealer to make tax exempt purchases or leases in Florida.

Payment for the purchase must be made with the governmental entity’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 governmental entity's funds. This provision does not apply to authorized employees of a federal agency.

The following are exempt:

  • Purchases and leases of items or services directly by, and rentals or leases of real property directly to, the governmental entity.
  • Necessary goods and services requested by the following groups and organizations when funds for the purchase are provided by the group or organization to the governmental entity:
    • School districts that purchase for a parent-teacher organization or a parent-teacher association;
    • A county or municipality that purchases for a REACT group, neighborhood crime watch group, or locally recognized organizations solely engaged in youth activities that contribute to the development of good character or good sportsmanship, or to the educational or cultural development, of minors; and
    • Public libraries that purchase for groups solely engaged in fundraising activities for the library.

Departmental Review of Expiring Certificates

Sales tax exemption certificates expire after five years. The Department reviews each exemption certificate sixty (60) days before the current certificate expires. When a Florida governmental entity remains in effect, a new exemption certificate will be mailed to the governmental entity. For those governmental entities located outside Florida, the Department mails a letter requesting whether the governmental entity wishes to have their Florida exemption certificate renewed. If so, the governmental entity must confirm that the governmental entity remains in effect.