Tax Collection Process

The Florida Department of Revenue begins the collection process when a taxpayer fails to file a return, fails to make a payment, underpays the amount due, files late, pays late, or owes additional money discovered in an audit. A delinquency notice (Notice of Delinquency) is issued when a return is not filed and a bill (Notice of Amount Due) is issued when a return is filed late or additional money is due.

The delinquency notice indicates a return has not been filed, while the initial bill contains a breakdown of the additional amount due. It is extremely important to take prompt action when you receive a delinquency notice or bill. Penalties and interest continue to accumulate until the entire amount of the tax due is paid. If the debt remains unpaid for 90 days, the Department will charge a 10% administrative collection processing fee to cover the costs of collecting the debt.

Failure to resolve the debt may result in your account being sent to a private collection agency. If your account is sent to a private collection agency and the debt includes reemployment tax, you will be charged a separate fee by the collection agency.

The quickest way to resolve a bill is to pay it online. If a delinquency notice is received, it is important to file the missing return(s) and pay the tax as soon as possible. Taxpayers who are enrolled to file and pay electronically should submit the missing returns and payments electronically. Taxpayers who are not currently enrolled to file and pay electronically can easily enroll online using the eServices Enrollment application. Once enrolled, a taxpayer will receive a user ID and password that will be available within 48 hours. The taxpayer can then electronically file and pay past-due returns.

A taxpayer who believes a delinquency notice was issued in error, disagrees with a bill amount due, or has already filed or paid the return or bill, should contact the Department immediately to resolve the issue. Call or visit one of the Department's local service centers, or call Taxpayer Assistance at 850-488-6800 Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. If sending written correspondence, include your name, business name, tax type, business partner number, and telephone number.

Failure to respond timely may result in further enforcement actions which could include: filing liens against property, freezing bank accounts, and revoking sales tax registration and/or other professional licenses.

What Taxpayers Can Do if Unable to Pay in Full

If it is not possible to pay in full, call or visit one of the Department's local service centers to request a stipulated time payment agreement. The taxpayer will be required to provide financial documents that support their inability to pay the debt in full. The taxpayer should also be prepared to pay a minimum of 25% down and the full balance within a year.

What Taxpayers Can Do to Avoid Becoming Delinquent

To avoid becoming delinquent, taxpayers should:

  • Learn about tax responsibilities by carefully reading the instructions for completing a tax return. Visit the Department's Taxpayer Education webpage to take tutorials and download publications.
  • File electronically, which reduces errors, allows scheduling of payments, and saves time and money.
  • Know when taxes are due. Sign up to receive due date reminders for sales and use tax and reemployment tax.
  • Promptly notify the Department of address and phone number changes, or to inactivate, reactivate, or cancel your account. For most taxes, these changes can be submitted online.
  • Read all mail and email from the Department. It may contain reporting instructions, due dates, changes in laws or tax rates, or other important information.
  • Set up a separate bank account and deposit collected sales tax or other taxes that are owed. Withdraw the funds only when paying the taxes.
  • Call or visit one of the Department's local service centers, or call Taxpayer Assistance at 850-488-6800 Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, if you have questions or need additional information.

Florida's Taxpayers' Rights Advocate

Florida's Taxpayers' Right Advocate assists with protecting taxpayer rights by ensuring a taxpayer's privacy and assets are protected during tax assessment, collection, refund denial, and enforcement processes. For more information, visit the Office of Taxpayers' Rights Advocate webpage.