Completing the Discretionary Surtax Section of the Florida DR-15 (aka Lines 15a – 15d)

Nothing will mess your return up more than bad figures on lines 15a through 15d. Sales/purchases reported as exempt (on Line 2) should not be included on lines 15a – 15d because it wasn’t charged tax and lines 15a – 15d are only for taxable sales/purchases. Trust me – that concept gets misunderstood a lot more than you think. Remember that you should be using the sales price only not including tax for Lines 15a – Lines 15d. And also remember all taxable purchases that you did not pay tax on but should be taxed (this does not include items you resell but items used by the business) needs to be included in Lines 15a – 15d as well. So let’s get to it:

Line 15a: Exempt Amount of Items Over $5000

If you purchased/sold a single taxable item for over $5000, subtract $5000 from the sales price of the item (not including tax) and put the amount you get on Line 15a.

If you have more than one single item that sold for over $5000 each, do the subtraction for each item, and total them up on Line 15a. There are a few exceptions to the $5000 threshold, you can read more here.

This $5000 threshold does not apply to rentals of real property (i.e. warehouses), transient rentals (i.e. hotel rooms), or services (i.e. security services).

Line 15b: Other Taxable Amounts Not Subject to Surtax

If you made purchases/sales into counties that have no discretionary surtax, enter those amounts on Line 15b.

If you purchased/sold a single item over $5,000 into a county that has no discretionary surtax, you would only enter the first $5,000 of the sale on line 15b.

Example: You sold a single item for $7,000 into a county with no discretionary surtax. For this sale, you would put $2,000 on Line 15a and would put $5,000 on Line15b.

Line 15c: Amounts Subject to Surtax at a Rate Different Than Your County Surtax Rate

If you made purchases/sales into counties that have a different discretionary surtax rate than the county your sales tax account is registered in, enter those purchases/sales on line 15c.

If you sold a single item over $5000 into a county with a different discretionary surtax than the county your sales tax account is registered in, you would only enter the first $5000 of that sale on line 15c.

Example: You sold a single item for $6500 into a county with a 1% surtax rate but your sales tax account is registered in a county with a 0.5% surtax rate. For this sale, you would put $1500 on Line15a, $0 on Line15b, and $5000 on Line 15c.

Line 15d: Total Amount of Discretionary Sales Surtax Due

This is the ‘pain in the you know what’ part, where you have to add up all those little discretionary surtax amounts. Purchases/sales on line 15b should not be included when calculating Line15d because they have no discretionary surtax and Line15d is just for those purchases/sales that are subject to discretionary surtax. Yep, that one gets confused more than you will think too. Basically what you’re doing is:

1) calculating all the discretionary surtax amounts for purchases/sales made in your county (if any; and this includes any sales/purchases made in your county that meet the $5000 threshold, you should only tax the first $5000)

2) calculating the discretionary surtax amounts for the purchases/sales (if any) reported on Line15c (which can be multiple counties, causing you to use multiple rates)

3) adding the figures from your county (step 1) and the other counties (step 2) together and putting it on line 15d.

And your nightmare is over – cheers!

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