Admission Charges Related to Air Commerce Exempt from Tax in Florida

Jun 8th, 2012

The Florida Department of Revenue has published guidance explaining how the state applies sales tax to admission charges for air commerce. Fla. Tax Info. Pub. No. 12A01-10 (Dept. of Revenue Jun. 4, 2012).

Generally, Florida imposes sales tax on charges for admissions. Fla. Stat. Ann. sec. 212.04. This extends to charges for any type of sightseeing rides that use boats, buses, trolleys, trains, and other vehicles.

However, federal law prohibits any state from charging sales tax on air commerce charges. 49 U.S.C. sec. 40116. Air commerce "relates to activities operated within a federal airway or directly affecting safety in interstate foreign air commerce." As a result, charges for admissions to sightseeing activities that involve air commerce are exempt from tax. These activities include helicopter, airplane, and hot air balloon rides, and skydiving.

If a company offering any of the above services also sells other taxable items (such as equipment), the company should separately state the charges and collect tax where applicable. If a company does not separately state the taxable charge from the exempt admission fee, the company will be required to collect sales tax on the portion of the price that is attributable to the taxable sale.