For veterinary offices in Florida, a helpful new opinion issued by the Florida Department of Revenue offers some clarity regarding pet food sales tax exemptions as applied to the sale of certain pet foods typically sold by veterinarians.
Florida taxes sales of tangible personal property, including animal food, unless an exemption applies. This new guidance clarifies existing Florida law that went into effect on July 1, 2014, in which therapeutic veterinary diets became exempt: “Sales of therapeutic veterinary diets specifically formulated to aid in the management of illness and disease of a diagnosed health disorder in an animal and which are only available from a licensed veterinarian are exempt from the tax imposed under this chapter.” Fla. Stat. 212.08(2)(i). This new guidance clarifies the pet food sales tax exemptions, and offers that “Therapeutic veterinary diets” are animal foods “that are specifically formulated to aid in the management of illness and disease of a diagnosed health disorder in an animal and which are only available from a licensed veterinarian.” Foods that treat an animal condition that are available outside of veterinary offices are not exempt from sales tax under this provision. The Department offers weight management dog food as the type that remains subject to sales tax if it is available for purchase at pet stores.
Veterinary offices and pet food stores should review their sales tax collection practices to ensure they comply with the law. The full document is here: Pet Food Sales Tax Exemptions.