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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
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Experience:  GPHR Cert; U.S. Treasury Tax Advocacy Panel appointee
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FL sales tax exemption

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Does Florida have an exemption from sales tax charged on beds and related items when prescribed by a doctor via the issuance of a written prescription?


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this question.

The Sales tax exemption for medical items does not specify beds and related items per say.

The interpretation of a prescription use for a special orthopedic bed as a device, however may be construed.

I have provided for you convenience, a copy of the medical exempt items from the Florida sales and use tax:


(a) There shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter any medical products and supplies or medicine dispensed according to an individual prescription or prescriptions written by a prescriber authorized by law to prescribe medicinal drugs; hypodermic needles; hypodermic syringes; chemical compounds and test kits used for the diagnosis or treatment of human disease, illness, or injury; and common household remedies recommended and generally sold for internal or external use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of illness or disease in human beings, but not including cosmetics or toilet articles, notwithstanding the presence of medicinal ingredients therein, according to a list prescribed and approved by the Department of Health, which list shall be certified to the Department of Revenue from time to time and included in the rules promulgated by the Department of Revenue. There shall also be exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter artificial eyes and limbs; orthopedic shoes; prescription eyeglasses and items incidental thereto or which become a part thereof; dentures; hearing aids; crutches; prosthetic and orthopedic appliances; and funerals. In addition, any items intended for one-time use which transfer essential optical characteristics to contact lenses shall be exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter; however, this exemption shall apply only after $100,000 of the tax imposed by this chapter on such items has been paid in any calendar year by a taxpayer who claims the exemption in such year. Funeral directors shall pay tax on all tangible personal property used by them in their business.

(b) For the purposes of this subsection:

1. "Prosthetic and orthopedic appliances" means any apparatus, instrument, device, or equipment used to replace or substitute for any missing part of the body, to alleviate the malfunction of any part of the body, or to assist any disabled person in leading a normal life by facilitating such person's mobility. Such apparatus, instrument, device, or equipment shall be exempted according to an individual prescription or prescriptions written by a physicXXXXX XXXXXcensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 460, chapter 461, or chapter 466, or according to a list prescribed and approved by the Department of Health, which list shall be certified to the Department of Revenue from time to time and included in the rules promulgated by the Department of Revenue.

2. "Cosmetics" means articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance and also means articles intended for use as a compound of any such articles, including, but not limited to, cold creams, suntan lotions, makeup, and body lotions.

3. "Toilet articles" means any article advertised or held out for sale for grooming purposes and those articles that are customarily used for grooming purposes, regardless of the name by which they may be known, including, but not limited to, soap, toothpaste, hair spray, shaving products, colognes, perfumes, shampoo, deodorant, and mouthwash.

4. "Prescription" includes any order for drugs or medicinal supplies written or transmitted by any means of communication by a duly licensed practitioner authorized by the laws of the state to prescribe such drugs or medicinal supplies and intended to be dispensed by a pharmacist. The term also includes an orally transmitted order by the lawfully designated agent of such practitioner. The term also includes an order written or transmitted by a practitioner licensed to practice in a jurisdiction other than this state, but only if the pharmacist called upon to dispense such order determines, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, that the order is valid and necessary for the treatment of a chronic or recurrent illness. The term also includes a pharmacist's order for a product selected from the formulary created pursuant to s. 465.186. A prescription may be retained in written form, or the pharmacist may cause it to be recorded in a data processing system, provided that such order can be produced in printed form upon lawful request.

(c) Chlorine shall not be exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter when used for the treatment of water in swimming pools.

(d) Lithotripters are exempt.

(e) Human organs are exempt.

(f) Sales of drugs to or by physicians, dentists, veterinarians, and hospitals in connection with medical treatment are exempt.

(g) Medical products and supplies used in the cure, mitigation, alleviation, prevention, or treatment of injury, disease, or incapacity which are temporarily or permanently incorporated into a patient or client by a practitioner of the healing arts licensed in the state are exempt.

(h) The purchase by a veterinarian of commonly recognized substances possessing curative or remedial properties which are ordered and dispensed as treatment for a diagnosed health disorder by or on the prescription of a duly licensed veterinarian, and which are applied to or consumed by animals for alleviation of pain or the cure or prevention of sickness, disease, or suffering are exempt. Also exempt are the purchase by a veterinarian of antiseptics, absorbent cotton, gauze for bandages, lotions, vitamins, and worm remedies.

(i) X-ray opaques, also known as opaque drugs and radiopaque, such as the various opaque dyes and barium sulphate, when used in connection with medical X rays for treatment of bodies of humans and animals, are exempt.

(j) Parts, special attachments, special lettering, and other like items that are added to or attached to tangible personal property so that a handicapped person can use them are exempt when such items are purchased by a person pursuant to an individual prescription.

(k) This subsection shall be strictly construed and enforced.

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