The State of Florida historically had an intangibles tax that affected any Florida resident with marketable securities such as stocks and bonds. Intangible assets are those a person cannot physically touch or hold in his hand as an asset. For example, a person may have a stock certificate but the actual asset is a percentage ownership in the company, not the physical paper certificate.
Florida repealed the annual intangible personal property tax effective Jan. 1, 2007. This repeal was for marketable securities owned as personal property such as bonds, mutual funds, stocks, unsecured notes and money market funds. Any intangible tax owed prior to the repeal in 2007 was still due until the three-year statute of limitations for payment of tax expires. This means that no Florida resident should currently owe intangible tax on marketable securities unless unique circumstances were involved, such as an ongoing audit.
Government Real Property Leases
The repeal of the Florida annual intangible personal property tax in 2007 did not extend to government owned property leased to individuals or businesses that are not government entities. If a Florida taxpayer leases property from the government he is required to file a return for governmental leasehold intangible tax on an annual basis. The tax return required is Florida Form DR-601G, and is not required if the amount of tax due is less than $60 annually. As of 2011, the tax rate is .0005 of the annual rental amount.
The 2007 repeal did not include non-recurring intangible tax assessed against property secured by a mortgage or lien. This affects real estate buyers with a mortgage, since a one-time payment of intangible tax at the close of the property sale is due. This tax does is not paid to the Florida Department of Revenue, as with most Florida taxes. The tax is payable to the Clerk of Court in the county where the property is located, and is .002 of the mortgage amount as of 2011.
Florida intangible tax was historically a vicious tax for Florida residents with much vocal opposition from taxpayers and the legal community. There were loopholes in the tax law that allowed the wealthy to move assets around to avoid the tax, but the average taxpayer did not have the resources to work the loopholes. Since the tax now applies only to government leases and one-time payments for real estate purchases, it more palatable to Florida voters.