By Hanish Patel and Marc Simonetti

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) determined that the sale of certain online membership benefits—early, exclusive access to products and deals and unlimited cloud data storage—were not subject to Florida sales tax or the Communications Service Tax (CST). However, the DOR added that the taxpayer’s purchase of reorder button devices, which are provided for free to certain customers and allow customers to reorder products by pressing a button, are subject to Florida use tax when they are delivered in Florida because they are tangible personal property. This recent Technical Assistance Advisement (TAA) builds upon prior TAAs addressing the taxability of the same taxpayer’s other online membership benefits such as streaming video content and shipping discounts. In clarifying the 2014 TAAs, the recent TAA also confirmed that only the portion of the membership fees attributable to the taxable streaming video service is subject to the CST, but if such charges are not separately allocable in the taxpayer’s books and records, then the entire membership fee will be subject to the CST. Fla. Dept. of Revenue, T.A.A. No. 14A-010 (Apr. 7, 2014); T.A.A. No. 14A19-006 (Dec. 19, 2014).