212.18 Administration of law; registration of dealers; rules.—
(1) The cost of preparing and distributing the reports, forms, and paraphernalia for the collection of said tax and the inspection and enforcement duties required herein shall be borne by the revenue produced by this chapter, provisions for which are hereinafter made.
(2) The department shall administer and enforce the assessment and collection of the taxes, interest, and penalties imposed by this chapter. It has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to enforce the provisions of this chapter in order that there shall not be collected on the average more than the rate levied herein. The department is authorized to and it shall provide by rule a method for accomplishing this end. It shall prepare instructions to all persons required by this chapter to collect and remit the tax to guide such persons in the proper collection and remission of such tax and to instruct such persons in the practices that may be necessary for the purpose of enforcement of this chapter and the collection of the tax imposed hereby. The use of tokens in the collection of this tax is hereby expressly forbidden and prohibited.
(3)(a) Every person desiring to engage in or conduct business in this state as a dealer, as defined in this chapter, or to lease, rent, or let or grant licenses in living quarters or sleeping or housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses, roominghouses, or tourist or trailer camps that are subject to tax under s. 212.03, or to lease, rent, or let or grant licenses in real property, as defined in this chapter, and every person who sells or receives anything of value by way of admissions, must file with the department an application for a certificate of registration for each place of business, showing the names of the persons who have interests in such business and their residences, the address of the business, and such other data as the department may reasonably require. However, owners and operators of vending machines or newspaper rack machines are required to obtain only one certificate of registration for each county in which such machines are located. The department, by rule, may authorize a dealer that uses independent sellers to sell its merchandise to remit tax on the retail sales price charged to the ultimate consumer in lieu of having the independent seller register as a dealer and remit the tax. The department may appoint the county tax collector as the department’s agent to accept applications for registrations. The application must be made to the department before the person, firm, copartnership, or corporation may engage in such business, and it must be accompanied by a registration fee of $5. However, a registration fee is not required to accompany an application to engage in or conduct business to make mail order sales. The department may waive the registration fee for applications submitted through the department’s Internet registration process.
(b) The department, upon receipt of such application, will grant to the applicant a separate certificate of registration for each place of business, which certificate may be canceled by the department or its designated assistants for any failure by the certificateholder to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter. The certificate is not assignable and is valid only for the person, firm, copartnership, or corporation to which issued. The certificate must be placed in a conspicuous place in the business or businesses for which it is issued and must be displayed at all times. Except as provided in this subsection, no person shall engage in business as a dealer or in leasing, renting, or letting of or granting licenses in living quarters or sleeping or housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses, roominghouses, tourist or trailer camps, or real property as hereinbefore defined, nor shall any person sell or receive anything of value by way of admissions, without first having obtained such a certificate or after such certificate has been canceled; no person shall receive any license from any authority within the state to engage in any such business without first having obtained such a certificate or after such certificate has been canceled. The engaging in the business of selling or leasing tangible personal property or services or as a dealer, as defined in this chapter, or the engaging in leasing, renting, or letting of or granting licenses in living quarters or sleeping or housekeeping accommodations in hotels, apartment houses, roominghouses, or tourist or trailer camps that are taxable under this chapter, or real property, or the engaging in the business of selling or receiving anything of value by way of admissions, without such certificate first being obtained or after such certificate has been canceled by the department, is prohibited. The failure or refusal of any person, firm, copartnership, or corporation to so qualify when required hereunder is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or subject to injunctive proceedings as provided by law. Such failure or refusal also subjects the offender to a $100 initial registration fee in lieu of the $5 registration fee authorized in paragraph (a). However, the department may waive the increase in the registration fee if it is determined by the department that the failure to register was due to reasonable cause and not to willful negligence, willful neglect, or fraud.
(c) In addition to the certificate of registration, the department shall provide to each newly registered dealer an initial resale certificate that will be valid for the remainder of the period of issuance. The department shall provide each active dealer with an annual resale certificate. 1For purposes of this section, “active dealer” means a person who is currently registered with the department and who is required to file at least once during each applicable reporting period.
(d) The department may revoke any dealer’s certificate of registration when the dealer fails to comply with this chapter. Prior to revocation of a dealer’s certificate of registration, the department must schedule an informal conference at which the dealer may present evidence regarding the department’s intended revocation or enter into a compliance agreement with the department. The department must notify the dealer of its intended action and the time, place, and date of the scheduled informal conference by written notification sent by United States mail to the dealer’s last known address of record furnished by the dealer on a form prescribed by the department. The dealer is required to attend the informal conference and present evidence refuting the department’s intended revocation or enter into a compliance agreement with the department which resolves the dealer’s failure to comply with this chapter. The department shall issue an administrative complaint under s. 120.60 if the dealer fails to attend the department’s informal conference, fails to enter into a compliance agreement with the department resolving the dealer’s noncompliance with this chapter, or fails to comply with the executed compliance agreement.
(e) As used in this paragraph, the term “exhibitor” means a person who enters into an agreement authorizing the display of tangible personal property or services at a convention or a trade show. The following provisions apply to the registration of exhibitors as dealers under this chapter:
1. An exhibitor whose agreement prohibits the sale of tangible personal property or services subject to the tax imposed in this chapter is not required to register as a dealer.
2. An exhibitor whose agreement provides for the sale at wholesale only of tangible personal property or services subject to the tax imposed in this chapter must obtain a resale certificate from the purchasing dealer but is not required to register as a dealer.
3. An exhibitor whose agreement authorizes the retail sale of tangible personal property or services subject to the tax imposed in this chapter must register as a dealer and collect the tax imposed under this chapter on such sales.
4. Any exhibitor who makes a mail order sale pursuant to s. 212.0596 must register as a dealer.
Any person who conducts a convention or a trade show must make their exhibitor’s agreements available to the department for inspection and copying.
(4) The department is hereby given the authority to purchase such supplies and equipment as may be necessary and incur any other necessary expenses as are proper for the enforcement and administration of this chapter.
History.—s. 18, ch. 26319, 1949; s. 9, ch. 61-276; s. 7, ch. 63-253; s. 13, ch. 65-329; s. 5, ch. 65-371; s. 2, ch. 65-420; s. 15, ch. 67-180; ss. 21, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 128, ch. 71-136; s. 5, ch. 78-59; s. 54, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 82-75; s. 74, ch. 83-217; s. 79, ch. 86-152; ss. 21, 92, ch. 87-6; s. 60, ch. 87-101; s. 10, ch. 87-402; s. 76, ch. 88-130; s. 43, ch. 89-356; s. 33, ch. 90-203; s. 241, ch. 91-224; s. 20, ch. 92-320; s. 9, ch. 94-314; s. 12, ch. 94-353; s. 1501, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 96-299; s. 27, ch. 97-99; s. 7, ch. 98-140; s. 6, ch. 98-142; s. 21, ch. 98-200; s. 19, ch. 99-208; s. 4, ch. 99-239; s. 1, ch. 2000-206; s. 29, ch. 2002-218.
1Note.—As enacted by s. 19, ch. 99-208. As enacted by s. 4, ch. 99-239, this sentence reads: “As used in this section, the term ‘active dealer’ means a person who is currently registered with the department and who complies with the requirement to file at least once during each applicable reporting period.”