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11. Understanding the US the taxation system

The US taxation system is a complex one and completely different than that in the UK. The US Taxation system involves payments to at least four different levels of government: local, regional, state and federal. Florida is one of only 7 states that does not levy a personal income tax.

One benefit for the British looking to buy in the USA, is the Double Taxation Treaty between the US and the UK, which prevents double payment of taxes. It is important that you talk to a tax specialist, to understand the tax implications for your own specific situation.

Florida ranks lower than many other US states in terms of the tax burden it imposes. More than half of its non-federal revenue is collected at local level, the majority being through property taxes, which approximates to about 1.5 per cent of a property's value per annum.

For those looking to buy for an income property, it is important to know  that in Florida, all rental income is subject to tax and  is charged on a sliding scale, currently 10 to 34 per cent, depending on the amount of income from renting. Florida currently does not have an intangible tax, meaning property such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc. will not be taxed.

If you are planning on not renting out your home, you may not need to complete a US tax return each year. If you have other types of US income such as interest, dividends, or are claiming a refund for tax withheld at source, you will be required to complete a US Tax return.

Sales and Use taxes provide over half of Florida revenue. Sales tax is applied to most retail items, except groceries, medications, car rentals, theatre tickets and most service. Florida current sales tax rate is currently 6%.

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