Florida – Dietary Supplements Are Exempt as Food Products

1/28/2013

SALT Report 2082 – The Florida Department of Revenue issued a technical advisory regarding a Taxpayer’s sales of dietary supplements. The supplements are used primarily for weight loss as they help burn fat, reduce the appetite, and increase energy. The product’s active ingredients are caffeine, decaffeinated green tea extract, ashwagandha root extract and chromium, which are essential for protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. The product is sold in capsule form and is labeled as a “dietary supplement.”

The Taxpayer requested guidance as to whether this product qualifies for the exemption in Section 212.08(1), F.S., for “food products” sold for human consumption.

In their decision the Department referred to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.  The DSHEA defines dietary supplements as “products taken by mouth that contain an ingredient intended to supplement the diet.”  The “dietary ingredients” in these products can be vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, amino acids, or enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and other metabolites.  Products that are included in the DSHEA are placed in a special “foods” category and are required to be labeled as dietary supplements.

As a result, products that are included in the DSHEA are added to the Nontaxable Medical and General Grocery List (DR-46NT).  This list states that dietary supplements, herbal supplements, and vitamin and mineral supplements are exempt products.  Based on the facts presented, the Department determined that the Taxpayer’s dietary supplement falls under the umbrella of the DSHEA and qualifies for the exemption from sales tax provided in Section 212.08(1), F.S., as a “food product.”

For Further Information:

Florida Department of Revenue – Technical Assistance Advisement No. 12A-030