Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Are there other taxes I must collect on my rentals?
Answer: Yes. In addition to the Tourist Development Tax, you must collect and remit state sales tax (currently 6%) and local sales tax (currently 1%) to the Florida Department of Revenue. The total tax to charge your guests is currently 11%. You may register online with the Florida Department of Revenue at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/eservices/.
Question: I manage my own rental property, but I reside in another county or state and none of the money for my rentals changes hands in Walton County. Are my rentals still subject to these taxes?
Answer: Yes, they are. Taxability is based upon the location of the rental property, not the location of the financial transaction.
Question: I rent my property on the Internet. I have heard that Internet sales are not taxable.
Answer: While there may be circumstances where sales of personal property via the Internet are not subject to tax, the Florida Statutes are very clear that all rentals of accommodations in the State of Florida are subject to applicable taxes.
Question: All of my rentals are handled by a property management company. What are my Tourist Development Tax responsibilities?
Answer: If your property management company is collecting and remitting tax for all of your property’s rentals under their Tourist Development Tax ID number, you are not required to file your own returns (although you may still need to register with the Florida Department of Revenue). However, if you personally collect rental revenue or any other form of compensation from any of your guests, you must collect and remit the taxes for those stays. Also, please be aware that, under Florida law, property owners are ultimately responsible for sales taxes if a property manager defaults or fails to collect or remit the tax.
Question: My property is used by friends and relatives at times during the year. Am I required to collect the Tourist Development Tax from them?
Answer: If you collect rent from them, or accept any other compensation in lieu of rent, you are required to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax based upon the rent paid or upon the fair market value of the compensation received. If compensation is not received nor expected from your friends or relatives, you should be sure to document that in your records in case of audit.
Question: My guests must pay a cleaning fee in addition to their rent. Is the cleaning fee taxable?
Answer: Anything that the guest is required to pay as a condition of occupying the property is subject to the Tourist Development Tax. Common examples include (but are not limited to) cleaning fees, reservation/processing fees, amenities fees, and nonrefundable pet deposits. The primary exception is refundable damage deposits. In addition, if you provide extra furnishings upon request for an additional fee (i.e. cribs, roll-away beds, etc.), that charge is also subject to the Tourist Development Tax.
Question: I have rental property in other counties in Florida. How do I determine if my other rentals are subject to a Tourist Development Tax, and if so, who do I contact?
Answer: Most Florida counties do impose a Tourist Development Tax on transient rentals. The counties that self-administer the tax belong to the Florida Tourist Development Tax Association, Inc. (FTDTA). You may visit the directory on the FTDTA’s website at http://www.ftdta.org/regions/regions.html. If no contacts are listed for the county your property is in, please check with the Florida Department of Revenue as they collect the Tourist Development Tax for many of the smaller counties.
Question: I have been renting for some time now, but was not aware of my responsibility to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax. I’d like to begin complying, but I am afraid that I have a large tax liability.
Answer: Depending on the circumstances, there are several ways that a rental owner or manager making a voluntary disclosure of a tax liability can minimize their past amount due. Please be assured that we will work with you in order to bring your property into compliance.