Who must collect the Tourist Tax
Any person or business that has accommodations to rent or lease for six months or less must collect both state sales tax and tourist development tax (12%) on the rent payment. This tax applies to hotels, motels, apartment buildings, single or multi-family dwellings, manufactured home parks, condominiums and vessels. The person receiving the rent is responsible for remitting the tax regardless of where the payment exchange takes place. If the tourist tax is not collected from the renter and remitted to the tax collector, the owner of the property shall be held personally liable to pay the tax and any applicable penalties and interest.
Tourist Tax Exemptions
Anyone who has entered into a "bona fide written lease" in excess of six months is exempt from sales tax and tourist development tax on the lease payments.
If there is no written agreement, the owner is required to collect and remit the state sales tax and tourist development tax for the first six months. The seventh month and every month thereafter will be exempt provided the same renter continues to reside at the same location.
Anyone who is exempt from paying state sales tax is also exempt from the tourist development tax. These exemptions include full-time students, active duty military personnel, churches and non-profit organizations that have a sales tax exemption number from the Florida Department of Revenue. Contact the Tax Collector’s Office for further information.
The tourist development tax is due to the Tax Collector’s Office by the 20th day of the month following the collection. If postmarked on the 21st day of the month or after, delinquent interest and penalties must be added. The reporting month is the month in which the rent is collected.
If you have no rental activity in a month or quarter, you must file a zero return form or send a completed Affidavit to Inactivate Tourist Development Account. For seasonal rentals, contact our office at Info@SarasotaTaxCollector.com or 941.861.8300, option 3 to determine the best way to set up your account.
If the return and payment are not postmarked by the 20th of the month following the reporting period, the collection allowance is forfeited and penalty and interest are assessed. The penalty is 10% of the tax due (minimum of $50) for each delinquent month or fraction of a month. The interest rate is variable. You will need to contact our office at Info@SarasotaTaxCollector.com or 941.861.8300, option 3 for instructions. In order to determine if the tax is timely, the Postal Service postmark is used, NOT the date generated by a business postage meter.
If you are a rental agent for a property owner, you are liable to collect and remit the tourist tax and state sales tax. If you collect rent and/or taxes and send the money to the owner who does not remit it properly, you may be held liable for the amount due plus penalty and interest.
Other Requirements or Considerations for Owners of Rental Properties