Tourism in Florida has become an industry in itself. That is why a Tourism tax is being levied on all business owners taking part in it. This article presents readers with a basic explanation of how the tourist tax works in the sunshine state.
The Tourist Tax
Under the law, it is stated that any business or individual that is offering to lease or rent accommodations is required to collect tourist development taxes (12%) and sales taxes from the rent payment. This tax covers motels, hotels, condominiums, apartment buildings as well as single and multi-family dwellings, not to mention manufactured home parks and vessels.
The party that receives the rent payments is put in charge of remitting the taxes. Keep in mind that if you did not collect the tourist tax or if you failed to remit the amount to the tax collector, then you will be held personally responsible. You may be asked to pay the tax on top of the penalties and interest you might have incurred.
Exemptions on Tourist Tax
There are instances that property owners and landlords can be exempted from the tourist tax. However, these can only happen under particular circumstances. Here are a few situations wherein the tax can be waived.
The first instance is when the business/individual has entered into a bona fide written lease agreement lasting for a period of more than six months, and then the business is effectively made exempt from the collection of both sales and tourist development taxes during the period covered by the lease payments.
It is also worth noting that if there is no written agreement, then the owner will still be required to collect and remit the necessary taxes for the period of six months. However, upon the seventh month, the owner will then be exempted from. This will be true for the subsequent months, granted that the same renter is still occupying the location.
On top of this, according to state laws, all businesses and individuals who were deemed exempt from paying state sales tax are also automatically excused from paying the tourist development tax. There are a number of people and institutions that fall under this list. For instance, full-time students and active duty military personnel are not required to pay these taxes, the same is true with religious institutions and churches as well as some non-profit organizations.
Due Dates and Delinquent Fees
One of the most important things you must keep in mind with taxes is their deadline. You simply cannot be late as you will incur delinquent fees. This usually amounts to 10% of the tax due with a minimum of $50. As time goes by, the interest will mount, so pay it quickly.
All of that being said, remember that the deadline is always on the 20th of the month. This doesn’t change so you should have no trouble remembering to remit those taxes.
This article should serve as a basic guide to Florida Tourist taxes. Always keep it in mind.