Help for Tourist Development Tax
What is the Tourist Development Tax?
The tourist development tax is a 6% charge on the revenue from rentals of six months or less. This tax is in addition to the state sales tax of 7%. The state sales tax is sent to the Florida Department of Revenue. The 6% tourist development tax is sent to the Constitutional Palm Beach County Tax Collector.
Where does the money go?
The use of revenue collected from the Tourist Development Tax is regulated by State Law (F.S. 125.0104), which requires that the monies “shall be placed in the county tourist development trust fund of the respective county”.
Who must pay?
Any renter who resides for a period of six (6) months or less in a facility located in Palm Beach County.
How often are these taxes remitted?
These taxes are due on the 20th of the month following the month of collection. Payments are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th of the following month. For example your January Tax Return must be postmarked by February 20th to be considered timely.
What do owners and agents of these short-term facilities receive for collecting the tax from guests?
A collection allowance of 2.5% of the tax collected when the tax return is timely filed. There is a maximum collection allowance of $30. The collection allowance is compensation for keeping records, proper accounting and remitting the taxes on a timely basis.
Which renters are exempt from the tax?
Renters who have signed a bona fide written lease in excess of six (6) months are exempt from the tax. If there is no lease, renters who have paid the Tourist Development Tax for the first six months will become exempt in the seventh month and remain exempt as long as they reside at the same location. Anyone who is exempt from paying State Sales Tax will also be exempt from paying the Tourist Development Tax.
If I rent to a resident of Florida or to a Palm Beach County resident, do I have to collect the Tourist Development Tax from them since they are not transients?
Yes, this tax is applicable to all guests who rent an accommodation for six months or less, whether or not they are residents of Florida or Palm Beach County.
I allow friends and relatives to use my property during the year. Am I required to collect the Tourist Development Tax from them?
If you collect rent from them, or accept any other form of compensation in lieu of rent, you are required to register with our office to collect and remit the tax, based upon the amount of rent received, or upon the fair market value of the compensation received in lieu of rent.
A rental agent always handles my rental property. Do I need to apply for a Tourist Development Tax Account and submit monthly tax returns?
The rental agent should have their own account number to report their rental properties. However, you should be aware that as the property owner you are ultimately responsible for the required tax to be paid, in case the rental agent fails to do so.
Do I have to file a tax return even if I don’t owe any tax?
Yes, Florida law requires that a tax return must be filed for each collection period, even if no tax is due for that period. A late-filed tax return is subject to a minimum $50.00 penalty, even if no tax is due.
What remedies does the Constitutional Tax Collector have available if someone breaks the law and does not collect the Tourist Development Tax as required, or collects the Tax but does not remit it?
Among other statutory remedies, a warrant may be issued and filed in Palm Beach County Official Records, creating a lien against their Real and/or Personal Property in Palm Beach County.
What records must be kept?
Any business dealing in guest/tenant/transient accommodations is responsible for maintaining records such as guest checks, general ledgers, tax payments and federal income tax returns. All tourist development tax records must be kept for five years and made available for audit at the place of business.
If I rent my property, what else must I do?
In addition to collecting the 6% tourist tax and 7% state sales tax, an owner is required to pay Tangible Personal Property Taxes annually on the value of the rental furnishings. A return is filed each year with the Property Appraiser’s Office declaring the value of the furnishings and appliances. Any questions about filing a tangible tax return can be directed to the Property Appraiser’s Office at (561)355-2896. If a rental unit is available for rent for one month or less at a time, the owner is required to purchase a Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt from the Constitutional Tax Collector’s Office. The fee for the occupational license is $1.64 per sleeping room with a minimum of $27.50. If your property is located in the city limits, you may also need a city license. Contact your city hall for more information.
What if I sell or no longer rent the property?
If you sell or no longer rent property, please notify the Constitutional Tax Collector and the Property Appraiser at (561) 355-3230 immediately.