Tourist development tax, also known as “resort tax” or “bed tax”, is a local option transient rental tax collected by Volusia County. Every person who rents, leases or lets for consideration any living quarters or accommodations in any house, hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, rooming house, mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, watercraft, or condominium for a term of 6 months or less is exercising a privilege which is subject to taxation. The tourist development tax has been assessed in Volusia County since May 1978.
If you rent a bed, room, apartment, house, condo, hotel, motel, recreational vehicle, watercraft, etc. for less than 6 months and one day, you are responsible for collecting and remitting this tax.
What laws govern or regulate the Tourist Development Tax?
Chapters 125 and 212 of the Florida Statutes, Department of Revenue Rules and Regulations 12A-1 through 12-21 and the Volusia County Ordinance Article II, Section 114 provide the guidelines for administering, regulating and governing these taxes.
What is required to register for a Tourist Tax account?
You must register with the Florida Department of Revenue for a Sales Tax Number before applying for a Volusia County Tourist Tax account. You can contact the local DOR office at (386) 274-6600, or by visiting http://dor.myflorida.com/taxes to register.
If the rental is located in the unincorporated area of the county, and is not a single family residence or condominium you own, then a business tax receipt is required. Please register for a business tax receipt at volusia.org/BTR
Do I have to register with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation?
All transient rental types are required to be registered with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR). Lodging licenses are regulated by the division of Hotels and Restaurants. To find out if you need a DBPR license, or for more information, visit http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/services-requiring-a-dbpr-license/
Who collects the tax? Doesn't my rental agency/online platform collect and remit it?
The property owner, or their agent collects and remits the tax to the County of Volusia. You are responsible for collecting a total of 12.5% tax; 6% is remitted to the County of Volusia Tourist Development Tax office. The additional 6.5% is remitted to the Florida Department of Revenue. Please make sure that your rental agent/company is collecting and remitting the tax. HomeAway.com, Inc., which includes HomeAway, VRBO, and Vacationrentals.com, will begin collecting this tax on your behalf on 1/1/2020. Airbnb will begin on 2/1/2020. Both companies collect and remit the state portion. No other online platform currently remits the tax on your behalf to Volusia County, however some will collect and remit to the state. You will need to verify with them for the state portion. When using those agents, you will need to collect and remit the taxes to the county.
Are fees for services taxable?
All fees that are mandatory and required for the stay are taxable. This means if the service is provided and required for the stay then you must collect tax. This includes all cleaning fees, resort fee, administrative fees, etc.
How often are these taxes remitted to the County of Volusia?
A tax return must be remitted or postmarked on or before the 20th of the month following the month of collection. If the 20th falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date will be extended to the next working day. Payments not postmarked by the 20th of the following month are considered delinquent and incur a penalty. If the sales tax collected annually is less than $1000.00 you can choose to file returns quarterly. Quarterly returns are filed once per quarter. The dates are as follows: Jan-Mar due by April 20th, Apr-Jun due by July 20th, Jul-Sep due by October 20th, and Oct-Dec due by January 20th.
Are penalties and interest assessed for filing a late return or not filing a return at all?
Yes. Pursuant to Florida Statute 212.12, penalties are imposed for either filing late, non-filing, or not paying in full. Penalties are assessed at the rate of 10% or $50 whichever is greater, with a minimum of $50. Interest is determined by ‘market interest rate’ adjusted at six-month intervals (January 1 and July 1). Rates can be obtained via the web at www.myflorida.com/dor/taxes. Interest is assessed from the date the return is due until payment is remitted. The post office postmark, not a postage meter date, is considered the payment date.
If my account is active for 12 months of the year and I only rent January through March and June through August, must I file a return for the other months?
Yes, you must file a monthly zero return on or before the 20th of the following month even if there are no taxable rentals. However, if you know in advance that you will not be renting the other months, you can request in writing that the filing status be changed to "Unexpected" for those months.
Are owners or their agents compensated for collecting and remitting the tax?
Due to a change in Florida Statute 212.12, effective July 1, 2012, you may only deduct a collection allowance when tax returns are both filed and paid electronically. Owners or their agents who file and pay electronically are allowed a collection allowance of 2.5% of the tax collected with a maximum allowance of $30 if the tax return is filed timely. If you would like to take advantage of the collection allowance and have an active account, please register on TouristExpress at: https://volusia.county-taxes.com/tourist. Once registered, you can file, pay and manage your returns online.
What records must be kept?
Any business or individual 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 three years and made available for audit at the place of business.
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 be exempt in the seventh month and remain exempt as long as they reside at the same location. A refund will not be issued for the first six months of tax already paid. Anyone who holds a State of Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate will also be exempt from paying the tax with proof of direct payment. Please maintain a copy of the signed lease, or the State of Florida Sales Tax Exemption Certificate along with the proof of direct payment for three years. These items will be verified if audited.
If 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 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.
If a rental agent handles the collection and remittance of the tourist development tax, what is my responsibility?
Your monthly taxes may be paid through a rental agent, but as the owner of the property, you are ultimately responsible for the required tax to be paid if the rental agent fails to do so.
If I rent my property, what else am I required to do?
In addition to collecting and remitting the 6% tourist development tax, you are also required to collect and remit the 6.5% state sales tax.
You may also be required to pay a tangible personal property tax on the value of the rental furnishings. Questions concerning the tangible tax should be directed to the property appraiser’s office at 386-254-4621.
If I sell or no longer rent my property, what is my responsibility?
If you have sold, or no longer rent your property you are responsible for notifying, in writing, the Volusia County Revenue Division, Property Appraiser’s Office, and Florida Department of Revenue immediately.
What is Tourist Express?
Tourist Express is an online filing and payment system for tourist/convention development tax. To access this convenient tool, please register at: https://volusia.county-taxes.com/tourist. Once registered you will be able to track and manage your account information, file a return, and pay your tourist/convention development tax online through a secure website. Online payments can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) or by using an E-check. A fee is added for payment with a credit card or E-check. Please see our website for details on the fees.