Tourist Development Tax
What is Tourist Development Tax?
The Tourist Development Tax is a 6% tax on the total rental amount collected from any person or other party who rents, leases, or lets for consideration living quarters or accommodation in hotels, apartment hotels, motels, resort motels, apartments, apartment motels, rooming houses, tourist or trailer camps, vessels, or condominiums for a period of 6 months or less.
According to Florida Law (F.S. 125.0104), the renting of such property is a privilege, which is subject to taxation. The requirements and conditions of that taxation are set forth by the State of Florida, as well as various County Governments within the State.
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 monies “shall be placed in the county tourist development trust fund of the respective county, which shall be established by the county.” Tourist Development Tax Dollars are reinvested into the local economy through the promotion of Hillsborough County as a tourism and convention destination, as well as helping to provide tourism/sports facilities.
Hillsborough County’s Tourist Development Council works in partnership with Tampa Bay & Company, the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Hotel and Motel Association, Visit Florida, local governments and professional associations representing the destination, entertainment, and cultural venues to promote tourism throughout Hillsborough County.
Tourist Development Non-Inclusive Charges
Per Chapter 12A-1.061, Florida Administrative Code, the following is a non-inclusive list of charges separately itemized on a guest’s or tenant’s bill, invoice, or other tangible evidence of sale that are NOT rental charges or room rates for transient accommodations:
Charges for communications services.
Meals and beverages, whether served in the guest’s or tenant’s accommodation or served at a restaurant, and charged to the guest’s accommodation bill.
Food, drinks, and other items, such as combs, shampoo, playing cards, aspirin, or similar items purchased through a device (refrigerator) located within a guest’s or tenant’s accommodation.
Charges for the use of safes or safety deposit boxes located at an establishment’s registration desk.
Charges, fines, or damage fees for lost or damaged items, such as room keys, towels, linens, dishes, silverware, or other similar items.
Charges for admissions, such as golf, tennis, or cultural events, billed to a guest’s or tenant’s accommodation bill.
Charges for transportation services.
Laundry services charged to a guest’s or tenant’s accommodation bill.
Valet service charged to a guest’s or tenant’s accommodation bill.
Merchandise packaging or delivery service charged to a guest’s or tenant’s accommodation bill, such as flower delivery services or charges for packaging and delivering items for shipment under the direction of the guest or tenant.
Charges for areas that are not used as transient accommodations, such as sample and display rooms, auditoriums, office space, or garage space.
Tourist Development Tax Requirements
In October 1991, Hillsborough County Ordinance 91-22 was passed and the Hillsborough County Tax Collector became responsible for the local administration and collection of the Tourist Development Tax. Transient accommodations are short-term rental of living accommodations, six months or less.
The Tourist Development Tax rate is currently set at 6%. It is an add-on tax, like the state sales tax, and is collected from the tenant at the time rent or accommodation charges are collected.
The owners of the listed properties, as well as applicable property managers, any person who collects consideration, or operators of such facilities, are responsible for collecting the tax from their tenants and remitting this tax to the Hillsborough County Tax Collector.
Tourist Development Taxes are payable monthly, with payments due on the first of the month following collection from tenants, and are considered delinquent if not paid or postmarked by the 20th of the month.
If you are a property owner who rents or leases transient accommodations, you should also make sure you are in compliance with the following requirements: State Sales Tax Requirement: For more information, contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 6302 E Martin Luther King Blvd, Suite 100 Tampa, FL 33619-1166. Contact telephone (813) 744-6344; website http://dor.myflorida.com/dor
Hotel & Restaurant Licensure Requirement: Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants. For more information, see the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 1940 North Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32399; tel. (850) 487-1395; website www.myfloridalicense.com
County Local Business Tax Receipt Requirement. Click here for more information about Local Business Tax Receipts.
Tourist Development Exemptions
Federal Government Workers
If you are an employee of the federal government and are traveling in an official capacity, you are entitled to take an exemption if you present either (1) a copy of your official federal government travel orders or (2) you provide a sworn written statement affirming that the United States government will pay the hotel bill directly or will be reimbursing you for the hotel charges. You may obtain the appropriate exemption form from the hotel. The hotel must retain a copy of the completed form as proof that you are exempt. Federal Employee Exemption Form. See rules 12a-1.061(14), 12a-1.038(4).
Florida State Government Workers
If you are an employee of Florida state government, its departments and institutions, and its political subdivisions, and you are traveling in an official capacity, you are entitled to an exemption only of the hotel charges that are billed directly to and paid by your respective agency, but not if the traveler is reimbursed for the expense. See rules 12a-1.061(13), 12a-1.038(4).
If you are a foreign diplomat we can accept only the white plastic sales tax exemption card with the animal image representing your level of exemption. The exemption card is issued to you by the U.S. Department of State and exempts you from the Florida tax on occupancy. See rule 12a-1.0015(4). For questions regarding the level of exemption, please contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions at (305) 442-4943.
United States Armed Forces Personnel
If you are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces and are traveling pursuant to federal government travel orders, you may receive a tax exemption by completing a sworn statement to that effect and presenting a copy of the orders to the hotel. See rule 12a-1.061(12). You may obtain the appropriate form from the hotel. The hotel must retain the completed form as proof that you are exempt. Military Exemption Form.
Students enrolled in an institution offering post-secondary education, who reside in transient accommodations, are exempt. A “full-time student” is one taking a total number of hours or courses considered by the educational institution to constitute full-time enrollment. A written declaration of an appropriate official from the educational institution declaring the student is a full-time student is considered proof. Full-time Student Exemption Form.
Exemption for Continuous Residence
Any person who has continuously resided at the same location for a period longer than 6 months and has paid the tax for the first 6 months is exempt from the tax after this period as long as the person continues to reside at the same accommodation. Once the person moves the exemption no longer applies. On the county tax return, you would only include the rents for the first six months, which are taxable and starting in the seventh month omit their rents from the county tax return entirely since in the seventh month they would no longer be considered a short-term rental.
Bona Fide Written Lease
Any person who rents over 6 months with a bona fide written lease is exempt from the tax and should not be included on the county tax return because only short-term rentals are required to be reported to the county. The state, on the other hand, requires a reporting of both long-term rentals and short-term rentals on their tax return.
Employees of federally chartered credit unions are federal employees. Federal credit unions are immune from tax. Section 213-12(2), F.S. extends this same immunity to state-chartered credit unions.
Religious, charitable, educational, veterans or scientific organizations, federal or state-chartered credit unions,* Florida Retired Educators Association or local chapters thereof, or organizations that provide special educational and social benefits to minors:
If you are an employee of a religious, charitable, educational, veterans or scientific organization, federal or state chartered credit union, Florida Retired Educators Association or local chapter thereof, or an organization that provides special educational and social benefits to minors, you may receive a tax exemption if (1) your organization holds a consumer’s certificate of exemption issued by the Florida Department of Revenue and (2) the hotel charges are paid directly by your organization. An exemption will not be granted if you personally pay with cash, check, or credit card for which you will be reimbursed. In order to obtain your exemption, you should produce either a copy of your consumer’s certificate of exemption or some other document that displays your exemption number. The hotel must retain a copy of the certificate and proof of payment. See rules 12a-1.061(14), 12a-1.038(3).