You should know that: If you are a LANDLORD and are in “the short-term rental business” (that is, renting out a home or condo for “less than six months”), that you are required by law to collect from your Tenant and pay to the State of Florida and to Pinellas County an additional total of 12% of the rental amount in sales taxes (to increase to 13% effective Jan, 1st, 2016)… Just like the hotels or motel do…
SIMILARLY, if you are a Tenant and your rental agreement is for less than six months, that you are supposed to pay the taxes (total of 12%, to increase to 13% effective Jan, 1st, 2016) to the owner or the owner’s representative of the rental property, just as you would if you were staying in a hotel or motel.
The breakdown is 7% to The State of Florida (Department of Revenue) and another 5% to Pinellas County for their “Tourist Development” Tax (NOTE: the County amount will increase to 6% beginning January of 2016).
You can click the following link and be taken to an online copy of the Fla Statute commonly known as the “Local Option Tourist Development Act” .
For you LANDLORDS who want to know where to sign up: the next link enables you to download the form for Pinellas County: Application for an Individual Tourist Development Tax Number or Application for a Business Tourist Development Tax Number. The signed application may be faxed, sent by postal mail or scanned and emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The mailing address is on the bottom of the application. The mailing address is:
Diane Nelson, CFC,
Pinellas County Tax Collector
PO Box 4007
Seminole, FL 33775-4007
SO, now that you are “in the business” and are all set up to pay the sales tax and files the return, how often do you have to file the return and what do you do if months go by and you do not rent the property? Read this taken from the County Tax Collectors web-site:
“You have the option of filing returns on a monthly or quarterly basis. Monthly filing is applicable for rentals that are available throughout the year. Tax returns are required to be filed every month. A quarterly filing requires tax returns to be filed four times a year; however the total tax paid for the quarter cannot exceed $300.00. Please note, even if you do not have any rentals during the month or quarter, a zero tax return must be submitted timely to avoid a late filing charge.
In all cases, taxes are due the 1st of the month following the rental period regardless of rentals, and are considered delinquent after the 20th of the month. Payments are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th of the following month. For example, a January tax return must be postmarked by February 20 to be considered timely. If postmarked after February 20, the tax return will be considered delinquent and subject to penalties and interest.