The Tourist Development Tax is in addition to the total rental amount received from any person who rents, leases, or lets for consideration any living quarter or sleeping or housekeeping accommodation in any hotel, motel, apartment house, multiple unit structure (e.g., duplex, triplex, quadraplex, condominium), rooming house, tourist or mobile home court (e.g., trailer court, motor court, recreational vehicle camp, single family dwelling, garage apartments, beach house or cottage, cooperatively owned apartment, condominium parcel, time share resort, mobile home, or any other house, boat that has a permanent fixed location at a dock and is not operated on the waterway away from the dock by the tenant, (e.g., houseboat permanently moored at a dock, but not including cruise liners used in their normal course of business), vehicle, or other structure, place, or location held out to the public to be a place where living quarters or sleeping or housekeeping accommodations are provided to guest for a period of six months or less. The person receiving the rent is responsible for remitting the taxes to the proper taxing authorities.
If you accept any form of compensation in lieu of rent, the tax would be based upon the fair market value of the compensation. According to Florida Statute Chapter 125.0104, the renting of such property is a privilege, which is subject to taxation, and the requirements and conditions of that taxation are set forth by the State of Florida, as well as various county governments within the state.
Any separately stated mandatory charges to the guests are considered part of the total consideration to rent the transient accommodation and therefore taxable. Separate charges may include but are not limited to processing fees, cleaning fees, departure charges, in-room safe fees, cribs, rollaways, refrigerators, microwaves, etc.
Credit card fees
A seller or lessor may not impose a surcharge on the buyer or lessee for using a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller or lessor accepts payment by credit card. A surcharge is any additional amount imposed at the time of a sale or lease transaction by the seller or lessor that increases the charge to the buyer or lessee for the privilege of using a credit card to make payment. [F.S. Chapter 501.0117 (1)].
The prepayment of rents or advance rents received must be reported in the month when received because taxes are considered state and county funds from the moment of collection and must be remitted to the taxing authorities without delay.
A reservation deposit that is required to be paid in advance to secure the guest the right to rent is reported when applied to the rental at check-in.
Forfeited room deposits that guarantee the guest the use or possession of a short-term rental (six months or less) are taxable.
It is the duty of each operator of a transient (short-term) establishment to maintain at all times a register, signed by or for guests who occupy rental units within the establishment, showing the dates upon which the rental units were occupied by such guests and the rates charged for their occupancy. This register shall be maintained in chronological order and available for inspection upon request. (F.S. Chapter 509.101(2).
If you accept "reservation vouchers," the amount of the reservation deposit, prepayment, or fee paid to the seller of the voucher, is a part of the room rate or rental charge. Therefore, you as owner of the transient accommodation are required to collect and remit the taxes on the total room rate or rental charge, including any amounts separately stated on the redeemed voucher as a reservation deposit, prepayment, or fee.
You may execute a written agreement with the seller of the reservation voucher as the party responsible to collect and remit the taxes on the portion of the room rate or rental charge collected by the seller of the voucher. The amount of the rental charge or room rate collected by the seller of the voucher must be indicated, and the tax must be separately stated, on the reservation voucher. The vouchers and any written agreements must be kept and are subject to review during an audit.