Important Information Concerning the 2017 Tax Bills

Tourist Development Taxes

The tourist development tax is a 5% charge on the revenue collected on the rental of living quarters or accommodations that are rented for a period of six months or less. This is in addition to the state sales tax due to the Department of Revenue of 7%. This is under the authority of Florida Statute 125 and County Ordinance 2017-007.

What is Taxable? Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 12A-1.061 stipulates that the collection and remittance of the 5% local option Tourist Development Tax applies to rental charges or room rates defined as the total consideration received. If a charge is required to be paid as a condition of the use or possession of an accommodation, then the charge is subject to tax, regardless of whether or not the charge is separately stated on the invoice. Such charges, even if paid to third parties, include but are not limited to cleaning fees, resort fees, In-room safe charges, refrigerator, rollaway, cribs, etc.

Who is responsible for collecting this tax? All owners and/or operators of the above mentioned facilities are subject to tourist taxes and must collect these taxes from their tenants or guests and remit them to the Charlotte County Tax Collector. In order to collect tourist tax, a registration form must be completed and returned to the tax collector's office. An application must also be obtained from the Florida Department of Revenue for the collection of state sales tax. The Department of Revenue can be contacted at 1-800-352-3671. Both forms can be obtained in the Tourist Development Forms section.

When are these taxes to be remitted? These taxes are to be remitted to the County Tax Collector's Office monthly. They are due by the 20th day of the month following the collection from your tenant or guest. They are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th. Two exceptions to this reporting schedule exist. They are:

  • Semi-Annually:
    October through March are to be reported on the March report
    April through September are to be reported on the September report
  • Quarterly:
    January, February, and March are to be reported on the March report
    April, May, and June are to be reported on the June report
    July, August, and September are to be reported on the September report
    October, November, and December are to be reported on the December report

What do you receive for collecting the tax? To compensate owners and operators for the collection of taxes from their tenants and guests, the owners/operators are entitled to keep an allowance of 2.5% of the first $1,200 of the tax due (up to a maximum of $30) provided the tax is filed online via Tourist Express. If the tax is filed in person, no allowance will apply

What are the penalties for delinquency or non-compliance? If the return and payment are not postmarked by the 20th of the month following the reporting period, the collection allowance is forfeited.In addition, penalty and interest are assessed. The penalty is 10% of the tax due for each month or fraction of a month that the return is delinquent. The penalty is a minimum of $50, up to a maximum of 50% of the tax due. The interest rate is accumulated monthly and is variable. You will need to contact our office for instructions. The charge for a returned check is $20, or 5% of the face amount of the check, whichever is greater. Fraud will be dealt with severely in accordance with the provisions and to the fullest extent of Florida Law.

Are there exemptions? Anyone who has entered into a bona fide written lease in excess of six months is exempt from sales tax and tourist development tax on the lease payments. Anyone exempt from paying state sales tax by the Department of Revenue is also exempt from the tourist development tax. If there is no written lease, the owner is required to collect and remit state sales tax and tourist tax for the first six months. The seventh month and every month thereafter will be exempt as long as it is the same renter at the address.

What records must be kept? All records that substantiate transient rentals including guest checks, general ledgers, sales tax payments, Federal income tax returns, etc. All tourist development tax records must be kept and maintained for three years and made available for audit at the place of business. Any records located outside the county must be returned to the audit site prior to the audit.

What is the audit procedure? The Charlotte County Tax Collector will send written notification at least 30 days prior to any audit. In addition, the assigned auditor will telephone to confirm the audit three working days in advanced.

If you have any additional questions please call (941)743-1350.
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