Frequently Asked Tourist Development Tax Questions

What is the tourist development tax?

The tourist development tax is a 6%* 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. These taxes are regulated by State Law (Florida Statute 125.0104), which requires that the monies “shall be placed in the county tourist development trust fund of the respective county, which shall be established by the county. In Pinellas County, the Board of County Commissioners determines the distribution of revenue from the tourist development tax. One of the primary recipients of the revenue is the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which works to promote and advertise tourism for Pinellas County. *Please note any rent collected prior to December 31, 2015, is at a tax rate of 5%.

Are there any other taxes and/or fees?

In addition to the 6% tourist development tax collected by the Tax Collector,  there is a 7% sales and use tax collected by the Florida Department of Revenue for a total of 13%** tax.  Customers may want to check with local authorities in the city in which the rental property is located for any additional licensing requirements.  **Please note any rent collected prior to December 31, 2015, is subject to 5% tourist development tax plus 7% sales and use tax for a total of 12% tax.

Who is required to pay?

Any renter who resides for a period of six months or less in a facility located in Pinellas County must pay the taxes to the owner or the owner’s representative of the rental property.

How do I sign up?

By completing an 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: touristtax@taxcollect.com. The mailing address is on the bottom of the application. The mailing address is: Charles W. Thomas, CFC
Pinellas County Tax Collector
P.O. Box 6440
Clearwater, FL 33758-6440The fax number is (727) 453-3193. Your account will be set up by our tourist development department, and you will be contacted by our office to verify all information regarding your account.

How often do I have to file a return?

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.

What is a collection allowance?

Taxpayers who file their tax return timely and pay online are entitled to a collection allowance. The collection allowance is 2.5% of the tax collected with a maximum of $30.00 which may be retained by the taxpayer. If you would like to file and pay online, please contact us by phone (727) 464-5007, or email us at touristtax@taxcollect.com.

Are any renters exempt from the tax?

Anyone who is exempt from paying state sales tax will also be exempt from paying the tourist development tax. Some exempt classifications include full-time students, active duty military personnel, churches and non-profit organizations that have a certificate of exemption issued by the Florida Department of Revenue. Please contact our office for additional information regarding exempt rentals.

What if I have a long-term renter? Do I still have to pay?

Renters who have signed a bona fide written lease in excess of six (6) months are exempt from the tax. A lease must meet the criteria of the Florida Department of Revenue, Rule 12A-1.061(17) to be considered bona fide. Renters who have paid the Tourist Development Tax for the first six months (without a lease) will become exempt in the seventh month and remain exempt as long as they reside at the same location, based on continuous residency.

If I rent to a resident of Florida or to a Pinellas County resident, do I have to collect the tourist development tax from them since they are not transients?

Yes, this tax is applicable to all guests who rent an accommodation for six (6) months or less, whether or not they are residents of Florida or Pinellas County.

I only rent my property out for three months of the year to the same couple, do I have to charge them tax?

Yes, you would need to charge the tax and remit the tourist development tax to our office.

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 register with our office to collect and remit the tax, based on the amount of rent received, or upon the fair market value of the compensation received in lieu of rent.

A rental agent always handles my rental property. Do I need to apply for a tourist development tax account and submit monthly tax returns?

The rental agent should have their own account number to report their rental properties on a consolidated tax return in order to remit the taxes. However, you should be aware that as the property owner you are ultimately responsible for the required tax to be paid in case the rental agent fails to do so.

If I use a rental agent but also rent periodically on my own, must I have my own account number or can I give the taxes to my realtor to add to their tax return?

Yes, you are required to register with our office to collect and remit the tax collected by you. You cannot give the tax monies you collected to a third party to remit on your behalf. The tax dollars you collect belong to the taxing authorities at the moment of collection. You serve as the trustee or custodian of these funds until you remit them directly to the state and county.