Attention Customers of Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and Others
Step 1. Create your TouristExpress Account Online
- Create a TouristExpress account online by visiting: https://alachua.county-taxes.com/tourist. Click the “Create an account” button.
- Fill out the New TouristExpress user Profile registration and click “submit registration.”
- The Tax Collector’s office will then confirm your tourist express user login. This will be completed by the Tax Collector’s office during normal business hours.
- Wait for a confirmation e-mail to continue your application process.
Step 1. How to Register for a Tourist Development Tax Account
Step 2. How to Pay Tourist Development Taxes
The Tourist Development Tax (also referred to as tourist tax, bed tax or resort tax) is a 5% charge on the revenue from rentals of six months or less. This tax applies to the short-term rental of any living quarters or accommodations in any hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, rooming house, tourist camp, trailer camp, condominium, room or home. The tourist development tax shall be charged by the person receiving the consideration for the lease or rental, and it shall be collected from the lessee, tenant, or customer at the time of payment.
This tax is in addition to the state sales tax (7% in Alachua County). The state sales tax (7%) is sent to the Florida Department of Revenue. The local Tourist Development Tax (5%) is remitted to the Alachua County Tax Collector.
Tourist tax is to be paid on the rent and other fees included in the rent such as: accidental damage insurance, cleaning fees, roll away bed fees, pet fees, and utility fees. If you have questions about what is taxable, contact us at (352) 264-6968.
How much is the Tax?
The tourist development tax is 5% of the net rental receipts.
Who is exempt?
- Any person who has entered into a bona fide written lease for longer than six (6) months in duration for continuous residence is exempt from this tax.
- Any person who has continuously resided for 6 months and has paid the tax imposed for this time shall become exempt on the seventh month and every month thereafter provided he or she continues to reside at the same location.
- Full-time students enrolled in an institution offering postsecondary education and military personnel currently on active duty who reside in the facilities described above shall be exempt from the tax.
- Rentals made for business purposes by governments or non-profit organizations may be exempt if certain conditions are met.
What revenues are subject to the Tourist Development Tax?
Taxable Room Revenue for Tourist Development Tax is any charge or surcharge to the guest as a condition to use the premises. According to F.A.C. 12A-1061(3), “Rental charges or room rates” means the total consideration received solely for the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any transient accommodation.
Rental charges or room rates include any charge or surcharge to guests or tenants for the use of items or services required to be paid by the guest or tenant as a condition of the use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any transient accommodation.
The following revenues are subject to the Tourist Development Tax:
- Room Revenue
- Roll-away Beds
- In-Room Safe Fees
- Pet Fees
- No-Show Fees
F.A.C. 12A-1.061(3)(h) Lists several exceptions. If any of your charges are listed in section (h) they are NOT subject to the Florida Tourist Development Tax. Charges are taxable if they are required as a condition to rent the room.
If you have questions about what is taxable, contact us at (352) 264-6927.
What documents are required to be kept by the dealer?
Federal Government Workers
If you are an employee of the federal government and are traveling in an official capacity, you are entitled to a tax 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 State 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. See F.A.C. 12A-1.038(4)(c).
Florida State Government Workers
If you are an employee of the State of Florida, its departments and institutions or 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 exempt agency, but not if the traveler is reimbursed for the expense. See F.A.C. 12A-1.038(4)(b).
If you are a foreign diplomat we can accept only the white plastic sales tax exemption card with the blue stripe (form 1-74-ds-819). The exemption card is issued to you by the U.S. Department of State and exempts you from the Florida tax on occupancy. See F.A.C. 12A-1.0015(4) and FDOR TIP 04A1-08.
United States Armed Forces
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 F.A.C. 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.
Religious, Charitable, Educational, Veterans, 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, 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 must produce a copy of your Florida-issued Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption. The hotel must retain a copy of the certificate and proof of payment. See F.A.C. 12A-1.038(3).
*Employees of federal 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.
When is the tax due?
The tourist development tax is due to the Tax Collector’s office monthly. It is due on the 1st day of the month following the reporting period and becomes delinquent if not paid or postmarked by the 20th day of the month following the reporting period. All owners/operators must submit a return even if no taxes were collected for the month.
What if the tax is delinquent?
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, a 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 with a minimum penalty of $50.00, and a maximum of 50% of the tax due. The interest rate is variable. You will need to contact the tax collector’s office at (352) 264-6968 for the current rate.
What is the tourist development procedure for terminating management of a unit or rental unit?
Please notify the Tax Collector’s Tourist Development Tax Department in writing of the date the business was closed or sold. Please include the Account #, business name, former owner’s name, new owner’s name, if applicable, mailing address and phone number.