FAQ Tourist Development Tax

FAQ Tourist Development Tax2019-11-05T13:38:20-05:00
What is the Tourist Development Tax?2019-09-13T16:20:29-04:00

The tourist development tax is a 5% tax on the total rental amount collected from any person or other party who rents, leases, or lets for consideration living quarters or accommodations in hotels, motels, apartment motels, timeshares, rooming houses, tourist or trailers camps, mobile homes or condominiums for a period of 6 months or less. According to Florida law (FS125.0104), 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. Tourist Development Tax can also be referred to as the “Bed Tax” or “Resort Tax”.

What is a transient facility?2019-09-09T16:00:41-04:00

A transient facility is living quarters or accommodations in a hotel, motel, beach house, cottage, condominium, apartment hotel / motel, resort motel, multiple unit structure, cooperatively owned apartment, rooming house, tourist camp, RV Park, mobile home, or single family dwelling.

Who must pay the 5% tourist tax, applicable to rental property used for living / sleeping facilities?2019-09-09T16:01:06-04:00

Any renter who resides for a period of 6 months or less in a facility located in Martin County.

Which renters, if any are exempt from the tax?2019-09-09T16:01:51-04:00

Those who have signed a bona fide written lease in excess of 6 months, or have paid the resort tax continuously month- to-month for the first 6 months on the same rental unit without a lease.

Who enforces the collection of tourist tax?2019-09-09T16:02:14-04:00

The tourist tax is enforced by the Martin County Tax Collector.

What legal action does the tax collector have available if someone doesn’t report/remit tourist tax?2019-09-09T16:03:02-04:00

The tax collector can pursue legal action for someone who doesn’t pay tourist tax by issuing and filing a warrant, creating a lien against your real property and/or personal property in Martin County.

As a taxpayer, what should you do?2019-09-09T16:04:48-04:00

If the tourist tax is applicable to your rental property and to ensure that you are in compliance with the law, call the Tax Collector’s office for an application or download the application here.

Upon receipt of your application, we will assign an account number, and provide you with returns to report your taxable rental income, as well as information about how to complete your returns.

At times during the year, what if my property is used by family / friends?2019-09-09T16:05:09-04:00

If you collect rent from them, or accept any form of compensation in lieu of rent, you will be required to file a tax return, and collect the resort tax based upon the rent paid, or upon the fair market value of the compensation received in lieu of rent.

If I rent to a Florida resident, do I have to collect the resort tax, since the renters are not tourists?2019-09-09T16:06:10-04:00

Yes, this is a “bed tax”, and is applicable to all transient guests, whether or not they are residents of Florida or Martin County.

I only rent property certain times of the year. Am I required to fill out an application to pay the tourist tax?2019-09-09T16:06:29-04:00

Yes, you are. The Martin County Tax Collector has made provisions for seasonal renters to simplify the payment of resort tax. Seasonal renters are assigned a tax account number, and submit tax returns only in the months that units are rented. Enclosed in your coupon booklet is a form that you fill out and return with your last payment to inactivate your account and the date you wish to start up again.

My rental property is always handled by an agent. Do I need to apply for a tourist tax account number?2019-09-09T16:07:05-04:00

In most cases, the rental agent has their own tax account number, and will submit your resort tax in a consolidated tax return, which includes the rental property of all their clients. However, you should be aware that you, as the property owner, are ultimately responsible for the required tax being paid. Any failure by your rental agent to pay the tax may result in penalties being applied against you, as property owner.

I utilize a rental agent, but also rent periodically on my own, must I have a tourist tax account number?2019-09-09T16:07:28-04:00

Yes, you will need an account number, since you will be responsible for collecting, reporting, and remitting the resort tax during those months in which the unit was rented without the use of a rental agent.

Are you an owner renting through an online platform?2021-02-03T17:40:38-05:00

Please be aware that if you are renting your property through an online platform such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Vacation Rentals, Trip Advisor, FlipKey, mister b&b, etc., you are required to collect and remit the 5% Tourist Development Tax to the Martin County Tax Collector. Currently, no “Collection Agreement” exists between any online platform and the Martin County Tax Collector to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax on your behalf. If you have been informed otherwise, please contact us.