When considering short term rentals of six months or less, it’s important to understand and follow your city, county and state regulations. For example, in Sarasota County, short term renters are required to register and obtain a Certificate of Authority and pay a 6% sales tax. In addition, the Florida Department of Revenue collects an additional 6% state resort tax.
This Florida short term rental tax guide will provide an understanding of how the rental tax is used and walk you through the process of registering and collecting the appropriate taxes with ease.
Wondering what your Florida county rental tax rate is? Click here to find out.
What is a short term rental tax?
If you’re planning to buy an investment property in Sarasota County, you may be wondering if you need to pay a short-term rental tax known as a Florida tourism tax, bed tax or local option transient rental tax. The answer is yes – and here’s why.
Tourism is one of the largest contributors to the local economy in Sarasota County. In fact, tourism has contributed more than $75.3M to the area’s economy since 2019, and this number continues to grow every year. As a result, the tourist tax on rentals is an important source of revenue for the county, helping fund things like tourism-related public infrastructure.
Paying your tourism tax is also important because it ensures that everyone who is enjoying the benefits of tourism in Sarasota County is contributing to its upkeep. This helps keep the community clean and safe for everyone and makes sure that there are enough resources to support tourism-related activities.
Why should you pay your Florida short term rental tax?
The funds collected through the tourist tax on rentals are used to support various county initiatives that make Sarasota an attractive destination for visitors. These include:
- – Maintenance of the beaches
- – Beach renourishments
- – Visitor marketing and promotional materials through Visit Sarasota County
- – Spring training stadiums
- – Tourism sports
- – Benderson Park Conservancy
- – Local arts & culture
- – Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s new facility near UTC Mall
How to register and pay the 6% Sarasota County tourism tax?
If you’re planning to buy an investment property, it’s important to understand the Sarasota County tourism tax requirements and how to pay these taxes.
First, if you intend to offer short-term vacation stays, you will be required to register with the county tourism department and pay a tourism tax of 6% on any rental under six months.
Once you have your Certificate of Authority, you can begin collecting tourism taxes from your guests. Most short-term rental platforms, such as Airbnb and VRBO, will collect Florida tourism taxes on your behalf and remit them to the county. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that the correct amount of tax is being collected and remitted. When establishing your monthly rate, be sure to include the appropriate tax amount so that you are not out of pocket come tax time.
Sarasota and Manatee county residents can follow the instructions below to complete the online registration.
Sarasota County Residents:
- To get started, visit the Sarasota County Tourism Development Tax Information link at: https://www.sarasotataxcollector.com/services/tax-services/tourist-tax
- Next, complete the individual application and email it to the email address at the top of the form.
Manatee County Residents:
Prompt payment of taxes: It’s important to remember that tourism taxes are due on a quarterly basis, with each payment due at the end of April, July, October, and January. Monthly payment options are also available. If you fail to make your tourism tax payments on time, you will be subject to late fees and possible penalties.
Next, you must register with the Florida Department of Revenue. We cover this process in the next section.
Does Longboat Key have a Florida short term rental tax?
The town of Longboat Key does not collect a rental tax but there are steps you must take to must ensure your rental is in compliance.
The town of Longboat Key requires you to register your property prior to any transaction and obtain a business transaction receipt. To get this process started, contact the Town Clerk at 941-316-1999.
Failure to register is a violation and may result in a citation or a fine.
Next, create a tourism development tax account with either Manatee County or Sarasota County, depending on your location. For detailed information, see our prior section on How to Register and Pay My 6% Sarasota County Tourism Tax.
Once you have registered your property and obtained the required tourism tax permits, you will need to post them in a visible location on your rental property.
Lastly, be sure to register with the Florida Department of Revenue. Keep reading for instructions on this process.
Further Reading: 9 Reasons to Consider Buying an Investment Home in Longboat Key
What is the Florida Department of Revenue resort tax?
If you thought you were done registering and paying your Florida short term rental tax, think again. The state of Florida also imposes a resort tax, which is currently 7%. This tax is in addition to the county bed tax, and is collected by the Florida Department of Revenue.
To comply with the Florida Department of Revenue tourism tax regulations, you need to register your property.
For questions, call Taxpayer Services at 850-488-6800, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
How do I register and pay my 7% FL Department of Revenue resort tax?
The application process can be completed online in about 15 minutes. Here’s how:
- Register with the Department of Florida Revenue by clicking the link below:
Each month you will need to file and submit payment, even if you do not owe anything. To help with the process, I have included instructions on how to file online.
Please be aware that to access the following site, you must have your user I.D. and password supplied by the Florida Department of Revenue. This is provided to you after you register.
- Visit https://floridarevenue.com/pages/default.aspx
- At the top navigation bar, click on “General Tax.”
- Under File and Pay Online, click on File and Pay Taxes, Fees, and Remittances
- Select sales and tax use.
- Log in and complete your DR-15 Sales and Use Tax Return
To summarize, remember that if you are renting your property for under six months in Sarasota or Manatee County, you must pay both the county tourism tax as well as the Florida Department of Revenue resort tax. Be sure to register with both agencies and file your returns on a timely basis to avoid late fees and penalties.
Never miss paying your Florida Short Term Rental Tax. Subscribe to receive an email for Florida Department of Revenue due date reminders at floridarevenue.com/dor/subscribe.