Vacation Rental Hosting in Florida – Brinkley Morgan Attorneys at Law

Tax Consequences

The second issue potential hosts need to be aware of are the tax consequences. Much like a hotel or motel, vacation rentals in Florida are subject to sales tax. Vacation rental hosts must register with the Florida Department of Revenue (“DOR”), and are then expected to collect, file and remit sales tax to the DOR. Before collecting any sales tax from your guests, it is important to find out whether state or local sales tax has already been collected on your behalf, as some vacation rental platforms collect Florida sales tax for their hosts. Airbnb for example, collects and remits sales tax across the State of Florida on behalf of hosts. Airbnb also collects and remits Tourism Development Taxes on behalf of hosts in the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, and Taylor.[3] Florida hosts in the counties not listed must collect and remit county taxes in accordance with county law. If you are a host on a different vacation rental platform, be sure to identify which sales tax (state, local, or both) is being collected for you, or if you are required to collect sales tax on your own. Hosts are also required to file an annual tax return with the DOR and any local tax jurisdiction with which you have registered.

Local Laws & Regulations

Potential hosts also need to be aware of the local laws and regulations in the municipality that the property is located. Section 509.032(7)(b), Fla. Stat. restricts local laws, ordinances, and regulations from prohibiting vacation rentals or regulating the duration or frequency of vacation rentals. For example, a local government cannot create an ordinance that prohibits property owners from renting their property more than ten times in a year or mandates that rentals must be for at least seven days.[4] Local governments can however, adopt rules such as requiring the owner of the property to provide a 24-hour contact who will be held responsible for making sure tenants follow the regulations on noise, the number of overnight guests, trash removal, and parking.  Other rules include fines for not properly registering the property as a vacation rental, and a mandatory inspection of the property. It is important for all potential hosts to research the local rules in both the city and county where the property is located, as the rules vary across the state.

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