Florida Sales Tax Tutorial

Level 10
St Johns, FL

Florida Sales Tax Tutorial

To ALL Florida Hosts,

If anyone in the Tax Collector's Offices says that YOU are responsible for your state tax on Airbnb reservations, they are misinformed and giving you old information. Airbnb entered into an agreement with the State of Florida on December 1, 2015, which states that they will collect and remit Florida Transient Tax on all Florida reservations. This tax will be paid in a lump sum by filing one tax return per jurisdiction, with the total combined reservation revenue. Airbnb will not be filing individual forms (such as the DR-1C form) on behalf of hosts. Just know that there are still many people who do not know what Airbnb is, including staff in the local tax offices.  Even after two years, many are not aware of this agreement between the Department of Revenue and Airbnb.


Since there is a lot of confusion over the topic, I wrote a Florida Tax Tutorial.  This is accurate as of September 2017:


Basic Florida Tax Info:

The State of Florida taxes short-term rentals (housing rented for 182 days or less) with a Transient Tax. This amount varies per county and consists of the Florida base Sales Tax of 6% plus the county's Discretionary Surtax. Each county may or may not have a Discretionary Surtax. This tax ranges from .5 to 1.5%. The 2017 Discretionary Surtax by county is found here: 2017-Descretionary-Sales-Surtax-Rates-DR-15DSS.pdf


Additionally, each county may tax short-term rentals with Tourist Development Tax. As of June 2017, the Tourist Development Tax amounts were:


ALACHUA 5.0%, BAKER 3.0%, BAY 5.0%, BRADFORD 4.0%, BREVARD 5.0%, BROWARD 5.0%, CALHOUN none, CHARLOTTE 5.0%, CITRUS 5.0%, CLAY 3.0%, COLLIER 4.0%, COLUMBIA 5.0%, DESOTO 3.0%, DIXIE 2.0%, DUVAL 6.0%, ESCAMBIA 4.0%, FLAGLER 5.0%, FRANKLIN 2.0%, GADSDEN 2.0%, GILCHRIST 2.0%, GLADES 2.0%, GULF 5.0% Rate will return to 4% on 1/01/20, HAMILTON 3.0%, HENDRY 3.0%, HARDEE 2.0%, HERNANDO 5.0%, HIGHLANDS 2.0%, HILLSBOROUGH 5.0%, HOLMES 2.0%, INDIAN RIVER 4.0%, JACKSON 4.0%, JEFFERSON 2.0%, LAFAYETTE none, LAKE 4.0%, LEE 5.0%, LEON 5.0%, LEVY 2.0%, LIBERTY none, MADISON 3.0%, MANATEE 5.0%, MARION 4.0%, MARTIN 5.0%, MIAMI-DADE 6.0%, MONROE 5.0%, NASSAU 4.0%, OKALOOSA 5.0%, OKEECHOBE 3.0%, ORANGE 6.0%, OSCEOLA 6.0%, PALM BEACH 6.0%, PASCO 2.0%, PINELLAS 6.0%, POLK 5.0%, PUTNAM 4.0%, ST JOHNS 4.0%, ST LUCIE 5.0% Rate will return to 3% on 1/01/43, SANTA ROSA 5.0%, SARASOTA 5.0%, SEMINOLE 5.0%, SUMTER 2.0%, SUWANNEE 3.0% Rate will return to 2% on 7/01/21, TAYLOR 5.0%, UNION none, VOLUSIA 6.0%, WAKULLA 4.0%, WALTON 4.0%, WASHINGTON 3.0%


What tax does Airbnb collect and pay?

Tax is based on your nightly rate plus your cleaning fee. Each Airbnb confirmation email you receive will have the amount of tax collected for that reservation. To find a summary of the collected taxes, go to Hosting / Stats/ Earnings/ View Transaction History/ Gross Earnings and choose a date range.


For all Florida properties, Airbnb collects and remits the Transient Tax (the 6% plus your county's Discretionary Surtax).


Additionally, Airbnb collects the Tourist Development Tax in SOME counties because that tax is administered by the state for those counties. Currently the 24 counties are: Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Levy, Madison, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Pasco, Sumter, Wakulla, and Washington.


Recently, other counties entered into their own agreements with Airbnb. Tourist Development Tax is now also collected and remited for Brevard, Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Leon, Miami-Dade*, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Taylor, and the city of Surfside.  *Note, there are exceptions to Miami-Dade county. See source below.


What tax do you have to collect and submit?

At minimum, nothing (depending on your county) and at maximum, your county's Tourist Development Tax.


If you rent your Florida property by using only Airbnb, you must delete your account with the Florida Department of Revenue. You only need the FL DOR account if you offer your property on other platforms where taxes are not paid for you.  If you keep an account, DOR will expect payment. Do not pay double taxes!


If your county is not listed as one where Airbnb accepts and pays Tourist Development Tax, then you need to visit your county's Tax Collector's Office. They may require you to apply for an Occupational License and they will instruct you on how to pay the Tourist Development Tax.


Also, just recently, Airbnb stopped rounding to the nearest dollar and is not calculating payments, taxes and fees to the dollar and cents.  Please let me know if you find any errors in this information.



Sources: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/653/in-what-areas-is-occupancy-tax-collection-and-remittance-by-...



117 Replies 117

Nice to meet. Tell me, please, how can I control the process so that taxes have actually been paid, and not just withdrawn?

Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL


Your information, as it pertains to Palm Beach County, is inaccurate. Here, Airbnb collects both the state tax, and the TDT, but remits only the State tax directly to Florida.  The TDT is collected, and passed through to the host, who has to pay, and file, with the County of Palm Beach’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT) office, monthly.  Filings must be made every month, including on zero months, or a late fee, and penalties, can be assessed by the county. 

Hosts must have the county’s LBTR (Tax License) AND the TDT license, or, when the county reports “actives” to Airbnb’s Tax office, Airbnb can, and will, delist them for STRs, only allowing rentals of 180 days or longer.

In addition, even though the legality of it is debatable, many cities in our county, including West Palm Beach, require a separate BTR license, and inspection of the premises that can include, along with the City Permit people, Fire and Police, if they choose to make it a big hassle. Best to have fire extinguishes, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working, and proof that any building alarm registered with the PD, available to the city inspector, or it can get to be a much longer process.


For anyone having problems in Palm Beach County, Florida, please make sure that you join the Airbnb West Palm Beach Community group on Facebook:

You can IM me, there, and I’ll help you work out your particular problem.  We have developed some liaison connectivity that can help those who’ve ended up in the tax minefield.



Brian Ross
West Palm Beach Airbnb Community Leader

Brian Ross
Level 2
Bradenton, FL

Alternatively, you can opt out of AIRbnb tax collection and remittance and manually add the individual taxes to be collected and remitted.  I prefer control over the entre tax process. If there is ever a question, I have everything needed to back up returns/remittances.

Level 10
St Johns, FL

@Laura4558, Unless Airbnb has recently changed their policy, there is no way of opting out of the Airbnb Tax Collection of the State Sales Tax. It is done automatically and you do not need an account at the Dept of Revenue to make this happen. Once you receive a booking, Airbnb collects the Florida Sales tax from your guests and remits it to the Florida DOR on your behalf. If you are collecting the state tax also, your guests are being double charged.


If there has been a policy change, please share how to opt-out of the tax collection. Otherwise,  if you are collecting the state tax also, your guests are being double charged. 


Manatee County does not allow Airbnb to collect its bed tax, so you must collect it yourself as a host. There is no easy way of collecting this tax from your guests. Here is how Airbnb suggest we do it:

Tax rules are constantly changing and I appreciate know what is new. 

Level 2
Bradenton, FL

Opted out of trusting that AIRbnb collects all taxes due and remits them on time.  I manually add 6% state, 1% discretionary and 5% transient local tax using professional hosting tools.


I prefer to manually add the taxes. By manually adding them myself, I know I have covered everything and that the taxes are remitted on time.  AIRbnb doesn't charge/collect/remit all of the taxes that are required in Manatee County. It's just cleaner and easier if I prepare and remit all of the returns.

Level 1
Crestview, FL

That sounds great since I do some of the rental on my own without the Airbnb platform. Can you please tell me how to set it up the manual way. Airbnb has been no help. They send outdated instruction link.


Level 1
Shawnee, KS

@Donna1197  did you ever figure this one out? I googled "turn Airbnb professional tool on" and it was easy. BUT....Once I did that, my tax is still set at default with no option to change it or add to it. I am stuck like you and support is awful.

Level 10
St Johns, FL

@Meghann13, your timing is interesting. As of today, we are no longer hosting with Airbnb. We have turned our guesthouse into a long-term rental.  I'll try to help but I am not an expert. I have just done a lot of research and have hosted for over 6 years.


First, it has been a long time since I applied for my initial licenses and I forgotten the steps. But whenever you are asked for your Florida Sales Tax number, just put "Exempt, using Airbnb." I never had to have a notarized copy from Airbnb. Florida's Department of Revenue has entered into an agreement with Airbnb, so I don't think you need a letter. It's probably only needed for other platforms or property management companies which collect tax for their customers.


You are trying to register for the Vacation Rental License through the Division of Hotels and Restaurants, right?  If so, don't over think this. For me, the license type was Dwelling, the Classification was Single, New Establishment, I used my Social Security number (which you would use if your LLC does not have an FEIN) and the Sales Tax number is checked for Exempt. If you do this incorrectly, someone will probably call you. 


For clarification, your Federal Tax ID # is not the Florida Sales Tax number. If you do not have a Federal Employers ID Number, use your social security number.


I think I got my Vacation Rental license and then got my local business tax receipt. These "tax receipts" are basically licenses that local governments can regulate and collect an annual fee.  Even though Airbnb collects the local tax for Broward County, you still need to apply for the Tourist Tax Receipt for Broward County, and I guess, for Ft Lauderdale.  (Wow!)  However, you shouldn't have to submit monthly tax forms, since Airbnb does this for you.


Your last questions: yes, if you begin to use another platform in addition to Airbnb, you will need to apply to the Department of Revenue for a Business Sales Tax Number. And I am only guessing, but I think you would then need to submit a change for the state's Vacation Rental license, for Broward's Tourist Tax Receipt and for Ft Lauderdale's Tax Receipt.


If you start using another platform, call your tax collector's office and ask what to do if you only have Airbnb bookings for a particular month. Most tax departments make you submit a form every month, even if you have not collected any tax. If you have had only Airbnb bookings, Airbnb will collect and submit your local tax, but you will not have collected any tax. (I hope I am making this clear.)


If you rent long-term, just be sure to have a lease for 6-months and one day, then you will not owe any state or local taxes. With my long-term rental, I am going to continue to submit my local Tourist Tax forms monthly until I need to renew my Business Tax Receipt. These forms will show zero short-term rental income and zero tax collected. Then, I'll stop submitting the tax forms when my Local License expires.


I hope I have been helpful. My advise is to call your local tax departments if you are still confused. The Tax Collectors Office in Saint Johns county was very helpful. Good luck.  - Karen

@Karen1  You have been immensely helpful,  I can’t thank you enough!! Good luck with your long term lease. 🙂 

Hi @Karen1 ,

I am running across your post almost three years later. First, this has been extremely helpful, so thank you!! Second, I am hoping you are still listing to respond. I have been researching for about a week on everything I need to do and I just have a few questions. My head is sort of spinning and I want to make sure I am compliant. I am setting up a new listing in Fort Lauderdale in Broward. 


  1. When applying for the license with the DPBR, it asks for the Florida Sales Tax Number or proof of exemption. Here is where I would mark exempt, from what I can tell from your post. 

The registration after you get the license is a lot more involved, it is asking for the following:


  1. A copy of a current license with the Florida Department of Revenue for sales tax collection. (If your state tax is collected and remitted for you by an advertiser or property management company, a notarized letter is to be submitted stating such). Same as above, but does ABB give you a notarized letter?
  2. A copy of a current Broward County Business Tax Receipt. (If you provide a notarized letter to substitute the DBPR license, you will be exempt from this license). I called on this and it was very confusing. I think you get the license, then the DBPR submits for you. 
  3. Proof of registration for Broward County Tourist Development tax collection. (If your county tax is collected and remitted for you by an advertiser or property management company, a notarized letter is to be submitted stating such). Same as number 1, need a notarized letter. 
  4. A City of Fort Lauderdale Business Tax application. (This application must be submitted to the Vacation Rental department, not the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Business Tax department.)   I have to do this as well, we have the property under an LLC, but they said we still need to do. They are asking for a Federal Tax ID# would this also be "exempt"? 


@Karen1 Listing through ABB seems convenient as they take care of all of this for you in regards to taxes. Two questions though. 


  1. What if I decide later to list with another platform? Would I just apply with the DOR? Then when you renew all of the licenses, just change the exempt?
  2. What if I get all of this paperwork done and then just decide to do a long term lease? 


Thank you so much!!

Level 2
El Portal, FL

I’m new to AirBnB and am a cohost. I spoke with AirBnB yesterday for about 30 min and the agent couldn’t tell me what taxes are being collected by AirBnB and how those monies are dispersed. 

The Support Ambassador ended up telling me that AirBnB was submitting the funds to the IRS. 

He supposedly escalated the ticket and I’m waiting for a call back …

Level 10
St Johns, FL

@Pascal1252, No, no. Airbnb does not submit funds to the IRS! Their agents come and go, training is not that good and there are too many taxing districts to keep knowledgeable about. So, here are the facts for Florida Hosts as of November, 2020:


Airbnb pays all Florida state sales tax and discretionary fees. It's automatic so if you host only through Airbnb, you do not need an account with FL Department of Revenue.


There are 24 counties that allows the State to  collect their occupancy/bed tax fees. Only some of the other counties have an agreement with Airbnb to collect their county taxes directly. Miami-Dade County is one of them. I assume you still need a business license with your county to be legal. 


Here is information from Airbnb's site on what county taxes Airbnb will collect and remit for your bookings:

Miami-Dade County

Guests who book Airbnb listings that are located in Miami-Dade County will pay the following taxes as part of their reservation:

  • Tourist Development Room Tax: 2% of the listing price including any cleaning fee for reservations 182 nights and shorter in Miami-Dade County. The tax is not applicable to reservations in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and Surfside. For detailed information, please visit Miami-Dade County Tax Collector’s website.
  • Professional Sports Franchise Facility Tax: 1% of the listing price including any cleaning fee for reservations 182 nights and shorter. The tax is not applicable to reservations in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour and Surfside. For detailed information, please visit Miami-Dade County Tax Collector’s website.
  • Convention Development Tax: 3% of the listing price including any cleaning fee for reservations 182 nights and shorter in Miami-Dade County. The tax is not applicable to reservations located in Bal Harbour and Surfside. For detailed information, please visit Miami-Dade County Tax Collector’s  website.
Level 2
El Portal, FL



Yes, I need a state, county, and (in some cities) a local business license to be legal in the respective jurisdiction. We have been long-term landlords for decades and have those already. However, since we've never rented without a 1-year lease, we never had to collect sales tax. 


We now will need to set up a sales tax account with the county and the state for those guests that book directly with us (outside of Airbnb and VRBO) and stay for less than 6 months. 


In addition to this, we just received an email from Airbnb letting us know that they have reported one or more of our properties to Miami-Dade county as not complying with the regulation. Miami-Dade county subpoenaed listings from Airbnb that did not have a Certificate of Use (CoU) number listed on the platform. When I spoke with Airbnb's customer service, their resolution department, and even their legal department, they could not tell me which of my properties were included, nor why they had been submitted to Miami-Dade county.


Although this has nothing to do with taxes or business licenses, it's another item that Airbnb hosts need to be aware of, provided that they rent a property to guests for under 30 nights.


We've decided to not rent that property out to guests for under 30 days, since in our case based on the county land use map, the owner or a responsible party, has to live on the property for 6 months.


As I read the Miami-Dade County code, that deals with transient (i.E. short term rentals) I do not need to get a CoU  (Sec. 32-28. (B) (4) and (5)) [http://www.miamidade.gov/cob/library/Registry/Ordinances/Board-of-County-Commissioners/2017/17-78.pd..., as long as I do not rent or advertise to rent the place to transient travelers, who are defined as people staying for less than 30 nights. 


As with any advice you read online, please don't take my word for any of this, and contact your attorney, accountant, and relevant government agency to make sure you are in compliance. One thing I can say for sure is DO NOT rely on Airbnb. I've gotten so much bad or downright false information from them in regards to these issues, I mean they send my 100% compliant properties to the county as being in violation.