Palm Beach County Tourist Development Tax (TDT) Must Be Paid By You

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Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Palm Beach County Tourist Development Tax (TDT) Must Be Paid By You

When you sign up for Airbnb, it tells you that they collect taxes in Florida. Well, sort of. ONE COUNTY, Palm Beach County, does not participate.

 

When you read this: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2580/palm-beach-county-fl , it is still currently telling you to go to the County website to find out the rules.   They don’t really post them, either. 

 

You must collect the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Tax (TDT), and file it, manually, yourself.  If you haven’t, taking Airbnb at the “We pay Florida Taxes, thing,” you will be fined for each late report, and still owe the 6% TDT.

 

Further, Airbnb does not collect the TDT. Here is how you can collect it yourself, though, through their system:

 

  1. In your Hosting Dashboard on a WEB BROWSER, go to the listing under the Listing tab;
  2. Under “Pricing” in the listing, scroll down to “Standard Fees and Charges”;
  3. Click on Community Fee;
  4. Set the calculation to %
  5. Enter 6, per reservation
  6. Save

That will then collect the money needed to pay the local 6% tax.

 

Otherwise, the 6% comes out of your profits!

I just went back and caught up.  It can be a bit expensive, with fines.  

 

Why is Palm Beach the only county that does this?  Can’t tell you. I asked. Got no answer. I would suspect that they like the fines. Otherwise, they would get 100% of the tax money through Airbnb.

Brian Ross
1 Best Answer
Marie5877
Level 2
West Palm Beach, FL

Wow! What a shock I got! I tried my best to follow all of the rules. I thought AirBnb was paying for the  taxes - I can see that the guests have been charged! Were those only for the state of FL? Has AirBnb been paying them or am I going to get socked with a penalty for those as well? 

 

I cannot believe that the County can penalize a whopping $50 per month when there explanation is so poor. i am appealing it, but who knows if that will work or not. OUCH!

 

Your help is 1000% better than either explanations on AirBnb or PBC websites. Thank you.

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55 Replies 55
Peter-And-Jennifer0
Level 2
Delray Beach, FL

Wife and I been with AirB&B and we are coming closer to cancel. We have made 5 calles to AirB&B without getting a straight answer. Brian, you are 100% correct.  However, their support keeps asserting that they are collecting the sales tax ( even though the percentage is incorrect) and TDT tax and remitting it to the tax authorities. Five calls and same assertions. So what have they been doing with the monewy that they have been collecting from the tenant?  No answer as of 5 months of inquiry.

 

I I am a CPA and understand the tax laws, federal, State and local mentioned to them that the rental sales tax now id 6.5% ( 2019 was 6.7%) and per the download excel report they are, for one, the percentage is incorrect, and two where is the money? I am paying the taxes and in the mean time 

they are collecting the taxes, per the 5 conversations, but have not received a response where the funds are going. Out TDT account number was uploaded to their website and complied.

 

Next thing I know is that Airb&B changed out status to 180 days or more and we can not change it

back to the 7 day minumum.  

 

I spoke to the Florida Dept of REvenue and tax collector in Palm beach County as  Brian mentioned, they do not receive any tax funds.

 

For those that Airb&B are collecting the funds for Palm Beach County hosts, call and ask them if they are collecting the tax on the tenants. Most likely they will say yes, ask them where the funds are if the authorities do not collect the funds, they will not respond.  It is becoming a legal issue. My name is Peter Camacho and you can call my office just do a google search for Peter Camacho CPA.  Frustrating. 

 

 

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

If you’re still with us, I’m the new Community Leader for West Palm Beach, which is the closest Community Group to you. Airbnb set up a facebook page for us. You can join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/westpalmbeachairbnbhosts

We’re here to work together to sort all of this stuff out!

Cheers,

Brian Ross
Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

For what to do about the 180 Day, and what is going on,  see...  https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Palm-Beach-County-180-Day-Delistings/m-p/1246497/highlight/...

Brian Ross
Susan17
Level 10
Dublin, Ireland

@Peter-And-Jennifer0 

There are several threads on the Community Centre in relation to the tax issue, and also on the 180 day debacle (countless posts on FB groups and forums too) You can find the ones in the CC if you use the search bar. One recent thread below. Hope you get everything sorted soon - your head must be melted! 

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Airbnb-is-being-shady-with-occupancy-taxes-in-Osceola-Count...

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Shannon538
Level 1
Loxahatchee Groves, FL

Hey Brian1613. On your suggestion above you used WEB BROWSER in caps. Does this mean you should be somewhere else, other than logged into your Airbnb account when walking through your steps?  I tried to look for Standard Fees and Charges while logged into my Airbnb account under Pricing, but this option is not there. Having same 6% TDT collection issue in PBCty for last 3 years. Nothing on Airbnb tools or options has resolved. Thanks.

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

WEB BROWSER because their antiquated system locks up on phones, and iPad iOS Chrome. iPad Safari now works, but the way the Assessor’s office built their website uses some very clunky tech that takes forever to get into. 

I’m the new Community Leader for West Palm Beach, which is the closest Community Group to you. Airbnb set up a facebook page for us. You can join at https://www.facebook.com/groups/westpalmbeachairbnbhosts

We’re here to work together to sort all of this stuff out!

Cheers,

Brian Ross
Tee-And-Alex0
Level 2
Boynton Beach, FL

Thank you to everyone that shared a comment. I have been trying to add a line for the TDT, to be in compliance.  The Tourist Development Tax needs to be paid on the 20th of every month to avoid fees. You can pay online but you will need for your BTR and the TDT. 
I was told by one on the county managers that the county has be under pressure from the hotel industry to collect the TDT for short- term rentals.  Hotels have been paying this tax for years and now the County is going after Airbnb hosts to collect the money. The County can go back 3 years to collect the Taxes. My final question what how does is benefit us? The revenue is used to bring more tourism to Palm Beach County, via advertising and marketing. 

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Yes, the DO NOT collect Palm Beach TDT. You need to not only register, but you need to file the tax every month, even when it is ZERO.

You can see how to do that in the post that I put up after several hours of going back and forth with Airbnb on the best way to get the 6% collected.  Otherwise, it just comes out of your earnings.

 

You are also liable for any tax that you haven’t paid, plus the $50/mo penalty, that goes up if it’s over a year. I’ve already asked:

A) Why they don’t let Airbnb collect the tax;

B) Why they have NO INFORMATION on their website about collection with airbnb and other similar services;

C) Why they won’t engage in penalty amnesty, considering that Airbnb hands you off to the County for instructions, and Ms. Gannon’s office provides none, in writing, and a very inconsistent story from those who answer the phones.

Brian Ross
Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

I know. I got that too. Then I spoke to the Tax Assessor’s office. They claim that they do not get the TDT from Airbnb, and that we’re all liable to file it. I thought, when I started, that I was just reporting it, as it was filed by Airbnb. They said no. When I contact Airbnb again, they told me that the person(s) who had told me what you have there, above, were in error. They do not do that for Palm Beach County. Other counties, yes.

I have to go to the county on Monday to see if I can get a straight answer out of someone. Most frustrating.

Brian Ross
Elizabeth-And-Ken0
Level 2
West Palm Beach, FL

Yeah, super frustrating. Airbnb support called me today to follow up on that message. I asked them if we were talking about the same tax, cause they were just throwing around the term “tax.” I said I need to know specifically if they are talking about the TDT. Of course, the agent didn’t know. 
idk why other Florida counties are getting it automatically collected through the Airbnb system but not Palm Beach. Up until early 2019, the tax was collected on a quarterly basis. Now it’s every freaking month. It’s such a burden!

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Penalties make Ms. Gannon a lot of money, apparently. She’d get 100% compliance if Airbnb did it. That really can be the only explanation.

Brian Ross
Elizabeth-And-Ken0
Level 2
West Palm Beach, FL

I received this message from Airbnb support yesterday regarding the tourist development tax for our area:

 

Hello Elizabeth,

In certain areas, Airbnb has reached an agreement to collect and remit occupancy taxes, so the tax is assessed automatically by Airbnb. The amount of the tax is shown to guests as a line item on the listing page and again on the booking page.

Airbnb has entered into a voluntary collection agreement with the local tax collector in West Palm Beach. We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction, with the total combined reservation revenue. This means that all hosts located in your area will be represented by one remitted amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return.

Your local tax office can share more information about the Voluntary Collection Agreement with Airbnb and how this process may affect your tax reporting. For example, some areas request that hosts fill out worksheets indicating the amount that has been paid on their behalf.

Should this be the case for you, you can always refer to the “Gross Earnings” section of your “Transaction History” for a reservation by reservation breakdown of amounts that have been remitted on your behalf. Please take note that tax collected will not be reflected here until the payout is released. For your convenience, if you are logged into your account, you may view these amounts by clicking on the link here:

https://www.airbnb.com/users/transaction_history/#future-transactions

For more information about it, check out our Help Center article:

www.airbnb.com/help/article/653

Your local tax collection official and/or a local attorney may also be able to provide additional information or advice about your personal situation.

Regards.

Jennifer2477
Level 1
West Palm Beach, FL

Another fellow host in PBC in the same bucket with y'all.   Here is the reply we received from airbnb. It describes the VCA, but states it is not with PBC.   Ughhh... I will try to apprise what happens with our nine months of fees.

Kyle R, Jun 5, 2020, 11:16:40 AM PDT:

Hi Jeremy,

My name is Kyle and I work here at Airbnb. Thank you for reaching out about the collection of taxes in West Palm Beach, FL.

In certain areas, Airbnb has reached an agreement to collect and remit occupancy taxes, so the tax is assessed automatically by Airbnb. The amount of the tax is shown to guests as a line item on the listing page and again on the booking page. This is what is known as a Voluntary Collection Agreement (VCA).

As you are aware, Airbnb has entered into a VCA with several of the local tax collectors in Florida, meaning we will be filing one tax return per applicable jurisdiction, with the total combined reservation revenue. This also means that all hosts located in your area will be represented by one remitted amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return.

For your listings location, Airbnb is only collecting and remitting the state-administered taxes on your behalf. If there are additional taxes that are required to be collected from your guests, you would be responsible for doing so either through the Resolution Center, or in person at check-in. Just be sure to have any additional taxes clearly explained in your listing description so guests are aware prior to booking.

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

I manage one. It’s exactly as I described it. The “community fee” option is probably intended for things like a HOA demanding a chunk, but the county is a “Community” as well. 

The only additional thing that I did, which I did not mention, was go back into the description and explain that the 6% “Community Fee” was being collected to pay the Palm Beach County TDT, which Airbnb is not allowed to collect.

Thus far, I have had no reply from the Tax Assessor’s office as to why it is better to have to go and scrounge fees out of the Airbnb hosts, rather than guarantee 100% compliance by having Airbnb pay them. Further I found that Airbnb has been involved in a lawsuit against Palm Beach County, which demanded that they turn over their list of hosts.

The only thing, it would seem, unless Ms. Gannon’s office can find a reasonable alternative, is that they like picking up the substantial fines from the confusion. 

Brian Ross
Elizabeth-And-Ken0
Level 2
West Palm Beach, FL

Hi Brian, thank you for this post. Unfortunately, I’ve been paying the TDT out of my profits for the past 3+ years because we were told we’d have to collect these fees separately and we didn’t want to deal with that with every guest. I love that you posted a step by step guide to adding this fee to the listing. I’ve just tried to follow your steps and I do not see this option on my hosting dashboard. Do you manage 6 or more listings? Are you signed up for the professional hosting tools? The option to add this fee may only be available to those who meet the above criteria. I’m going to give Airbnb a call tomorrow to find out for sure!

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Subsequent to that we have had improvements to the system. I’m the Community Leader for Airbnb in the Palm Beaches, and Palm Beach County. I think you’re on the Facebook official community page, but, if you’re not, please join us, and we can work on problems like that together!

Brian Ross
Jennifer2477
Level 1
West Palm Beach, FL

Same here. No option for a community fee in my pricing section.  Only cleaning, extra guests, weekend pricing, security deposit. 

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

The Community Fee space was put in to pay for things like HOA charges. Airbnb revises the system regularly. Contact them to ask what the current way of doing that is, and share here, if you can 🙂

Brian Ross
Jennifer2368
Level 2
Jacksonville Beach, FL

I have the same problem in Duval however the Tourist Tax office told me it is illegal to Not collect the tax and pay it yourself.  Very disappointing

Brian1613
Level 10
West Palm Beach, FL

Therefore, I am formally, respectfully, requesting the following on behalf of myself, and fellow Airbnb owners:
 
A) Ms. Gannon instructs her office to put the proper information in place on your official website to instruct citizens hosting through Airbnb both that the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) needs to be collected, and how/when to file it.  If that information exists, currently, then it needs to be made searchable so it can be found both on your search system, and by search engines;
 
B) The Tax Collector’s Office should make the link of that information available to Airbnb.com for the purposes of posting on their web page for Palm Beach County: 
 
 
On their site, users are told to look at your website, and they are responsible for the tax, BUT they have been told, on prior pages, that Airbnb collects the taxes in Florida. Palm Beach County is the lone exception to that rule. 
 
Your website lacks specific instructions to pay the tax.  It is  an unfortunate omission that becomes a “gotcha” where owners will end up paying, as I did, hundreds of dollars in fines, for being unaware that the tax is not already being paid.  
 
I don’t think that Airbnb hosts can be called “scofflaws” when the neither the law, nor the simple explanation of what is expected, and when, is not posted publicly. 
 
C) Because the County fails to provide any instruction on filing to the existing Airbnb hosts, I would respectfully ask Ms. Gannon, to encourage everyone to get on page with providing their TDT, to:
 
1) Provide a waiver of all late fines, and refund of any fines paid, to date, as long as the taxes are caught up within a defined period of time, from the time that the Tax Collector has actually properly posted notice, and instruction, for the tax, on their website.
 
2) Explain to Airbnb hosts how to set up the 6% collection as an additional “Community Fee” within the Airbnb system. If you cannot get Airbnb to help you with that, I can provide such explanation. That way, we collect the tax that the system is not collecting on our behalf.
 
3) Explain to us, as taxpayers, why your office, unlike so many others here in Florida, is unwilling to receive direct payment from Airbnb. It would seem, to me, at least, if you wanted 100% compliance, you would allow the booking service to pay you, as it does other counties, in the state.  That would result in far more revenue to the County, at less cost to us, the taxpayers, in terms of collection.
 
Thank you for a moment of your valuable time.
 
I look forward to your response.
 
Cheers,
 
Brian Ross
Taxpayer
 

 

 

Brian Ross