16 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2018 10:58 AM by junglejane52 RSS

    UPDATED: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered

    homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

      Hello All,

       

      Rather than going back to the various threads and trying to answer these questions inline we decided to start a new thread.

       

       

      Question: Is Florida requiring this?

      Answer: Per a voluntary collection agreement with the Florida Department of Revenue, beginning December 1, 2018, HomeAway/VRBO has agreed to collect and remit all state-administered taxes, which include Florida Transient Rentals Tax, Discretionary Sales Surtax, and the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for specific counties that do no separately administer a TDT.

       

      Question: Is HA collecting lodging tax for Florida counties?

      Answer: Please refer to the chart in the help pages here for a listing of all places where HomeAway is collecting and remitting lodging taxes: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-Stay-Taxes-Lodging-Taxes-does-HomeAway-collect-and-remit

       

      Comment: I guess my biggest gripe is they get to keep the Collection Allowance which is about $14-$20.

      Response:  The collection allowance for the state of Florida is 2.5% of the first $1,200 of tax due, and may not exceed $30 in total. The allowance is meant to help compensate for the administrative burden of collecting and remitting taxes. HomeAway will be filing one aggregate return in Florida, and will not be filing an individual return by property. This means that the maximum collection allowance that HomeAway is eligible to claim will be $30.

       

      Florida allows taxpayers to donate the collection allowance to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. This fund is used to purchase up-to-date technology for classrooms in local school districts in Florida.  HomeAway plans to donate any collection allowance it is eligible to claim.

       

      Question: Will we get receipts that our taxes were paid?

      Answer: You can see what amounts are being collected and remitted by HomeAway as well as amounts we collect and send you and you must remit

      • Coming soon: In the payment details in Reservation Manager for each of the booking made through HomeAway.
      • In the Payments report download, where you can see the details including 1 column for the taxes HomeAway collects and remits, and one for those we collect and send you but you must remit. Each owner should be sure that they are properly registered to remit the taxes that HomeAway sends them to remit.
      • We do not send a recap of taxes collected and remitted but the above report will allow you to download the amounts for the desired period of time.

       

      Question: Will we have to file paperwork regarding these taxes?

      Answer: Each jurisdiction is different, and in some jurisdictions where HomeAway collects and remits all applicable taxes, you may still be required to submit a tax return for lodging taxes even if the amount of tax you have collected is equal to $0. Please note that by filing a $0 return, this would indicate that you do not have tax to remit that may have come from bookings outside the HomeAway platform.

       

      Question: What if the traveler cancels?

      Answer: Applicable taxes will be refunded to the traveler upon cancellation

       

      Comment: I haven’t received a notification, but my neighbor did.

      Response: Please check your spam box and make sure to flag our emails as ‘not a spam’ to see those notifications in the future.

      Per a voluntary collection agreement with the Florida Department of Revenue, beginning December 1, 2018, HomeAway/VRBO has agreed to collect and remit all state-administered taxes, which include Florida Transient Rentals Tax, Discretionary Sales Surtax, and the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for specific counties that do no separately administer a TDT. You can also view the email in this thread.

       

      Question: Our rentals are in Osceola County. So we collect and remit local sales tax with a paper return?

      Answer: Beginning 12/1/18, the partner's tax settings page will show all applicable taxes that will be collected and will show which taxes HA will remit, and which taxes will be passed along to the partner to remit. Any tax that is sent to the partner for remittance will be sent like a regular payment. If you are not already properly registered for a tax that HomeAway is passing along to you to remit, you will need to register to remit tax in that jurisdiction.

       

      Please keep in mind that every jurisdiction is different, and if you are required to remit the tax that is passed along to you, it is advised that you contact your County or your tax professional for more information on how to do so.

       

      Question: The State tax collection for Properties in Osceola county is 7.5%. Given this includes a so called discretionary tax of 1.5% payable to the County how will this reach the County If HA makes a return without informing the State of the amount due to the County.?

      Answer: Some Florida Counties like Osceola County levy an additional discretionary sales surtax in addition to the state tax rate of 6%, and these discretionary surtaxes are administered by the State.  HomeAway’s tax filings with Florida will have the required detail to distinguish between which amounts relate to the state tax, and which amounts relate to each respective County Surtax that the state administers.

       

      Question: Is HA still going to leave the line item intact for taxes so we can still collect city and TDC taxes?

      Answer: As part of the Florida lodging tax launch on 12/1/2018, HomeAway is collecting all applicable taxes that apply to a booking. For the taxes that we are not required to remit for your property, HomeAway is sending those amounts to you so you can remit to the appropriate local authority.

      There will be no additional field to enter another tax item manually because all applicable taxes will be included in one line item to the traveler called ‘lodging taxes’. If you are required to collect and remit a tax that does not appear in your tax settings, please let us know as soon as possible so we can investigate and add as necessary.

       

      Comment: As mentioned above they will be keeping the .025% collection allowance, which will represent a significant amount of money given the amount of money they will be collecting and 2., They are collecting all of the tax for the whole rental with the first payment and only remitting half of it (assuming 2 payments). So they will have millions of dollars floating.

      Response: The collection allowance for the state of Florida is 2.5% of the first $1,200 of tax due, and may not exceed $30 in total. The allowance is meant to help compensate for the administrative burden of collecting and remitting taxes.  Florida allows taxpayers to donate the collection allowance to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. This fund is used to purchase up-to-date technology for classrooms in local school districts in Florida. HomeAway plans to donate any collection allowance it is eligible to claim.

       

      HomeAway does not remit taxes based on when partners receive payment from the traveler. HomeAway collects lodging taxes from the traveler at the time of booking and remits the taxes to the appropriate taxing authority when required (either monthly, quarterly, or annually).

       

      Comment: He said that they will be collecting and remitting all Florida counties under their master account and that there would be no need for us to file returns any longer.

      Response: You may still need to file a tax return after HomeAway begins collecting and remitting tax in your area. In many jurisdictions, you are required to submit a tax return for lodging taxes even if the amount of tax collected by the partner is equal to $0. Additionally, if your property is listed on multiple sites, you may still have a tax filing obligation on reservations booked on sites other than HomeAway.

       

      Please check the reporting requirements for your specific jurisdictions or consult your tax professional to avoid penalties for not reporting.

       

      Comment: Still no word about our county tax that Florida collects, then the city tax which is collected separately, and the TDC tax.

      Response: Please refer to the chart in the help pages here for a listing of all places where HomeAway is collecting and remitting lodging taxes: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-Stay-Taxes-Lodging-Taxes-does-HomeAway-collect-and-remit

       

      Question: Exactly what taxes will be collected when?

      Answer: You can refer to your Tax Settings to see what lodging taxes are applicable to your property and which are collected and remitted by HomeAway.  Beginning December 1, 2018, your tax settings will be updated to reflect which taxes HomeAway collects and remits in Florida and which taxes will be sent to you to remit.

       

      Please refer to the chart in the help pages here for a listing of all places where HomeAway is collecting and remitting lodging taxes: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-Stay-Taxes-Lodging-Taxes-does-HomeAway-collect-and-remit

       

      Question: So how much tax will be collected at what point in the booking process?

      Answer: HomeAway collects lodging taxes from the traveler at the time of booking and remits the taxes to the appropriate taxing authority when required (either monthly, quarterly, or annually).

       

      Question: What happens to the ability to add a percentage tax to prices and bookings on the site? Will that be taken away, as has been reported by other owners on this forum? So then what? How will I collect, receive and remit the local Tourist Development Taxes that I must charge for my local county? Are you going to take away my ability to add a percentage for this sales tax at the same time that you now start charging the State sales tax "on my behalf"?

      Answer: Beginning December 1, 2018, your tax settings will be updated to reflect which taxes HomeAway collects and remits in Florida and which taxes will be sent to you to remit.

       

      Please refer to the chart in the help pages here for a listing of all places where HomeAway is collecting and remitting lodging taxes: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-Stay-Taxes-Lodging-Taxes-does-HomeAway-collect-and-remit

       

      Question: HomeAway, do you understand that it is against the law to include taxes in the sales price in Florida?

      Answer: HomeAway does not include taxes in the sales price.  Taxes collected by HomeAway are itemized as a separate line called ‘lodging tax.’

       

      You will not need to add additional taxes or adjust your prices to account for taxes that are your responsibility to remit. Beginning 12/1/18, the partner's tax settings page will show all applicable taxes that will be collected, and will show which taxes HA will remit, and which taxes will be passed along to the partner to remit. Any tax that is sent to the partner for remittance will be sent like a regular payment. If you are not already properly registered for a tax that HomeAway is passing along to you to remit, you will need to register to remit tax in that jurisdiction.

       

      Comment: Does look like as of Dec 1, they will collect and remit the 6% state tax + local discretionary tax that you also usually remit to the state. Which means come Dec 1, you'll need to raise your rates by the tax rate for your county/city, because HA isn't collecting that AND can't let you collect it once they are collecting the state rate.

      Response: You will not need to add additional taxes or raise your prices to account for those taxes. Beginning December 1, 2018, your tax settings will be updated to reflect which taxes HomeAway collects and remits in Florida and which taxes will be sent to you to remit. Any tax that is sent to the partner for remittance will be sent like a regular payment. If you are not already properly registered for a tax that HomeAway is passing along to you to remit, you will need to register to remit tax in that jurisdiction.

       

      If you are required to collect and remit a tax that does not appear in your tax settings, please let us know as soon as possible so we can investigate and add as necessary.

       

      Please refer to the chart in the help pages here for a listing of all places where HomeAway is collecting and remitting lodging taxes: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-Stay-Taxes-Lodging-Taxes-does-HomeAway-collect-and-remit

       

      Question: Will VRBO be changing the tax settings so the Florida state tax will also be reflected and collected in traveler's total?

      Answer: Yes. As part of the Florida lodging tax launch on 12/1/2018, HomeAway is collecting all applicable taxes that apply to a booking. For the taxes that we are not required to remit for your property, HomeAway is sending those amounts to you so you can remit to the appropriate local authority.

      There will be no additional field to enter another tax item manually. If you are required to collect and remit a tax that does not appear in your tax settings, please let us know as soon as possible so we can investigate and add as necessary.

       

      Please refer to the tax help pages to see where HomeAway is collecting and remitting.


      UPDATED to add new response on 12/7/18:


      Question: My understanding from above is that my tax rate of 13.5% is going to be kept the same and 7.5% sent to the state and 6% to me to remit to my county (Osceola, which is not one of the 24 counties administered by the state), and HA collects that money in the first payment. Given that, let me provide an example: $1000 booking, $250 + $135 tax is collected as deposit, $750 total is collected with second payment (assuming this is how it will happen).

      When is the 6% tax sent to me from HA for eventual payment to my county?

      What happens on cancellation that happens before second payment if I don't refund the deposit? They paid full taxes on a reservation that's no longer happening and the amount collected no longer matches the tax charged.

      (And this one for the tax people: 12A-1.061 : Rentals, Leases, and Licenses to Use Transient Accommodations - Florida Administrative Rules, Law, Code, Reg… this rule specifically states that cancellation fees or retained deposits on cancelled reservations are NOT taxable).

      Response:  This change applies only to partners who accept payments via HomeAway Payments. If you’re still using alternative payments then you are responsible for taxes at this time.

       

      This The full 13.5% tax will be collected as part of the first payment, of which HA will remit 7.5%, and the remaining 6% tax will be sent to the partner for remittance. This payment to the partner will be sent along with regularly scheduled payouts of rent.

       

      In the case of cancellations, for the taxes that HA collects and remits, HA will refund the applicable taxes to the traveler. For the taxes that HA collects and are sent to the owner to remit, the functionality for refunds of tax upon cancellation should work the same as prior to 12/1. Please check the reporting requirements for your specific jurisdictions or consult your tax professional for additional guidance on how to treat the taxability of cancellation fees.

       

       

      Comment:

      • My concern is the risk (at a future date) that the Florida DOR sends me a notice that I owe them for years of back taxes (as they see my online tax submission goes from a certain historical amount each month to basically zero as of Dec.1).
      • Currently we all have a DOR account number so the Florida DOR knows what we submit each month.
      • With the new HomeAway "bulk tax submission" to the DOR each month, there is no traceability back to the individual rental account / property address ........ therefore the risk of a future tax bill for "unpaid taxes".

      Response: Although HA will not be submitting a breakout of tax amounts by property with each monthly submission, HA will be retaining this information internally in the case of any future inquiry and is required to do so.  Per HomeAway’s agreement with Florida, beginning December 1, 2018, HomeAway is the tax responsible party for the state administered taxes for transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform. HomeAway has agreed to assume liability for any failure to report, collect, and or remit the correct amount of tax, including any penalties and interest for transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform beginning December 1, 2018.  The Partner is no longer responsible for the state administered taxes on transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform and will not be held accountable if HomeAway collects the wrong amount of tax or fails to collect the tax. You are still responsible for all taxes for transactions that are not booked and paid through the HomeAway platform.In addition, you can see through the following channels what amounts are being collected and remitted by HomeAway as well as amounts we collect and send to you for remittance:

      1. (Coming soon) In the payment details in Reservation Manager for each of the booking made through HomeAway.
      2. (Currently) In the Payments report download, where you can see the details including a column for the taxes HomeAway collects and remits, and a column for those we collect and send you but you must remit. Instructions for accessing the report can be found here: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/How-do-I-export-my-payment-details

       

      Comment: That last point is very true. From the Florida sales tax rules:2. Even though a written agreement exists between the agent, representative, or management company and the property owner, the property owner remains responsible for the tax obligation in the event the agent, representative, or management company fails to collect or remit the tax due to the proper taxing authority and the taxing authority is unable to collect the applicable tax from the agent, representative, or management company.In this case, HA is officially agreeing to be what it has actually been for several years: the booking agent. They are responsible now for collecting and remitting the taxes for the state. However, if they fail to do their job right, the owners are on the hook.Response: Per HomeAway’s agreement with Florida, HomeAway has agreed to assume liability for any failure to report, collect, and or remit the correct amount of tax, including any penalties and interest for transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform beginning December 1, 2018.  The Partner is no longer responsible for the state administered taxes on transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform and will not be held accountable if HomeAway collects the wrong amount of tax or fails to collect the tax.

      Comment:

      Some confirmations and follow up questions please.

      1. HA will be paying the Florida Sales tax
      2. In the areas/counties where there is no bill and collect agreement HA will be submitting the remaining amount of lodging tax based on what % amount is in the tax settings currently to the owners to pay to the local tourist tax themselves.

      Response:

      1. Correct. Per a collection agreement with the Florida Department of Revenue, beginning December 1, 2018, HomeAway/VRBO has agreed to collect and remit all state-administered taxes on transactions that are booked and paid on the HomeAway platform, which include Florida Transient Rentals Tax, Discretionary Sales Surtax, and the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for specific counties that do not separately administer a TDT.
      2. For the area and County taxes not administered by the State, HomeAway is using your property’s location to determine the correct rate. HomeAway will then send the appropriate amounts to you so you can remit to the appropriate local authority. If you are required to collect and remit a tax that does not appear in your tax settings beginning on 12/1, please let us know as soon as possible so we can investigate and add as necessary.

       

      Questions:

      1. In the tax submissions to the Florida Dept of Rev. will it be broken out by property?
      2. In your responses there is a mention of report we will be able to access and download that will be the receipt the owner can use to validate the taxes have been paid. When will the report be available? In HA model when is the tax paid? At the time of booking, Prior to check in or post stay?

      Response:

      1. HA will not be submitting a breakout of tax amounts by property with each monthly submission. However, HA will be retaining this information internally in the case of any future inquiry.
      2. The report is currently available for all owners, and it is automatically updated as each reservation is accepted and traveler payments are received. See instructions for accessing the report here. For bookings made 12/1 and after, the ‘Stay Taxes We Remit’ column will begin to populate, and if applicable, on the same booking, ‘Stay Taxes You Remit’ will also populate. HomeAway does not remit taxes based on when partners receive payment from the traveler. HomeAway collects lodging taxes from the traveler at the time of booking and remits the taxes to the appropriate taxing authority when required (either monthly, quarterly, or annually).

       

      Question: Erinn, will you please confirm that if you ACCEPT CHECKS as a form of ALTERNATE PAYMENT in the booking process HA will continue to pass through All Lodging Taxes to the owner to pay themselves on both types of transactions/bookings credit card or check.

      Answer: Owners remain responsible for the collection and remittance of Lodging Tax where alternate payments are enabled. Therefore, if you have alternate payments enabled, HomeAway will continue to pass through all lodging taxes to the owner based on the rate that is entered in their tax settings.

        • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
          feibus CommunityAmbassador

          THANK YOU!!!!!  You rock once again!

           

          My understanding from above is that my tax rate of 13.5% is going to be kept the same and 7.5% sent to the state and 6% to me to remit to my county (Osceola, which is not one of the 24 counties administered by the state), and HA collects that money in the first payment.  Given that, let me provide an example:  $1000 booking, $250 + $135 tax is collected as deposit, $750 total is collected with second payment (assuming this is how it will happen).


          When is the 6% tax sent to me from HA for eventual payment to my county?


          What happens on cancellation that happens before second payment if I don't refund the deposit?  They paid full taxes on a reservation that's no longer happening and the amount collected no longer matches the tax charged.


          (And this one for the tax people: 12A-1.061 : Rentals, Leases, and Licenses to Use Transient Accommodations - Florida Administrative Rules, Law, Code, Reg… this rule specifically states that cancellation fees or retained deposits on cancelled reservations are NOT taxable).

          • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
            concheyjoe New Member

            Erinn, the info provided helps, thank you.

             

            Some confirmations and follow up questions please.

            1 HA will be paying the Florida Sales tax

            2 In the areas/counties where there is no bill and collect agreement HA will be submitting the remaining amount of lodging tax based on what % amount is in the tax settings currently to the owners to pay to the local tourist tax themselves.

             

            1 In the tax submissions to the Florida Dept of Rev. will it be broken out by property?

            2 In your responses there is a mention of report we will be able to access and download that will be the receipt the owner can use to validate the taxes have been paid. When will the report be available? In HA model when is the tax paid? At the time of booking, Prior to check in or post stay? 

            • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
              feibus CommunityAmbassador

              Tomorrow's the day.  I've taken my listings offline for the next 12 hours or so to see what happens with the tax settings overnight.

                • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                  feibus CommunityAmbassador

                  Capture.PNG

                  I ran a test of my rates and the correct taxes were included, so we're back in business!  Still need the answers to those questions related to cancellations and how I get the taxes for county TDT, but... I turned my listing back on while I wait on those.

                    • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                      18oceanplace Contributor

                      I ran a test of my rates (in Nassau County Florida) and mine are NOT CORRECT. The "Lodging Tax" of 6% state + 1% county is being calculated but the local 5% county Tourist Development Tax is not being calculated.

                       

                      I was told that this additional county tax would continue to be collected by HomeAway and remitted by me. That is not what the system is doing!

                       

                      Erinn said the following would happen, but this is not the case.

                       

                      Question: Is HA still going to leave the line item intact for taxes so we can still collect city and TDC taxes?

                      Answer: As part of the Florida lodging tax launch on 12/1/2018, HomeAway is collecting all applicable taxes that apply to a booking. For the taxes that we are not required to remit for your property, HomeAway is sending those amounts to you so you can remit to the appropriate local authority.

                      There will be no additional field to enter another tax item manually because all applicable taxes will be included in one line item to the traveler called ‘lodging taxes’. If you are required to collect and remit a tax that does not appear in your tax settings, please let us know as soon as possible so we can investigate and add as necessary.

                       

                      Question: Our rentals are in Osceola County. So we collect and remit local sales tax with a paper return?

                      Answer: Beginning 12/1/18, the partner's tax settings page will show all applicable taxes that will be collected and will show which taxes HA will remit, and which taxes will be passed along to the partner to remit. Any tax that is sent to the partner for remittance will be sent like a regular payment. If you are not already properly registered for a tax that HomeAway is passing along to you to remit, you will need to register to remit tax in that jurisdiction.

                       

                      Please keep in mind that every jurisdiction is different, and if you are required to remit the tax that is passed along to you, it is advised that you contact your County or your tax professional for more information on how to do so.

                  • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                    eyegirl New Member

                    Thank you for providing more guidance.  I checked my listing and the taxes are not being calculated correctly.  It only reflects the taxes paid to the state and not the taxes paid locally.  I can't find a way to get that amount calculated with your new system.  It was quite easy before Dec. 1, but as of now it is calculating a reduced incorrect amount.  Does anyone know how to get this problem corrected? I am temporarily hiding my listings until the kinks get worked out. 

                    • Re: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                      feibus CommunityAmbassador

                      There's an open CS ticket on it, but I wanted to share a little...

                       

                      I got a booking on Dec 2.  The money e-mail from VRP showed up today and shows I'll be receiving all the tax money (the payment download showed the same thing, so that was my first alert).  So that's how I'm marking it in my accounting package and it'll deal with it when the time comes to pay taxes for that booking.

                       

                      So add that to the list of things to watch out for until the kinks get worked out.

                      • Re: UPDATED: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                        feibus CommunityAmbassador

                        It's too bad you can only "like" a thread once.

                        • Re: UPDATED: Florida Specific Tax Questions & Comments Answered
                          junglejane52 New Member

                          My understanding is that Homeaway will reimburse the traveler for taxes that were collected if they cancel a reservation IF, AND ONLY IF the owner is offering a full refund. No taxes will be returned if there is a partial refund. Is this true????