5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 3, 2019 9:43 AM by homeaway_community_manager RSS

    VRBO not collecting proper taxes for Okaloosa County (Destin) Fl

    kmcbhense Contributor

      As of Jan 1st, 2019, Okaloosa county (Destin) FL has voted in an extra .5% tax surplus. So our total tax rate is going from 11% to 11.5%. I called in to the help desk about it, because they are not collecting the proper tax rate. After several minutes of checking on my premier partner....the reply I got back, well your just going to have to collect that .5% yourself and pay it! The other option they said, do just list that as an extra guest fee!

      Lets either collect the proper taxes, or just stay out of that business and let us properly run our own business! We know so much better at the local level here, that a bunch of folks sitting behind there desks in Austin. Makes me sick just thinking of what VRBO has become over the years.

        • Re: VRBO not collecting proper taxes for Okaloosa County (Destin) Fl
          feibus Senior Contributor

          Osceola did it to us a couple of years back, on election day voted in a 0.5% TDT increase for all bookings that were already collected for the upcoming year.  In other words (for those at home who hasn't had this happen to yet), I get most of my spring bookings done by the middle of October and on November 7, they raised the tax rate for all those spring bookings.  And it was my responsibility to collect/remit regardless.

           

          I weighed whether I was going to bother my guests with it and decided to just eat it, that life was too short for me to worry about $5 on a $1000 rental.  Any new rentals got the new rate.

           

          But being in Florida, we can't control the rate on our listings.  So... here's what you can do, based on whether the changed rate was something the state collected or whether the county collected it from you.

           

          If the state collected it: do nothing.  HA says they're taking care of your state-remitted taxes for all future rentals.  Go with that, that's what they agreed to and told us in no uncertain terms.

           

          If the county collected it: stop IB and every incoming booking for the next 3 weeks until your listing changes to the new rate, edit the reservation without accepting it and send a message with the change letting the guest know that it's not you, it's the new county law and you're just trying to comply with it until HA updates your listing.  Or keep the booking and just eat the difference for the three weeks.  One of those.

           

          And contact CS on Jan 1 if your rate isn't updated on Jan 1 and escalate until it gets done.

          • Re: VRBO not collecting proper taxes for Okaloosa County (Destin) Fl
            homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

            Hi kmcbhense,

             

            We're looking into this. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

             

            Erinn

            HomeAway Community Manager

            • Re: VRBO not collecting proper taxes for Okaloosa County (Destin) Fl
              feibus Senior Contributor

              So an evil thought came to me: although HA is claiming they are now responsible for collecting and remitting... in the example the OP brings up, will HA make up the difference for collecting the wrong rate... or will they just take it from the owners after-the-fact?

               

              Inquiring minds want to know....

              • Re: VRBO not collecting proper taxes for Okaloosa County (Destin) Fl
                homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                Hi kmcbhense,

                 

                Thank you for the feedback. We are aware that several Florida Counties, (including Okaloosa County,) have voted to increase their discretionary surcharge rate effective January 1, 2019.

                 

                Beginning December 1, 2018, HomeAway has agreed to collect and remit all Florida 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.  The tax increases effective January 1 relate to taxes that HomeAway is responsible to collect and remit.  HomeAway will ensure that the taxes are handled properly with the jurisdiction.

                 

                You should be able to verify this rate increase in your tax settings page beginning January 1 (perhaps earlier, as we are working to update to the new rates as soon as possible.) Should you see that the updated rates are not displaying at that time, please feel free to let us know so we can investigate.

                 

                Thank you.

                 

                Erinn

                HomeAway Community Manager