Tourist Development Tax

File Your Tax Report


Frequently Asked Questions

NEED TO FILE YOUR TAX REPORT? Click here to access the Bay County Tourist Development Tax web application. WHAT IS THE BAY COUNTY TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX? The tourist development tax is a 5% bed tax collected from a special taxing district that represents an area of Bay County from Phillips Inlet bridge on the west end to the intersection of Thomas Drive and West Highway 98 on the east end. Area also includes Shell Island and Crooked Island. The Bay County expanded tax district of Mexico Beach includes all of the area east of the Tyndall Air Force Base property line and south of the Intracoastal Waterway. BY WHAT AUTHORITY ARE THESE GUIDELINES ISSUED? The Florida Local Option Tourist Development Tax, Florida Statute 125.0104 permits the Board of County Commissioners of Bay County, Florida to levy a tourist development tax. Florida Statutes Chapter 212 Tax on Sales, Use, and Other Transactions authorize how the local option tax is to be administered, enforced, and audited by Bay County, Florida. Bay County Ordinance 85-06, 86-01, 97-11, 09-06 and 09-09 created the Tourist Development Council, established the tax rate collection, and identified the special taxing districts within Bay County at Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach. Bay County Ordinance 93-16 authorizes the Clerk of the Circuit Court to locally administer the tourist development tax. HOW ARE THE MONIES USED? According to the Tourist Development Plan, 3% of the monies collected in the Panama City Beach area must be used for advertising and promotion of Panama City Beach, Florida as a tourist destination, beach cleaning and maintenance and product improvement of the area. One percent (1%) of the monies collected are dedicated to the beach renourishment project and for the on-going maintenance of the renourishment. One percent (1%) of the monies collected are dedicated to supporting low cost air service and promoting the area nationally and internationally. The monies collected in the Mexico Beach district will be used to fund Mexico Beach as a tourist destination, beach cleaning and maintenance and product improvement of Mexico Beach. WHAT FACILITIES ARE SUBJECT TO THE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX? All facilities that are rented for six months or less are subject to the tourist development tax. These facilities include living quarters and accommodations in a hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment motel, rooming house, tourist or trailer camp, mobile home park, condominium, cooperatively-owned apartment, multiple-unit structure, single-family dwelling, beach house, cottage, or watercraft. CAN THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION BE CLAIMED? As addressed in Florida Statutes Chapter 196.061: “The rental of an entire dwelling previously claimed to be a homestead for tax purposes shall constitute the abandonment of said dwelling as a homestead, and said abandonment shall continue until such dwelling is physically occupied by the owner thereof. However, such abandonment of such homestead after January 1 of any year shall not affect the homestead exemption for tax purposes for that particular year so long as this provision is not used for 2 consecutive years.” TAX RATES:

  • States sales tax rate effective January 1, 2011 is 6.5%
  • Bay County Tourist Tax is 5%
  • City of Panama City Beach license fee is 1%

HOW IS THE TAX CALCULATED? The 5% tax is calculated on the total fees and fair market value of consideration paid by the tenant for the benefit of the accommodations. Any and all fees and consideration that are required by the tenant for the benefit of the accommodations are considered as the total rental charge and are taxable. These fees include but are not limited to: room rental charges, cleaning fees, roll away beds, cribs, and the Panama City Beach 1% license fee. WHO PAYS THE TAX? The guest pays the tax to you and you in turn report and remit the tax collected to the proper tax authorities. WHO COLLECTS THIS TAX? All owners or operators of the above listed facilities are subject to the tourist development tax. All owners or operators are required to register the facilities and collect this tax from their tenants or guests. Collected taxes are remitted to the Clerk of Circuit Court of Bay County, PO Box 1230, Panama City Florida 32402. WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THIS TAX? All of the above listed facilities are subject to the tourist development tax except as stipulated: * Tenant presents Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption. Payment for accommodations must be made by the holder of the exempt certificate (except federal government employees) to be considered tax exempt, even if they will be reimbursed by the exempt agency. * Tenant and owner/operator have implemented a bona fide lease agreement for a period greater than six months continuous. * Tenant has occupied and paid tax continuously for greater than six months the remainder of the rental period for this same tenant is tax exempt. * As documented in the Florida Statutes for Sales and Use Tax exemptions. DO I HAVE TO PAY A TAX TO RENT MY CONDO UNIT? YES – Please download and read entirely the Condo Newsletter. HOW OFTEN ARE THESE TAXES REMITTED? Tax returns and payment are remitted monthly. A tax return is due even when no rental activity has occurred during the reporting period. The tax return and payment are due the first day of the month following collection from tenants and are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th of the month following the close of the reporting period. For example, the January reporting period is from January 1 through January 31, the tax return and full payment must be postmarked no later than the February 20th. There is an exception allowable for quarterly filing, as determined by the Tourist Development Tax Department, where payment history is $1,000 or less of tax paid annually. WHAT DO OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF THESE FACILITIES RECEIVE FOR COLLECTING THE TAX? Owners and operators who file and pay online are compensated for their efforts to collect and remit the tourist tax by receiving a collection allowance. The collection allowance is 2.5% of the first $1,200 in tax collected, provided timely filing of the tax return. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE OR LATE SUBMISSION? Florida Statutes permit penalties and interest to be assessed on the tax receipts due to Bay County when filling and/or full payment is not received by the 20th of the month. If the tax return is delinquent, the collector may be subject the following assessments:

  • Collection allowance is disallowed.
  • A penalty of 10% for each 30 days delinquent or fraction thereof up to a maximum of 50% of the taxes due or a minimum of $50. Zero balance returns are assessed the minimum $50 penalty.
  • Florida law provides a floating rate of interest on tax returns and tax payments. The floating rate applies to underpayments and late payments. Florida Department of Revenue quotes the floating rate each January 1 and July 1. Interest charges are assessed from the date the tax return is due until full payment has been remitted.
  • Consequences for failure to file a tax return are outlined in the Florida Statutes.

WHAT RECORDS ARE REQUIRED AND HOW LONG SHOULD THEY BE KEPT? All records that substantiate all of the transient rental sales including, but not limited to cash receipts, guest ledgers, general ledger, Florida Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption, sales tax payments, Federal income tax returns and lease agreements must be kept for a period not less than three years from the date the return was filed or was required to be filed, whichever is later. HOW DO I PERIODICALLY UPDATE MY PROPERTY MANAGER’S LIST (PML)?Throughout the year you should update your property list via email at Additions should be emailed as soon as possible, but no later than 12 noon CST on the 17th of the month the tax report is due. Deletions should be emailed after the final report has been made for the property being deleted. Information required when updating your PML includes the property address (including tower/unit number if applicable), owner’s name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. IN WHAT PERIOD DO I REPORT INCOME? Income is reported in the period it is earned. Therefore, if you require your guests to pay in advance it should not be reported until the period they check in. For stays that cross over reporting periods either period is acceptable, just be consistent. WHEN ARE RENTALS EXEMPT FROM TOURIST TAX?

  • The guest is a non-profit organization and has a state of Florida sales tax exemption certificate. You must maintain a copy of the certificate and the group or individual must pay with a credit card or check in the organization’s name.
  • The guest is military on TDY and has presented you with a copy of their orders.
  • You have a qualified, written, residential long term lease for more than 6 months. A copy of this lease must be provided to the TDT office for verification that the lease is in compliance.

WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR A LATE REPORT? Reports must be filed each filing period EVEN IF THERE IS NO INCOME TO REPORT. Late reports are subject to the loss of the collection allowance, interest, and a minimum $50.00 penalty. WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR AN AUDIT OF MY RENTAL RECORDS? Transient rental sales and activity are subject to tax audits. Documents referenced above are a sample of the documents necessary to perform a thorough audit. The Clerk of the Circuit Court Audit Division will send written notification of an audit. This notification will be submitted at least 30 days prior to any audit. In addition, the assigned auditor will telephone to confirm the audit three working days in advance. WHERE WILL THE AUDIT OCCUR? The owner or operator must make the records available at their place of business, if located in Bay County. If the records are not immediately available in Bay County, the owner or operator must return the records to Bay County Clerk of the Circuit Court for examination prior to the audit date.

State of Florida State of Florida City of Panama City Beach
Department of Revenue 210-A N Tyndall Pkwy Panama City, FL 32404 (850)872-4165 Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Hotels and Restaurants Beach Shopping Center Panama City Beach, FL 32407-4817 (850)233-5170 (850)370-5170 (Property located within city limits of City of Panama City Beach) Licensing Division 110 S. Arnold Rd (Formerly Hwy 79) Panama City Beach, FL 32413 (850)233-5100