Tax Collector: Tourist Development Tax Vital to Pinellas County
CLEARWATER - The Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office announced its participation with the Florida Department of Revenue to offer an amnesty program for delinquent tourist development taxes, a 5 percent tax commonly known as the "bed tax" required by Florida law on rooms rented for less than six months.
"The amnesty program is a way to encourage those in the business of short-term rentals to pay their required tourist development taxes, said Tax Collector Diane Nelson. "The tourist development tax is vital to Pinellas County, as it produces close to $25 million each year and is used mainly for local tourism promotion and beach renourishment."
From July 1 through Sept. 30, businesses and individuals, such as hotels and property owners, who have not paid tourist development taxes on rental activity occurring before July 1, 2010 are eligible for a tax amnesty, an agreement that releases delinquent taxpayers of standard liabilities and penalties if they pay all past-due tourist taxes plus 50percent of interest charges.
To participate, taxpayers with tourist development accounts must provide the Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office with an amnesty agreement to pay past-due taxes, along with a declaration of their monthly rental income. Anyone with short-term taxable rentals who has not registered should contact the Pinellas County Tax Collector's Office to complete a tourist development tax application, an amnesty agreement, and a rental income declaration.
Failure to pay tourist development taxes violates Florida law and is punishable by statutory remedies, including penalties on the total tax due, daily interest, and a warrant filed in the Pinellas County Official Records, which creates a lien on the taxpayer's property in Pinellas County.
For more information on the tourist development amnesty program or other Pinellas County Tax Collector services, visit www.taxcollect.com or call (727) 464-5007 to speak to a tax specialist.
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