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Barbara Ford-Coates - Florida Tax Collector serving Sarasota County
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Who must collect the Tourist Tax
Any person or business that has accommodations to rent or lease for six months or less must collect both state sales tax (7%) and tourist development tax (6%) on the rent payment. This tax applies to hotels, motels, apartment buildings, single or multi-family dwellings, manufactured home parks, condominiums and vessels. The person receiving the rent is responsible for remitting the tax regardless of where the payment exchange takes place. If the tourist tax is not collected from the renter and remitted to the tax collector, the owner of the property shall be held personally liable to pay the tax and any applicable penalties and interest.

Tourist Tax Exemptions
Anyone who has entered into a "bona fide written lease" in excess of six months is exempt from sales tax and tourist development tax on the lease payments.

If there is no written agreement, the owner is required to collect and remit the state sales tax and tourist development tax for the first six months. The seventh month and every month thereafter will be exempt provided the same renter continues to reside at the same location.

Anyone who is exempt from paying state sales tax is also exempt from the tourist development tax. These exemptions include full-time students, active duty military personnel, churches and non-profit organizations that have a sales tax exemption number from the Florida Department of Revenue. Contact our office for more information.

Getting Started

  1. Register with the Sarasota County Tax Collector. An individual application is used for a single rental. A consolidated account application can be used to report the combined rental activities of multiple rentals on one monthly form. To submit the registration, you can mail, fax or email to Once you are registered, tax returns will be sent to you by mail with return envelopes. If preferred, return forms can be emailed.
  2. Register with the State of Florida. The registration form must be completed with the Florida Department of Revenue for the collection of state sales tax. The Department of Revenue can be contacted at 941.343.0201.

Due Dates
The tourist development tax is due to the Tax Collector’s Office by the 20th day of the month following the collection. If postmarked on the 21st day of the month or after, delinquent interest and penalties must be added. The reporting month is the month in which the rent is collected.

If you have no rental activity in a month or quarter, you must file a zero return form or send notice to our office to inactivate your account. For seasonal rentals, contact our office to determine the best way to set up your account.

Online payment is not currently offered for tourist tax; however, you may wish to use your bank's bill pay service to send your payment electronically. 

  • Paying by eBank: Create a payee for the Tax Collector as your bank instructs and include your tourist tax account number with your payment. Be sure to initiate your payment with sufficient lead time for it to settle in our account by the due date. Scan your completed tourist tax return and email it to In your email, please include the date your bank will initiate payment. 
  • Late Payment: If the return and payment are not postmarked by the 20th of the month following the reporting period, the collection allowance is forfeited and penalty and interest are assessed. The penalty is 10% of the tax due (minimum of $50) for each delinquent month or fraction of a month. The interest rate is variable. You will need to contact our office for instructions. In order to determine if the tax is timely, the postmark is used, NOT the date generated by a business postage meter.

Rental Agents
If you are a rental agent for a property owner, you are liable to collect and remit the tourist tax and state sales tax. If you collect rent and/or taxes and send the money to the owner who does not remit it properly, you may be held liable for the amount due plus penalty and interest.

Other Requirements or Considerations for Owners of Rental Properties

  • Tangible Personal Property Tax - In addition to collecting the tourist tax and state sales tax, an owner is required to pay tangible personal property taxes annually on the value of the rental furnishings. A return is filed each year with the Property Appraiser’s Office declaring the value of the furnishings and appliances. Any questions about filing a tangible tax return can be directed to the Property Appraiser’s Office at 941.861.8200. The tangible tax bills are mailed each year in November at the same time as the real estate tax bills.
  • Business Tax - If a rental unit is available for less than one month, the owner is required to pay a Business Tax at the Tax Collector’s Office. The tax for a rental unit is $1.57 per sleeping room, with a minimum of $15.75. Registration for the Business Tax is available at the Tax Collector’s Office. If your property is located within city limits, you may also pay a city business tax. Contact your city hall (Longboat KeyNorth PortSarasotaVenice) for more information.
  • Zoning - To ensure that you are complying with local regulations, contact Sarasota County Zoning or the zoning department in the city (Longboat KeyNorth PortSarasotaVenice) where your rental unit is located.
  • Possible Loss of Homestead Exemption - If you benefit from the homestead exemption and are considering renting all or a portion of your homesteaded property, you risk losing the exemption. Contact the Sarasota County Property Appraiser for more information.
  • Neighborhood HOA - If you are in a neighborhood with a Homeowner's Association, refer to your bylaws for specific information on renting in your community.