This is the Renter Evader Hotline. This is an anonymous tipsite and the public records law will not allow us to report the progress of any investigation. Thank you.
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RESORT TAX EVADERS BEWARE!
With a flat real estate market and the likelihood of several spec homes still on the market for sale, the Manatee County Tax Collector is reminding property owners that renting their home for six months or less is subject to collection of the 4% tourist tax (effective June 1st the rate will be 5%) as well as the 6.5% state sales tax.
“If you’re renting your property out and not collecting the tax along with the rent means you are breaking the law,” said Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr. “I am sure there are some property owners that now find themselves in neighborhoods that have renters coming and going and are not happy; and I am asking for their help.”
“Since we began collecting the tourist tax in 1989, we have always relied on tips from the public via the internet or phone; but many of our residents probably do not know that option exists. To make it easy we have initiated a Rental Tax Evader Hot Line (941-741-4809) and have added a Hotline button on the front page of our website – www.taxcollector.com. So in the event you think someone is renting out property that is not registered or paying the tax, you can make an anonymous tip.”
Manatee County enacted the local option Tourist Tax in 1980. Like sales tax, the tourist tax is protected from public records law. The tax is also called the Bed Tax, Tourist Development Tax, Short Term Rental Tax, or Resort Tax and is in addition to sales tax. The Tax Collector collects the tax and also handles its enforcement and auditing.
Collections for the coming year will exceed $5 million. In the past year alone the Tax Collector’s office assessed and collected back taxes and penalties in excess of $160,000. The Tax Collector can and will assess property owners who are not registered; and per the Florida Statutes, the onus is on the taxpayer to prove the Tax Collector wrong.
“It is no different than staying at Disney World.” Burton said. A renter who charges $1,000 for a week’s stay is also required to collect an additional $105 ($65 for sales tax and $40 for the tourist tax).
The majority of accounts remit payments monthly to the Tax Collector and the Florida Department of Revenue. If you need to register or have questions regarding Resort Tax go to www.taxcollector.com. To register with the DOR online, visit their website at http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/ . Frequently asked questions are available online, but for further information the local DOR Service Center number is 941-361-6001.