The Online Tourist Development Tax System
Welcome to the Walton County Tourist Development Tax web application!

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ATTENTION ALL AIRBNB, HOMEAWAY, & VRBO CUSTOMERS:

Please note that Walton County is NOT contracted with ANY platform including the ones mentioned above to receive taxes on your behalf. Therefore, it is your responsibility to collect & remit any Walton Co. Tourist Development Tax (TDT or “bed tax”) to the Walton Co. Clerk of Court & Co. Comptroller.


NORTH WALTON 2% TDT: For rental stays beginning 3/1/21, a 2% North Walton Tourist Development Tax (TDT) must be collected from your rentals. This "North Walton" area includes all zip codes north of the Choctawhatchee Bay including the following: 32462, 32439, 32578, 32435, 32455, 32433, 32539, 32464, & 32567. The South Walton zip codes of 32550, 32459, & 32461 are NOT affected by this new tax & will remain at the current 5% South Walton TDT rate. The North Walton registration forms are linked below in "Forms & Downloads", & a copy of the ordinance enacting the new tax can be found in "Links" below.


Walton County Clerk of Courts and County Comptroller
Tourist Development Tax
31 Coastal Centre Blvd., Suite 500
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Phone: 850-267-2040
Fax: 850-267-1335
E-Mail: touristdevelopmenttax@waltonclerk.com
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FORMS AND DOWNLOADS: LINKS:

SW Registration Form-Property Manager
SW Registration Form-Individual/Hotel
NW Registration Form-Property Manager
NW Registration Form-Individual/Hotel
Import Property Spreadsheet
Instructions-Import Property Spreadsheet
Property Additions Form
Property Deletions Form
New Owner Questionnaire
Rental Status Questionnaire
Tax Return Amendment Request
SW Paper Tax Return Form
NW Paper Tax Return Form
Account Closure Request – Property Manager
Account Closure Request – Individual or Hotel

Walton Co. Clerk of Courts & Co. Comptroller website
Walton Co. Tourist Development Council website
Walton Co. GIS Dept. website
Walton Co. Property Appraiser search website
Walton Co. Official Records Search website
Walton Co. Tax Collector website
Walton Co. Code Compliance website
Walton County website
FL Dept. of Revenue (DOR) website
FL Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR)
FL Dept. of State Sunbiz.org Division of Corporations website
FL Statutes - FL Legislature website
Walton County STR Plan eff. 5/19/20
Do I Have To Register My Property?
Walton Co. Ordinance 2021-01 - North Walton TDT

Walton Co. Tourist Development Tax Rates:

Effective 3/1/21, Walton County has two seperate Tourist Development Tax districts with different tax rates depending on the location of the rental property.

If your rental property(ies) is located SOUTH of the Choctawhatchee Bay, the TDT rate that should be charged to short-term renters is 5% of the rent charged for that stay plus any required, non-refundable fees (cleaning fees, pet fees, resort fees, etc.) This is the TDT rate for the following zip codes: 32550, 32459, & 32461.

If your rental property(ies) is located NORTH of the Choctawhatchee Bay, then effective for March 2021 stays going forward, the TDT rate that should be charged to short-term renters is 2% of the rent charged for that stay plus any required, non-refundable fees (cleaning fees, pet fees, resort fees, etc.) This is the TDT rate for the following zip codes: 32462, 32439, 32578, 32435, 32455, 32433, 32539, 32464, & 32567.

Rules for Collecting and Remitting Tourist Development Tax:

Tourist Development Tax returns are due on the 1st of the month following when the rental stay occurred and delinquent if postmarked or submitted after the 20th. When the 20th falls on a weekend or county/state/federal holiday, the postmark/submittal deadline is the next business day. A collection allowance (i.e. discount) is available for those that both file and pay online and on time.

If a return is delinquent, the collection allowance is disallowed and penalty and interest will be charged. Per FL Statute, the penalty is 10% of the tax due or $50, whichever is greater. Interest accrues daily at a variable rate established by the FL Dept. of Revenue. If noncompliance continues, collection action is taken as outlined in the FL Statutes.

Managers/owners are also required to keep all records associated with rental revenue for a period of three years in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. These records must be made available for audit upon 60 days notice from the Walton County Clerk of Court.

Exemptions from the Tourist Development Tax

If a written rental lease for terms of longer than six months was executed, that tenant is exempt from paying Tourist Development Tax. Six-month leases and month-to-month rentals are subject to the tax. If a month-to-month tenant stays longer than six months, they become exempt beginning with the seventh month based on the continuous stay.

Also, rentals made for business purposes by government-employed individuals, non-profit organizations, etc. may be exempt if certain conditions are met. Examples of tax-exempt rentals and your requirements for exempting these rentals may be obtained from the FL Department of Revenue or the Walton Co. TDT Dept.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there other taxes I should be collecting on my rentals?
2. By what authority are these taxes governed?
3. I manage my own rental property, but I reside in another county or state and none of the money for my rentals changes hands in Walton County. Are my rentals still subject to these taxes?
4. I rent my property online. I have heard that Internet sales are not taxable. Is this true?
5. My rentals are handled by a property management company. What are my Tourist Development Tax responsibilities?
6. My property is used by friends and relatives at times during the year. Am I required to collect the Tourist Development Tax from them?
7. What is considered taxable rental revenue?
8. I have been renting for some time now, but was not aware of my responsibility to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax. I’d like to begin complying, but I am afraid that I have a large tax liability. How does this work?
9. I have rental property in other counties in Florida. How do I determine if my other rentals are subject to a Tourist Development Tax, and if so, who do I contact?
10. If a single rental overlaps months, on which return month should I report that revenue?

 

 

1. Are there other taxes I should be collecting on my rentals?

Yes. In addition to the Tourist Development Tax, you must collect and remit state sales tax (currently 6%) and local sales tax (currently 1%) to the FL Dept. of Revenue (DOR). While some rental platforms may collect & remit this 7% on your behalf, FL DOR still requires you to register with them as "Active - Not Required to File". You may register online with the FL DOR at https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/eservices/Pages/registration.aspx.

The total tax to collect on your rentals is this 7% state & local sales tax plus either the 5% or 2% depending on the location of your rental property. For those in South Walton, your total to collect from renters is 12%. For those renting in North Walton, your total to collect from renters is 9%.


2. By what authority are these taxes governed?

The Florida Local Option Tourist Development Tax, Florida Statute 125.0104 permits the Board of County Commissioners of Walton 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 Walton County, Florida. Per Walton County Ordinance 91-12 & 2021-01, the Clerk of Courts & County Comptroller is required to collect & enforce the Tourist Development Tax in both Walton County tax districts.

3. I manage my own rental property, but I reside in another county or state and none of the money for my rentals changes hands in Walton County. Are my rentals still subject to these taxes?

Yes. Taxability is based upon the location of the rental property, not the location of the financial transaction.

4. I exclusively rent my property online. I have heard that some rental platforms remit the taxes on my behalf. Is this true?

While there are certain platforms that have agreements in place with the FL Dept. of Revenue to receive the state & local sales tax directly from the platform for you, Walton County has no such agreements. In other words, the Walton Co. Clerk of Court & Co. Comptroller is NOT contracted with ANY platform to receive taxes on your behalf. Therefore, it is your responsibility to collect & remit any Walton Co. TDT to our department regardless of booking method or platform used to secure the rental & obtain the rental revenue.

5. My rentals are handled by a property management company. What are my Tourist Development Tax responsibilities?

If your property management company is collecting and remitting tax for ALL of your property’s rentals under their Tourist Development Tax ID management registration with our office, you are not required to file your own returns (although you may still need to register with the FL Dept. of Revenue). However, please be aware that, under Florida law, property owners are ultimately responsible for sales taxes if a property manager defaults or fails to collect or remit the tax. If you ever personally collect rental revenue or any other form of compensation (just the cleaning fee from friends/family, gifts or services as rental consideration, etc.), you must collect and remit the taxes for those stays which will require your own registration with our office. We allow multiple registrations for the same parcel/property for this reason.

6. My property is used by friends and relatives at times during the year. Am I required to collect the Tourist Development Tax from them?

If you collect rent from them, or accept any other compensation in lieu of rent (even if no rent is charged, but they pay you the fee to have the unit cleaned upon checkout), you are required to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax based upon the rent plus fee(s) paid or upon the fair market value of the consideration received. If compensation (including cleaning fees or any other required, non-refundable fees) is not received nor expected from your friends or relatives at all, you should be sure to document that in your records in case of audit.

7. What is considered taxable rental revenue?

Any non-refundable amount that the guest is required to pay as a condition of occupying the property is subject to the Tourist Development Tax. Common examples include (but are not limited to) cleaning fees, reservation/processing fees, amenities fees, resort fees, and pet fees. In addition, if you provide extra furnishings upon request for an additional fee (for example: cribs, rollaways, etc.), that charge is also subject to the Tourist Development Tax.

If renting online, we typically do not recommend trying to calculate your taxable revenue amount using the amount that the platform deposited into your bank account as this usually takes into account several platform-specific fees, the actual tax amounts collected from the renter, etc. that complicate the figuring of your taxable rental revenue total upon which your tax due will be calculated. This taxable revenue will equal gross rental revenue on your tax return unless some or all of your rentals qualify for tax exemption.

8. I have been renting for some time now, but was not aware of my responsibility to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax. I’d like to begin complying, but I am afraid that I have a large tax liability. How does this work?

Depending on the circumstances, there are several ways we may be able to lessen the burden of the balance due to help an owner or manager reach compliance. One such recourse is through waiver of penalty charges based on voluntary disclosure of a tax liability . To qualify for this, the owner/manager must have come forward voluntarily meaning that our office had not already located a rental ad for the property & contacted the owner/manager.

If you come forward first before we have reached out about a non-compliant property, then you are eligible for waiver of all past due return penalty charges. This voluntary disclosure penalty waiver option applies to the sales & use tax remitted to the FL Dept. of Revenue as well. If we have already contacted you about a non-compliant property(ies), the voluntary disclosure option will not be possible; however, our goal is to help your property become compliant so be assured that we will work with you as best we can.

9. I have rental property in other counties in Florida. How do I determine if my other rentals are subject to a Tourist Development Tax, and if so, who do I contact?

Most Florida counties do impose a Tourist Development Tax on transient rentals. The following list of FL counties distinguishes those that self-administer the tax locally (like Walton County) vs. those counties for which the FL Dept. of Revenue collects the Tourist Development Tax on behalf of the county: https://floridarevenue.com/Forms_library/current/dr15tdt.pdf

10. If a single rental overlaps months, on which return month should I report that revenue?

We do not require that you pro-rate (i.e. split) that stay’s revenue. Technically, as long as the revenue is in either month, that is acceptable. However, we typically recommend going by the checkout date as your rule of thumb for revenue reporting so that would mean including the overlapping stay in the 2nd month unless logic dictates otherwise. For example, if a renter checks in June 28th & checks out July 3rd, then you would include that stay in your July return. Conversely, if a renter checks in June 24th & checks out July 1st, then it may make more sense to include that in your June return despite the July checkout date. Again, as long as the full revenue is reported in either month, that is considered acceptable.