October 13, 2015     
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Finance Services - Tourist Development Tax ( TDT )

Online Tourist Development Tax System

Through this site you have the ability to file your tax return on-line and easily view your account.
Click here for instructions on how to use the online Tourist Tax website. The Taxpayer Guide is a pdf document. Download Adobe Reader

Already registered? Click here to login. Need an account? Click here to register.

Please note, if you already have a TDT account with Escambia County, you should have received a letter containing login information for Excise. If you did not receive this letter contact Escambia County at:

Escambia County Clerk of Courts
Tourist Development Tax
221 Palafox Place, Suite 140
Pensacola, FL 32502
Phone: (850) 595-4829
Fax: (850)-595-4798
Email: tdt@escambiaclerk.com

What is the Tourist Development Tax (TDT)?
The Tourist Development Tax (TDT) is a 4% tax on the total payment received for the rental or lease of living quarters and accommodations in a hotel, motel, rooming house, mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, condominium, apartment, multiple-unit structure, mobile home, trailer, single-family home, or any other sleeping accommodations that are rented for a period of six months or less. 

By what authority are these guidelines issued?
The authorization to levy and administer TDT of up to six percent is stated in Section 125.0104, Florida Statutes, and in Chapter 212.03, Florida Statutes.  Sales and Use Tax as stated in Florida Administrative codes 12A-1.061, further clarifies the taxable rental charge to include any applicable reservation deposit and prepayments.  The owner of the transient accommodation is required to collect, or cause to be collected, and ensure the applicable taxes due are remitted to the proper taxing authority on the total consideration received for the room or rental, including any amounts separately stated as deposits or prepayments.

Escambia County Ordinances 1989-7 and 2000-22 collectively establish a levy for TDT of 4% on all short-term rental income. The person receiving the consideration for the lease or rental are required to register property located within Escambia County with the Escambia County Clerk of Courts Finance Department and collect and remit the tax monthly along with a completed TDT return. The State of Florida also requires registration of property engaged in short-term rental activity for Sales Tax purposes. You must contact the Florida Department of Revenue to acquire the necessary registration forms for sales tax purposes.

The TDT is levied by the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners and is administered by the Escambia County Clerk of Court's Finance Office. Under the guidelines of Florida Statutes Chapter 125.0104(3)(1), the revenue is to be used for the acquisition and operation of convention centers, sports stadiums and arenas, auditoriums and museums, promotion and/or advertisement of tourism and funding of tourist and convention bureaus and tourist information centers.

In order to begin remitting the TDT to the Escambia County Clerk of Court, it is necessary for you to fill out a registration form, which will provide us with the required information to set up your account. It is not necessary for you to have your Federal Employer Identification Number or sales tax account number at this time, although, you will need to provide this information as soon as it is available.

For further information or to obtain a TDT registration form, please click here.

If you remit taxes for more than one property, please send a current list of units on your rental program by completing the Import Property Spreadsheet Email the completed form to us at tdt@escambiaclerk.com

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Contact Information

Finance Treasury

Telephone: (850) 595-4829   
Finance Treasury
Suite 140
221 Palafox Place
Pensacola, Florida  32502
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Finance Treasury
221 Palafox Place Suite 140
Pensacola, Florida  32502

Property Managers

On-line Introduction Presentation
TDT Unit Reporting Spreadsheet

Forms and Reports

Please read the instructions for the forms that you are downloading.
Additional forms may be needed depending on your situation.

NOTE: The forms supplied by the Clerk's office are general in nature and may not meet your specific needs. The Clerk does not guarantee the legal sufficiency of these forms; therefore, you may need to consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.

Tourist Development Tax Reports

FY 2015

FY 2014

FY 2013

FY 2012

FY 2011

FY 2010

FY 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

Who pays this Tourist Development Tax?
The guest pays the tax to you and you in turn report and remit the tax collected to the proper tax authorities.

Tax Rates:
  • Escambia County Tourist Development Tax payable to Escambia County Clerk of Court = 4%
  • Florida State Sales Tax-payable to the State of Florida = 7.5%

Who collects this tax?
The person/entity receiving consideration for the lease or rental of the above-mentioned facilities has the responsibility to collect the TDT from their tenants or guests and remit them to the Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court's Finance Office.

What is taxable?
Generally speaking, anything your guest is required to pay to rent the property is taxable. Examples include, but are not limited to, daily, weekly, periodic room rates, reservation/application fees, resort fees, pet fees (non-refundable deposits), and cleaning fees. Deposits and taxes collected should not be included in the gross rental receipts.

How do I file my taxes?
Tax reports may be submitted online at www.escambiaclerk.com/exciselive . The online filing system will calculate your taxes and once submitted you can print and mail your payments.

How often are these taxes remitted?
These taxes are remitted to the Escambia County Clerk of Court depending upon the taxpayer's reporting period. This period may be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually; consistent with your filing status with the Florida Department of Revenue. These taxes are due on the first of the month following the month of collection from tenants and guests, and are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th of the month. Dealers must file a tax return based on their reporting period, even if no rental receipts were collected during that period . Click here for the Escambia County return form and instructions. (attach link to the return form and instructions)

What do you receive for collecting this tax?
If the TDT return is postmarked on or before the 20th of the month following the collection month, a collection allowance is kept by you as compensation for collecting the tax. The collection allowance is 2.5% of the first $1,200.00 of taxes collected up to a maximum of $30.00. Beginning January 1, 2013, returns and payments must be filed electronically to qualify for you to be eligible for a collection allowance.

What is the role of property managers?
If a property manager handles your property, the property manager may have their own TDT account and will submit the TDT payments on your behalf by a unit reporting return. You should verify this with your property manager. Unit reporting provides an itemized list of all properties and rental amounts collected each month. However, you should be aware that as the property owner, you are ultimately responsible for the payment of the taxes. Any failure by your property manager to pay the tax may result in penalties being applied against you, as the property owner. If a property manager handles your property, but you also directly rent the property yourself, you are responsible for submitting TDT returns for the taxes you collect from these rentals. You will need an individual TDT account on which to report these rentals.

How do I periodically update my Property Manager's List (PML)?
Throughout the year, you should update your property list using this ADD/DELETE/CHANGE Form and email it to us at tdt@escambiaclerk.com. Additions should be emailed as soon as possible, but no later than 12 noon CST on the 17th for 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.

When are rental exempt from tourist tax?
  • If the guest is a non-profit organization and has a State of Florida sales tax exemption certificate the rental is exempt from TDT.
  • If the guest is active duty or reserve duty 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 verification that the lease is in compliance.

What is the penalty for a return filed late?
Returns, along with the payment, must be filed each filing period by the 20th of each month
EVEN IF THERE IS NO INCOME TO REPORT. Late reports are subject to the loss of the collection allowance, interest, and penalties. Penalties are assessed at the rate of 10% of the taxes due for each 30 days or fraction thereof up to a maximum of 50% of the taxes due or $50.00 whichever is greater.

What happens if my check is returned NSF?
The charge for a dishonored check is based on the current rate established by Escambia County Ordinance/Resolution and/or Florida Statutes. Also, the collection allowance will be disallowed and penalties and interest will be assessed at the stated rates if payment is not received on or before the delinquent date of the month in which the tax is due. Excessive returned checks will result in the requirements to submit future tax, penalty and interest payments in cash or by money order.

Are TDT Tax Returns subject to an audit and if so, what records are required?
All TDT records must be retained for five years and made available for an audit at the place of business, within Escambia. Records shall include, but not be limited to, financial statements, guest folios, general ledgers, Florida sales tax payments and returns filed, federal income tax returns, and leases, and tax exempt forms.

I own property located in Navarre Beach that I occasionally rent on a short-term basis. Who do I pay taxes to?
After June 1, 2006, all tourist development taxes on Navarre Beach property is payable directly to Santa Rosa County .

When is my TDT return due?
The TDT return is due on the 1st of the following calendar month and must be postmarked on or before the 20th of the following calendar month for which the liability applies (June rental is due July 1 must be postmarked by July 20th).

Am I required to remit returns even though I may not rent my beach house for the winter months?
Per Florida Statutes, you must file a return even though no monies were collected (a zero return).

I sometimes rent my condo for a couple of weeks out of the year. Because it is a condo and not a house I do not have to collect and remit taxes do I?
According to Florida Statute 212 transient accommodations means any living quarters or sleeping accommodations in any hotel, motel, condo, apartment, campground, trailer park, rooming house, etc. For a more definitive listing please review the statute.

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 hereof. However, such abandonment of such homestead after January 2 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.

If I rent a motel room to my customer for longer than three months I no longer am required to remit this tax right?
Transient rentals (short-term rentals) apply to rentals, leases, etc. of a period of time up to six (6) months. These short-term rental owners must collect and remit taxes. Any person who exclusively enters into a bona-fide written lease for a period of six months or longer does not have to remit these taxes and does not need to register with the Escambia County Clerk's Finance Department.

What can I claim as an exemption on my TDT return?
If a tax exemption certificate were presented at the time of rental, the individual or company, etc. would be exempt. It is important that the owner make a copy of this exemption to keep for their records. If a person continuously resides at one location for a period longer than six months, that person is exempt. Other examples include full-time students enrolled in an institution offering post-secondary education with proof of status from institution, military personnel on active duty providing written orders, rentals by governmental entities (i.e., city, county, municipality, etc.), governmental employees and representatives of exempt organizations that provide proper exemption certification and do not use the transient accommodations for personal use, and charitable organizations' representatives with proper exemption certification and are subject to the "method of payment" restrictions or have the charges directly billed to the charitable organization. Please refer to Florida Statute 212 for a more detailed explanation of exemptions.

How much can I claim on the collection allowance?
The collection allowance lets the taxpayer keep a portion of the money that must be remitted for submitting the return in a timely manner. The collection allowance is 2.5% of total tax due up to $30.00, if the return is postmarked by the 20th of the month following collection. Beginning January 1, 2013, returns and payments must be filed electronically to qualify for you to be eligible for a collection allowance.

If I have an agent handling my short-term rentals do both the agent and I have to remit returns?
Your agent may collect taxes and remit returns on your behalf. Even though there is a written agreement between the property owner and the agent, the property owner still remains responsible for the tax obligation if the agent fails to collect and remit these taxes.

I previously owned a bed and breakfast in another county, but I was able to remit all taxes directly to the State. Why do I have to remit some taxes to Escambia County?
Escambia County , per Florida Statutes 125 and 212 and Escambia County Ordinance 98-39, is a self-administering County of the tourist development plan and fund. This means that instead of the taxpayer remitting all taxes directly to the Florida Department of Revenue (FDOR) which in turn remits monies back to the County, that portion should be remitted directly to the County.

What are the tax funds used for?
Per Florida Statutes 125 and 212, and Escambia County Ordinances 1989-7, 1992-30, and 2003-11 allow Escambia County to use these tax monies to acquire, construct, improve, etc. publicly owned and operated convention centers, sports stadiums or arenas. Monies are used to promote and advertise tourism. Monies may be used to fund convention bureaus, tourist information centers, etc. Monies also may be used in beach improvement, maintenance, restoration, etc. For more information please review the statutes.

How much do I need to collect in taxes for both the Sales Tax and the TDT?
If your short-term rental property is located in Escambia County , you must collect 7.5% for the State Sales Tax and 4% for Escambia County's TDT.
Why does Escambia County require that I give them my bank name and account information?
Per Florida Statutes 125 and 212 and Escambia County Ordinance 89-7, the County is responsible for collection and administration of the tax and allows Escambia County to collect information it deems reasonable and necessary. Part of the information required by Escambia County , is information on the individual's or company's bank account (please review registration form).

Are cleaning fees taxable?
If cleaning fees, processing fees, amenities fees or other fees appear on the guest's bill and are a required fee for the use of the accommodation, then "yes", those fees should be considered taxable for both State and County tax rates.

Are my tax records confidential?
Per Florida Statute Section ş213.053, the details of taxpayer information is exempt from public records requests. However, the County is allowed to exchange information regarding taxpayers and businesses with the State of Florida Department of Revenue.

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 five (5) years from the date the return was field or was required to be filed, whichever is later.

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 Treasury Audit Division will send written notification of an audit. This notification will be submitted at least 30 days prior to any audit.

Where will the audit occur?
The owner or operator must make the records available at the rental location or place of business in Escambia County. If the records are not immediately available in Escambia County, the owner or operator must return the records to Escambia County at their own expense so the auditor can examine the records during the audit. The party responsible for the taxes may be assessed additional taxes, penalties and interest if the records do not comply with the laws and ordinances of the State and County.


Address:            Escambia County Clerk of Court
                Treasury Division
                 Tourist Development Tax
                221 Palafox Place, Suite 140
                Pensacola , FL 32502

Contact person: Krissa Adkins, TDT Specialist

Email:                 tdt@escambiaclerk.com

Related Resources

NOTE: Most of the "Related Resource" links above are not maintained by the Clerk.