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A Guide to Owning a Vacation Rental Home In Florida

Sonu Shukla
A Guide to Owning a Vacation Rental Home In Florida

In recent years, more and more people have made the decision to become Airbnb hosts, VRBO owners, or privately list vacation rental properties.

This is a great opportunity for those who are looking to make extra money, especially if they reside in a desirable vacation destination like the Hamptons, Colorado, or Florida. Florida, in particular, is a popular spot for rental home owners.

If you’re thinking about listing a property in the Sunshine State in the near future, there are a number of things you should know about owning a Florida vacation rental home. As you read this guide, you’ll discover answers to several frequently asked questions.

Vacation Rental Taxes In Florida

Taxes Owed

Florida short-term rental operators pay several different taxes.

Income tax must be paid annually to the federal government and the state governemnt.

Although Florida does not have individual income tax, there are some taxes that are still required on the state level. In the case of Airbnb specifically, guests are charged certain taxes as part of their vacation rental reservation.

Airbnb collects any applicable taxes on behalf of a host and remits them to the state in a timely fashion. Thee taxes include the Florida Transient Rental Tax of 6%, Florida Discretionary Sales Surtax of 0.5-1.5%, and the County Tourist Development Tax of 2-5% (24 counties). Hosts are responsible for collecting and remitting any additional taxes that apply to laws in their county or municipality.

Tax Deductions

There are multiple tax deductions available to rental property owners. However, in order to qualify, your property or properties must meet the United States government’s definition of a short-term rental.

Per the tax code, these homes must be rented out for a minimum of 14 days each calendar year. The property must also be used personally by the property owner for only 14 days or fewer each calendar year (or 10% of the time the home is occupied).

If you need these eligibility requirements, you may qualify for the following tax deductions:

  • Property maintenance
  • Insurance premium payments
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and trash service
  • Rental unit necessities including bed linens, towels, kitchen utensils, etc
  • Legal and accounting fees related to rental ownership

Your Florida tax professional will be able to assist you with all of your rental property tax questions

State Vacation Rental License

In order to operate a vacation rental property in Florida, you must be licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). There are separate license applications for single-family homes or dwellings and condominiums. 

Once you obtain the appropriate license, you can legally list your property and begin hosting vacationers.

Single-Room Rentals

Owning an Airbnb or other vacation rental property in Florida can be a lucrative side gig. Some people even operate rentals full-time. If you are interested in breaking into the real estate industry, this can be a great jumping off point.

Do you already own a Florida rental?

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Sonu Shukla

Sonu Shukla

Sonu Shukla is a CPA, accountant, and tax preparer based in Orlando, FL. Sonu Shukla can assist you with your tax preparation and planning needs. Sonu is more than just another accountant in Orlando, Florida; he is a small business owner himself. It is a position in life that grants him the perspective and insight to emphasize with his clients, bringing them the best service possible. A Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner, Sonu possesses the skills, education and experience to demonstrate unerring business acumen and passionately planned financial strategies. Being proactive is key for Sonu, tailoring highly efficient tax plans for his small business clients, all in a one on one environment where he and the client can bounce ideas around until every detail is worked out.

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