“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin
If you own, operate, or a building an RV park, welcome to the world of trying to figure out how to collect and pay taxes.
First of all, you can be sure your local municipality or municipalities do not know. If you call ten times; you get ten different answers. The problem with this is, you have to know in order to set up your PMS system and charge your guests correctly. If you do not know, you will either over or undercharge your guests, both of which can get you in financial and legal trouble.
Adding to the confusion is short term versus long term stays, what constitutes both, and roofed accommodations versus RV sites. Do you charge lodging taxes on top of sales tax, only on cabins, on everything, or there are no lodging taxes? This is just the beginning of the issues.
Here are a few pointers. First of all, google your city, county, and state Dept of Revenue websites and learn as much as you can. Print out the policies and document what you find. Secondly, check with your state ARVC association. Most often , they will have at least some of the answers to your questions. If your state does not have an association, check with national ARVC. They may be able to point you in the right direction.
If none of these work, call local parks to ask them what they do and if they have information to backup their policy. Most will be happy to help you get started on the right track. Finally, if none of these options work, check with your local hotels to try to understand their policies and how they settled upon their taxation.
We at AOS do this legwork for our clients, but if you are not one of our clients (you should be!!) use the helpful hints above to make sure you don’t get hit by the local taxman someone down the pike.