San Francisco imposes a 14% transient occupancy tax on the rental of accommodations for stays of less than 30 days. The transient occupancy tax is also known as the hotel tax. The tax is collected by hotel operators and short-term rental hosts/sites, and remitted to the City.
Operators / Hosts are required to:
File tax returns by the deadline and pay their TOT. TID, and MED monthly or annually; including filing "zero" rent receipts for that period.
Have a Certificate of Authority (COA) issued by our office; if applicable.
- Possess a current Business Registration Certificate
TOT collections are reported and remitted based on the month / year in which the occupancy occurs. For example, if the guest pays rent in January for an occupancy that occurs in March, that TOT should be remitted to our office and reported with the TOT filing for March. If due date falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are due the next business day.
Any person(s) who rents hotel rooms, private residence (single-family home, condominium, apartment, other kind of residence) or any room, space or portion of regardless if space is shared or accessible to others for less than 30 consecutive nights is considered an Operator. An Operator who receives rent from a guest must collect the tax, then file and remit the tax to our office on a monthly basis.
Hosts do not have to file and pay the tax for transactions using a Qualified Website Company (QWC). QWC's maintain the obligation to collect and remit TOT payments and filings on behalf of host(s). See below for a list of Qualified Website Companies.
Each Operator/ Host who receives rent and TOT from guests must hold a Certificate of Authority (COA) which gives permission to collect and remit taxes to the City. Hosts who only use a Qualified Website Company, or have $40,000 or less in rent received per year and request to be a Small Operator are not required to obtain a COA.
A Small Operator designation allows for:
- Annual filing of Parking Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax and other fees by January 31st
- An exemption from the Certificate of Authority (COA) requirements
- An exemption from paying the Revenue Control Equipment Compliance Fee for Parking Tax operators
A "Small Operator" has total gross receipts of $40,000 or less annually for one location and does not exceed $250,000 per year for all locations. Small Operators have the option of filing / paying the tax monthly or annual. Annual filing/payment due date is January 31st for filing period year of January 1 through December 31. If due date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, filing/payment will be due the next business day.
The following companies - with the approval of the Tax Collector - are authorized to act as a host's agent for filing and collecting transient occupancy taxes. Hosts that do businesses only through these Qualified Website Companies are not required to submit TOT filings or obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA).
- Airbnb since 09/29/2015
- HostWell since 02/01/2018
- misterb&b since 09/01/2018
- onefinestay since 01/01/2020
A Website Company or Merchant of Record wishing to declare they are a Qualified Website Company may submit a declaration (below) to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector. Qualified website companies are required to submit monthly filings via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The filing data must be provided as a comma delimited file or an Excel file with the following data:
- Host ID
- Reservation ID Posting Date
- Booking Date
- Physical address of location
- Name of person who is the owner, possessor, or on-site proprietor for the location
- Any Business Account Number for the person named in #2 above
- Any Certificate of Authority for the person named in #2 above
- Gross amounts received for occupancy transactions at the location
- Amounts remitted to the owner, possessor, or on-site proprietor for the location
- Exemption Information:
- Rent for Occupancy by Permanent Residents
- Rent for Occupancy by Exempt Corporations or Associations
- Rent for Occupancy where the charge is less than $40 per day or $100 per week
- Rent for Occupancy by Government Employees on Official Business
- Total exemptions (total of lines 7a through 7d)
- Taxable Rent (#5 minus #7e)
- TOT payment due: #8 x 14%
- Indicate “Y” if the person associated with the Business Account Number listed in #3 is separately filing and remitting TOT. This information will be used to process claims for refunds in case of duplicate payments. Unless the Tax Collector informs you otherwise in writing, you must still report and remit the full amount of TOT owed on all occupancy transactions on a monthly basis, regardless whether you believe that the owner, possessor, or on-site proprietor is doing so.
Short-Term Residential Hosts ("Host") are San Francisco residents who rent out any portion of their residence. Earning income from a short-term residential rental, regardless of the amount, is considered a business, therefore, you are required to obtain a Business Registration. After completing the business registration, you must Register as a Host with the Office of Short-Term Rentals.
Hosts are required to obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) to collect TOT unless you only use a Qualified Website Company for your listings, or you earn $40,000 or less in rent per year and request to be a Small Operator.
Note: Hosts do not need to file or pay the Tourism Improvement District (TID) Assessment or the Moscone Expansion District (MED) Assesment.
The Tourism Improvement District ("TID") and the Moscone Expansion District ("MED" or “District”) charges each hotel in the district(s) an assessment on gross hotel room revenue. This assessment may be passed on to customers as a separate item on hotel folios.
TID and MED management plans are available in their entirety at: http://www.sftid.com.
Hosts are required to obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) to collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) unless they only use a Qualified Website Company (Airbnb, HostWell, misterb&b, or onefinestay) for their listings, or they earn $40,000 or less in rent per year and request to be a Small Operator.
San Francisco residents who rent out any portion of their residence must collect the 14% Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), in addition to the rental amount they charge their guests. This tax is paid by the guest, so the guest will be charged 14% in addition to your listed rental fee. Rental of all or a portion of your residential unit for periods of less than 30 consecutive nights is considered a Short-Term Residential Rental.
A Qualified Website Company (“QWC”) has the authority to collect and remit TOT (tax) on behalf of short-term residential rental hosts. If all rent is received through a QWC, the QWC collects, remits, and files all TOT (tax) for your business.
Rental income not received through a QWC must be taxed and reported to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector monthly. If some or none of your rent is received through a QWC, you will be asked about Small Operator designation. Small Operators may file annually if the combined gross receipts from rental income is $250,000 or less for all locations and no location has rental income greater than $40,000. Small Operators do not require a Certificate of Authority.
Residential Hosts do not file or pay the Tourism Improvement District (TID) Assessment or the Moscone Expansion District (MED).
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