The state hotel-motel fee is a $5 per night fee on each calendar night a hotel room is rented until the rental becomes an “extended stay rental.” An “extended stay rental” is the rental of a hotel room for 31 or more consecutive days to the same customer.
All facilities that meet the definition of a “hotel” are required to charge the fee. “Hotel” means a building that has 5 or more hotel rooms under common ownership, regardless of the name of the establishment and regardless of how the establishment classifies itself.
Example: A guest rents a cabin at a facility that has 10 free-standing cabins on a single property. Each cabin is offered as a single accommodation, and the guest renting the cabin has access to all the rooms in the cabin. The cabin is not a “hotel” because it does not have 5 or more hotel rooms.
“Hotel room” means a room (or suite of conjoined rooms offered as a single accommodation) (i) in a hotel (ii) that is used to provide private sleeping accommodations to paying customers and (iii) that typically includes linen or housekeeping service. A hotel room is usually occupied by transients or travelers who do not enjoy an exclusive right or privilege with respect to the room, but instead merely have an agreement for the private use or possession of the room. A room is a “hotel room” only if the customer has the right to exclude other customers from the room.
Example: A facility consists of rooms with beds for rent. A customer renting a bed in a room does not have the right to exclude another customer from renting a bed in the same room. Since the room is not a private sleeping accommodation, it is not a “hotel room.”
Example: A camp provides overnight sleeping accommodations in multi-bed, single-room cabins. The guests provide their own bedding. The accommodations provided by the camp are not “hotel rooms” because they are not private and because the camp does not provide linen service.
Example: A hotel rents a suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen at a nightly rate of $400. The suite comprises one “hotel room.”
(a) Example: On June 15th, a customer reserves and pays for a hotel stay to begin July 2, 2015 and to end at check out on July 13, 2015. The customer does not owe the state hotel-motel fee because she paid for the hotel room rental prior to July 1, 2015.
(b) Example: Assume the same facts as in (a), except the customer pays for her stay upon checkout. The customer owes $55 in state hotel-motel fees.
(c) Example: A customer checks into a hotel on June 1, 2015 and checks out and pays for her stay on July 2, 2015. The customer does not owe the state hotel-motel fee for the 30 nights in June because the fee was not in effect. The customer does not owe the fee for the July 1 rental because the customer became an extended stay occupant on July 1.
(d) Example: Assume the same facts as in (c), except the customer pays for the hotel room in May, rather than July. The customer does not owe the fee because she paid prior to July 1, 2015.
(e) Example: A customer checks into a hotel on June 15, 2015 and checks out and pays for his stay on July 20, 2015. The customer owes the state hotel-motel fee for each night from July 1 through July 15. Beginning July 16, the date on which the customer becomes an extended stay occupant, the customer does not owe the fee. The customer owes state hotel-motel fees in the amount of $75.
(f) Example: Assume the same facts as (e), except the customer pays on June 1, 2015 for his entire stay. The customer does not owe the fee because he paid prior to July 1, 2015.
(g) Example: A customer books and pays for his entire stay through an online travel company prior to July 1, 2015. The hotel does not receive the payment from the online travel company until after July 1, 2015. The payment is not subject to the fee because the customer paid for the entire stay prior to July 1, 2015.
Yes. For example, a hotel advertises, “Buy 4 nights, get the 5th night free.” Taking advantage of the deal, a customer purchases 5 nights for $400. Each night of the customer’s 5-night stay is subject to the fee.
Yes. For example, a hotel’s rate for a one-night rental of 50 rooms is $5000. In exchange for a customer’s $5000 payment for a 50-room block, the hotel gives the customer an additional room for one night at no additional charge. Because the customer has rented 51 rooms for one night at the price of $5000, the fee applies to each of the 51 rooms.
When the agreement between the customer and the hotel provides that the room will not be released or offered to other occupants even if the customer never occupies the room, the innkeeper must collect the state hotel-motel fee for every night the customer has reserved and paid for the room, regardless of whether the customer actually stays in the room.
The fee applies to the first 30 consecutive days of a hotel room rental. After the 30th consecutive day, the fee no longer applies to the hotel room rental so long as the customer continuously occupies the room. If the customer checks out of the hotel and checks in again, the customer’s continuous occupancy has been broken and the day-count to establish an extended stay begins anew.
No. For example, if a hotel customer stays in a hotel room for 15 days then moves to another room within the same hotel, the rental will become an extended stay rental on the 16th day in the new room (the 31st day in the hotel). Thus, starting on the 16th day in the new room, the fee will no longer apply to the room so long as the customer maintains continuous occupancy.
The federal government is exempt if the customer pays for the room with a check drawn on a federal government account, by a credit card centrally billed to the federal government, or by a federal government purchase order. Sellers must retain a copy of the payment method in order to show on audit that the sale was exempt.
In addition, foreign missions, their members, and dependents and Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (TECOs), their employees and dependents are exempt from the fee to the same extent they are exempt from sales and use tax. Sellers must maintain a front and back copy of the tax exemption card to support an exempt sale.
A facility providing housing to students pursuant to a contract with a school is not subject to the fee, so long as the facility does not provide housekeeping, linen, or other customary hotel services.
Sellers must report and remit the fee electronically on the State Hotel-Motel Fee Return. The fee must be reported electronically regardless of whether the seller files paper sales tax returns. Only one return and one state hotel-motel fee number are required even if the seller has multiple locations.
In order to file a return, a seller must first register on the Georgia Tax Center website for a sales tax number (if it has not already done so) and a state hotel-motel fee number.
If your business is already registered on the Georgia Tax Center:
Log into GTC account.
Click “Register New Tax Account.”
Click the “Click to register new tax account” link.
Click “Step 1: Click to Select Account Type.” Your sales tax account must be registered prior to adding your state hotel-motel fee account.
Choose “State Hotel-Motel Fee” from the account type drop down.
Enter an account start date no earlier than July 1, 2015.
Click the “Ok” button provided neither of the fields is red. If they are red, move your mouse over the field to find out the problem.
Enter the location address.
Click the “Submit” button.
Click the “Yes” button to submit the request.
Print the confirmation page for your records.
The account will be registered and this login will have access to it no later than the next business day.
If your business is not yet registered in the State of Georgia:
Click the “Register New GA Business” link under the “For Businesses” panel.
Follow the steps and register both your sales tax and state hotel-motel fee accounts.
Print your confirmation page for your records.
Once the accounts have been created, you will receive an email with your account numbers; and you will have access to them under the login you created as part of the new business registration. In addition, you will receive an authorization code needed to log into GTC for the first time.
The email should be sent within 15 minutes of completing the registration request. If you have not received your email within 30 minutes of completing the request, please check your spam/junk folders as the email may have gone there. The email will be from NoReply@dor.ga.gov. Please ensure this email address is added to your approved email list. If you have not received an email by the following business day, please contact the Taxpayer Services Division at 1-877-423-6711.
Innkeepers must report and remit the fee no later than the 20th day of the month following the month of collection. Innkeepers must file a return each month even when no hotel rooms were provided. The fee must be reported and remitted monthly even if the innkeeper reports and remits sales and use tax on a quarterly or annual basis.
Yes. If the innkeeper timely files the return and remits the fee, then the innkeeper may deduct 3 percent of the first $3,000.00 of the combined total amount reported due on the return for each location and one-half of 1 percent of that portion exceeding $3,000.00 of the combined total amount reported due on the return for each location.
Yes. For failure to file a return or failure to pay the amount of the fee due in full, a penalty of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater, is added to the fee for each month the failure to file or pay continues, not to exceed $25 or 25%, whichever is greater. Please see Rule 560-13-2-.01 for further guidance.