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States change lodging tax requirements in response to COVID-19

  • Apr 21, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Vermont capitol dome

Updated April 21. Originally published March 31.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some state tax authorities are offering taxpayers a breather by temporarily changing requirements for lodging taxes, including sales taxes and other taxes that short-term rental hosts are required to collect from guests. Here are the states offering vacation rental hosts more time to file and/or pay lodging taxes or renew lodging tax registrations.

Alabama

The Department of Revenue is waiving late payment penalties for lodging taxes. The relief applies to state sales and lodgings taxpayers who are unable to pay their February, March, and April 2020 sales and lodgings tax liabilities on time. These taxpayers may file their monthly sales and lodgings tax returns for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods without paying the tax due. Late payment penalties will be waived for these taxpayers through June 1, 2020. For more on lodging tax requirements in Alabama, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Colorado

In Colorado, the April 20, 2020, sales tax filing and payment deadline has been extended to May 20, 2020. The Department of Revenue will waive penalties and interest if sales taxes due in April are filed and remitted by the May 20 date. This applies to state and state-administered sales taxes.

However, taxpayers who do not file and pay on or before April 20, 2020, will not be able to keep the vendor/service fee. This fee is a percentage of the sales tax collected that taxpayers are allowed to keep in order to cover compliance costs. The vendor fee is currently 4% of the sales tax paid, capped at $1,000 per filing period.
updated April 13

Connecticut

Connecticut has extended the due date for room occupancy tax returns and payments for taxpayers who have $150,000 or less in annual sales tax liability. For these taxpayers, monthly returns and payments previously due March 31 and April 30 are now due May 31, 2020. Quarterly room occupancy tax returns and payments previously due April 30 are now due May 31, 2020. Penalties and interest will be waived for taxpayers who file and pay by the extended deadlines.
updated April 6

Florida

Florida has extended the filing and payment due date to April 30, 2020, for sales taxes collected in March by businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19. This also applies to tourist development taxes in counties that are administered by the state Department of Revenue. Businesses that are not adversely affected must file sales and tourist development taxes by April 20. 
updated April 6

Iowa

Iowa is offering tax deferrals for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must apply for the deferrals by April 30. When granted, the deferrals will delay the deadline for filing sales tax returns and paying tax due for 60 days, as well as waiving penalties and interest.
updated April 13

Louisiana

The filing and payment deadline for the February 2020 tax period is extended to May 20, 2020, for General Sales and Use Tax as well as Hotel Occupancy Tax. This is an automatic extension. The Department of Revenue will waive delinquency penalties and compromise interest as long as return and payment are received by the extended due date of May 20, 2020. Taxpayers cannot utilize the Parish E-File or Sales Tax Online filing systems to take advantage of this filing and payment extension relief. Sales tax returns and payments must be submitted via LaTAP or by paper filing. For more on lodging tax requirements in Louisiana, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Maryland

The state Comptroller has extended the time to file sales and use tax returns to June 1, 2020, for sales taking place in February, March, and April of 2020. Sales and use tax returns and payments are due no later than June 1. Taxpayers should not combine sales for separate reporting periods into a single return. Instead, taxpayers are asked to file the separate returns as if they’d been filed according to their original due dates. For more on lodging tax requirements in Maryland, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Massachusetts

Room Occupancy Excise Tax returns and payment requirements are suspended for the period of March 20 to May 31, 2020. All returns and payments are due June 20, 2020. This applies to operators whose cumulative liability in the 12-month period ending February 29, 2020, is less than $150,000. The suspension does not apply to intermediaries, who are required to file and pay as usual. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will waive any late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payments due during the period of March 20 through May 31, 2020, for operators who are required to file and pay room occupancy excise tax. This is a waiver of penalties only; statutory interest will continue to accrue. To be eligible for a penalty waiver, operators must file their returns and remit payments on or before June 20, 2020. For more on lodging tax requirements in Massachusetts, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Michigan

The Department of Treasury is waiving penalty and interest for the late payment of sales tax or late filing of returns due on March 20, 2020. These may be submitted to the department without penalty or interest through April 20, 2020. The waiver is limited to sales, use, and withholding payments and returns due March 20, 2020. The waiver is not available for accelerated sales, use, or withholding tax filers. For more on lodging tax requirements in Michigan, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Mississippi

The Department of Revenue has agreed to extend all sales/use and local tax levies by only one month without requiring the imposition of interest. The department has not extended the time to file returns, but only to delay the imposition of interest and penalty on any unpaid tax balance for the period covered by the presidentially declared national emergency. For more on lodging tax requirements in Mississippi, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

New York

Sales tax payments and returns were due March 20, 2020; however, penalty and interest may be waived for quarterly and annual filers who were unable to file or pay on time due to COVID-19. For more on lodging tax requirements in New York, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, the Department of Revenue will waive penalties for sales taxpayers who fail to obtain a license, file a return, or pay sales taxes due March 15 through July 15, 2020. These actions must be completed before July 15, 2020, in order to qualify for the waiver. Taxpayers don't need to request a penalty waiver to qualify for this relief. Those who receive a proposed assessment of a penalty covered by this relief should contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue by phone at 1-877-252-3052.

The Department of Revenue is required to charge interest on any unpaid tax, accruing from the original due date, until the tax is paid. The interest rate is currently 5% per year.
updated April 6

Pennsylvania

The Department of Revenue is extending all business tax licenses and certifications that are set to expire until further communication is received from the department. This includes Sales, Use, and Hotel Occupancy tax licenses. For more on lodging tax requirements in Pennsylvania, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

South Carolina

Taxpayers impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for tax relief for any taxes administered by the Department of Revenue, including income tax returns, sales and use tax returns, admissions tax returns, motor fuel user fee returns, etc. This includes an extension for filing tax returns and paying taxes (including estimated payments). The due dates for returns and payments due on or after April 1, 2020, have been postponed until June 1, 2020, and penalties and interest due as a result of any extension may be waived. Returns filed electronically by impacted taxpayers through MyDORWAY do not require any action to qualify for this relief. Taxpayers filing by mail should write “CORONAVIRUS” or “COVID-19” at the top of any paper return or complete the “disaster area” checkbox if one is provided on the return. For more on lodging tax requirements in South Carolina, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Vermont

The Department of Taxes will provide temporary relief to Vermont businesses that owe Meals and Rooms Tax or Sales and Use Tax. Businesses unable to meet the March 25 and April 25 filing deadlines will not be charged any penalty or interest for late submissions. Business that can meet the deadlines for filing and payment should continue to do so. It’s important to note this is not an abatement of the tax collected. For more on lodging tax requirements in Vermont, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Virginia

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can request to defer the payment of state sales tax due March 20, 2020, for 30 days. When granted, businesses will be able to file no later than April 20, 2020, with a waiver of any penalties. For more on lodging tax requirements in Virginia, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Washington

The Washington State Department of Revenue is offering extensions for filing and payment of sales and use tax returns. Extensions push out the due date but do not waive the tax owed. The department requests all businesses file sales and use tax returns even if unable to pay.

Monthly filers: Request an extension for paying tax returns by sending a secure email through your MyDOR account or by calling customer service at 360-705-6705. If you miss the deadline for requesting an extension, request a penalty waiver when filing your return along with an explanation of how the COVID-19 pandemic caused the delay.
Quarterly filers: The Q1 2020 return is now due June 30, 2020.
Annual filers: The annual 2019 return is now due June 15, 2020. 

The department will waive interest until the termination of the COVID-19 State of Emergency or May 4, 2020, whichever occurs first. After this date, interest will begin accruing on outstanding balances. Tax returns filed and paid by the extended due date will not incur interest.
updated April 21

Washington, D.C.

The Office of Tax and Revenue is abating interest and waiving penalties for failure to pay sales and use tax on time for periods ending on February 29, 2020, and March 31, 2020, provided certain conditions are met. All vendors who are required to file sales and use tax returns on either a monthly or quarterly basis are eligible for this relief. Vendors must file their returns by the usual deadlines and must pay in full all sales and use taxes due for periods ending on February 29 and March 31 on or before July 20, 2020. Failure to pay in full by July 20 will result in interest and penalties accruing from the original payment due dates.

Wisconsin

Small businesses can immediately request an extension to file sales and use tax returns due March 31, 2020, until April 30, 2020, and due April 30, 2020, until June 1, 2020. The Department of Revenue will not assess late filing fees or penalties if sales/use tax returns are filed by April 30 or June 1. By law, payments are due March 31 and April 30; 12% interest will accrue beginning on the due date, unless the legislature changes the law to allow the department to waive interest. For more on lodging tax requirements in Wisconsin, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide.

Get the latest tax relief information

For updated information on local and federal responses to the pandemic that may affect short-term rental hosts, see our COVID-19 tax relief roundup.


Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.