Resort Fees, Surcharges and Taxes-Best Practices
The Wyoming Dept. of Revenue (DOR) contacted our office to explain some inconsistencies they are seeing related to the resort fees and service charges that many businesses assess their customers. Please read below to ensure that your business is correctly listing and taxing any additional surcharges.
• Resort fees and service charges should be separated out and clearly listed on the guest folio or invoice.
• Resort fees and service charges are subject to taxation. The total tax paid on your guest’s folio or invoice must reflect tax paid on the surcharge as well
• Additional surcharges like resort fees and service charges are not a tax and cannot be referred to as or lumped in with any other tax. A tax is authorized by the legislature and imposed by government for the purpose of maintaining general governmental functions.
• If you lump the surcharge in with any other tax and are audited, you are then responsible to remit the amount you collected to the state. (Example- if you lump in a 4% resort fee with the 4% state sales tax, 1% SPET tax and 2% lodging tax for a total of 11% tax and you were audited, you would then be responsible for the entire 11% tax collected and owed to the state)
• Properties should make sure all staff understands that resort fees and service charges are not a tax so that they communicate with guests accurately.
The Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition wants to make sure that properties assessing resort fees and/or service charges are not unknowingly leaving themselves vulnerable to unnecessary audit and tax issues.
If you have any questions please contact WTIC Executive Director Chris Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may reach the Wyoming Dept. of Revenue with any tax questions at (307) 777-5220 to reach Kim Lovett or (307) 777-5293 to reach Terri Lucero.