Different lodging tax rates apply depending on the county in which the lodging establishment operates. In 16 counties in northern Alabama, known as the Mountain Lakes region, the tax is 5 percent of the room price. In the rest of the counties the rate is 4 percent, according to Section 40-26-1 of the Alabama Code.
Tax Not Charged
The lodging tax is not collected on rooms or accommodations that the guest occupies for 180 consecutive days. Conference centers or camps, which are run for the benefit of children or students or members of non-profit groups in connection with educational or recreational programs, are also exempt from paying the lodging tax. For the purposes of this law, children is legally defined as a person under 21.
The owner of the lodging establishment must remit the tax by
the 20th of the month following the month the tax was charged to his customer. The tax is paid to the Alabama Department of Revenue through a form supplied by the department. The department may extend the due date if the establishment owner shows that there is good cause to do so, but in no case is the limit extended longer than 30 days, according to Section 40-26-3 of the Code of Alabama.
Must Charge Tax
Any lodging owner who does not charge his customer the appropriate tax for services provided or who offers to refund the tax or absorb the tax is guilty of a violation of Alabama lodging law, according to Section 40-26-16 of the Alabama Code. The owner is subject to a fine of $50 to $100 and a jail term of up to six months for each violation.