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Transient Occupancy FAQ

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer
The FAQs provided are for general information only. They do not provide specifics and cannot be relied upon as a defense to a complaint alleging any violation. Please refer to the Kern County Transient Occupancy Ordinance Chapter 4.16 and/or the Revenue and Taxation code directly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Transient Occupancy Tax?
The Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) commonly referred to as hotel, motel, vacation rental, or bed tax, is authorized under State Revenue and Taxation Code Section 7280. This tax is levied in Kern County at a rate of 6% for accommodations at lodging facilities in the unincorporated areas of Kern County.
Who needs to register for a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate?
If your lodging facility (hotel, motel, vacation rental etc.) is located in the unincorporated areas of Kern County, you are responsible for collecting and remitting the TOT tax to the county and therefore need a Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate. If you are in a city jurisdiction, you need to verify with your local city hall. If you have any question regarding registration, please contact the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector.
My establishment is listed/advertised on a vacation rental marketplace, am I subject to the Transient Occupancy Tax and must I register?
Yes, if you are advertising online as a vacation home you are subject to the Transient Occupancy Tax and must register.
Is my "bed and breakfast" or venue subject to Transient Occupancy Tax?
Yes, a bed and breakfast is subject to Transient Occupancy Taxes and a venue is subject if it offers overnight stays.
Where do I mail my payment?
Payments should be mailed along with the Transient Occupancy Tax Return to:

KCTTC
Attn: Transient Occupancy Tax Unit
1115 Truxtun Avenue, 2nd Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301
How often is the Transient Occupancy Tax paid?
Kern County’s Transient Tax is remitted by the operator/owner on a quarterly basis as follows:

1st Quarter: January 1st – March 31st Due Date: April 30th
2nd Quarter: April 1st – June 30th Due Date: July 31st
3rd Quarter: July 1st – September 30th Due Date: October 31st
4th Quarter: October 1st – December 31st Due Date: January 31st
How do I calculate the amount of tax due?
The basic formula for calculating taxes is:

Room Rate X 0.06 = Amount remitted to the Tax Collector on the Quarterly Return.
I charge additional guest fees for my establishment. Is this fee subject to the Transient Occupancy Tax?
Yes, additional guest fees are part of the room rate and therefore the 6% tax should be applied
Who is paying the Transient Occupancy Tax?
The Transient Occupancy Tax certificate authorizes the owner/operator to collect the tax from the transient (guest) and funds are held in trust by the owner/operator on behalf of the tax collector. The owner/operator only becomes liable should they fail to collect and/or remit the tax as such guest information may be required by the tax collector should issues arise in the collection of the tax.
What is supporting documentation?
Supporting documentation is any document/receipt or ledger that itemizes the total rents received and the total tax collected. At a minimum, your supporting documentation should indicate the amount charged per night, the number of nights stayed and the total amount of taxes collected.
How long should I maintain my records?
Records are to be kept for the current year and three years prior.
As an operator, I believe I overpaid on the Transient Occupancy Taxes for a prior quarter, how can I get a refund?
An amended return may be submitted up to two quarters prior in which adequate information must be provided. Refunds will be remitted to the guest whom the tax was imposed, not the owner/operator of the establishment.
There has been a change in ownership or a change to other information contained on my registration form, what should I do?
Any changes should be reported to the tax collector within 30 days of that change.
I purchased a hotel/motel recently, or I am soon to purchase a hotel/motel. How do I confirm there are no Transient Occupancy Tax liabilities owed to the Treasurer and Tax Collector?
Please contact Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector at (661)868-3458 or kerntot@co.kern.ca.us for information regarding the payment status of Transient Occupancy Tax.
Who do I contact if I have a neighbor that is renting his or her residence as a hotel or vacation home but I do not believe they are collecting and/or remitting the Transient Occupancy Tax?
Contact the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector via phone (661)868-3458 or kerntot@co.kern.ca.us and provide as much information as possible (i.e. address, owner’s name and contact information).
I have just become aware that my property is subject to the Transient Occupancy Tax. What should I do?
Fill out our online Transient Occupancy Tax Registration Form, print, sign and mail to the Kern County Treasurer and Tax Collector’s office at 1115 Truxtun Avenue 2nd Floor Bakersfield, CA 93301 as soon as possible to ensure your establishment is in compliance.
My browser is not allowing me to enter data into the form. What should I do?
Some browsers do not handle .PDF files very well. If you are having trouble try opening the downloaded file directly with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
 
 
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