Transient Occupancy Tax

The Transient Occupancy Tax within the City of Corona is regulated by Corona Municipal Code Chapter 3.34. For the privilege of occupancy in any hotel, each transient is subject to and shall pay a tax in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the rent charged by the operator. The transient shall pay the tax to the operator of the hotel at the time the rent is paid. In order to highlight specific requirements and simplify the remittance process this guideline has been provided.
 

Definitions

Per Section 3.34.020, B, " 'Hotel' means any structure, or any portion of any structure, which is occupied or intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes, and includes any hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, studio hotel, bachelor hotel, lodging house, rooming house, apartment house, dormitory, public or private club, mobile home or house trailer at a fixed location, or other similar structure or portion thereof."

Per Section 3.34.020, E, " 'Rent' means the consideration charged, whether or not received, for the occupancy of space in a hotel valued in money, whether to be received in money, goods, labor or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits and property and services of any kind or nature, without any deduction therefrom whatsoever."

Per Section 3.34.020, F, " 'Operator' means the person who is proprietor of the hotel, whether in the capacity of owner, lessee, sub-lessee, mortgagee in possession, licensee, or any other capacity. Where the operator performs his or her functions through a managing agent of any type of character other than an employee, the managing agent shall also be deemed an operator for the purposes of this ordinance and shall have the same duties and liabilities as his or her principal. Compliance with the provisions of this chapter by either the principal or the managing agent shall, however, be considered to be compliance by both."
 

Taxes Held In Trust

It is important to remember that all Transient Occupancy Taxes owed by the transient and collected by the hotel operator are held in trust for the City of Corona until such payments are remitted. At no time shall they be used for any other financial obligation or purposes.

Monthly Remittance

The monthly reports and the tax remittance payment must be received by the City of Corona on or before the last day of the month following the close of the prior month. It is the hotel operator's responsibility to submit each monthly tax remittance payment, along with the proper forms, by the applicable due dates. If the payment due date falls on a weekend or City holiday, the next business day shall become the due date.

Monthly tax remittances shall include:

  1. Tax Return Form

    Every hotel charging rent for the occupancy of space in a hotel valued in money, shall complete and sign a monthly Tax Return Form indicating the total amount of room rent charges, any exemptions, penalties, interest, adjustments, and the tax required to be collected.

  2. Exemption Claim Summary Form (if applicable)

    If exemptions are claimed on Tax Return Form, line 2, an Exemption Claim Summary Form is required along with the following documentation:

    Claim #1

    Occupancy more than 30 days; supporting documentation must be kept on file with the hotel

    Claim #2

    Officer or employee of foreign government exempt by federal law or international treaty; requires a photocopy of Tax Exemption Card.

    Claim #3

    Official or employee of government agency exempt by federal law; requires an original Exemption Claim Affidavit Form.

    Please refer to the "Exemptions" section of this guideline for more information.

  3. Remittance Payment

    Please make copies for your records and return all original forms with the tax remittance payment on or before each due date.

    Make checks payable to:

    City of Corona

    Send all payments to:

    City of Corona
    Business Tax Division
    400 South Vicentia Avenue
    P O Box 940
    Corona, CA 92878-0940


Exemptions

An Exemption Claim Summary Form is required to substantiate any exempt hotel rent charges claimed on the Tax Return Form, line 2. Please be sure to include an Exemption Claim # for each occupant. No Transient Occupancy Tax shall be imposed in any of the following instances:

Claim #1
Individuals staying at an establishment for more than thirty (30) consecutive days.

After a transient has occupied a room or received other accommodations for more than thirty (30) consecutive days, the hotel operator may refund to the transient the prior tax collected. Supporting documentation must be kept on file with the hotel. Please refer to the "Refunds" section of this guideline for instruction.

Claim #2
Any officer or employee of foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provisions of federal law or international treaty.

A Tax Exemption Card, issued by the U.S. Department of State, is required. See samples provided in the annual packet for the Diplomatic Tax Exemption Program. A photocopy of the Tax Exemption Card must be submitted with the Exemption Claim Summary Form.

Claim #3
Officials or employees of government agencies that are exempt from local taxes pursuant to federal law who are traveling on official business.

For federally exempt officials or employees, a completed Exempt Claim Affidavit Form is required for each stay. The original signed affidavit must be submitted by the hotel operator with the Exemption Claim Summary Form. It is important to note that officials and employees of the State of California are NOT exempt in the City of Corona from paying the Transient Occupancy Tax. This holds true even if the official or employee is on state business and the payment for the rent is paid with a state issued check. The following is a list of the more common exempt federal agencies:

  • Federal Credit Unions
  • The Federal Financing Bank
  • Federal Home Loan Banks
  • The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation
  • Federal Land Bank Associations
  • The Federal National Mortgage Association
  • Federal Reserve Banks
  • National Mortgage Associations
  • The National Park Foundation
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporations


Penalties and Interest

Delinquent Penalties
Any hotel operator, who fails to remit any portion of the Transient Occupancy Tax to the City of Corona within the required timeframe, shall pay a penalty of ten percent (10%) of the amount of the tax in addition to the tax owed. Any operator, who fails to remit any delinquent remittance on or before a period of thirty (30) days following the date on which the remittance first became delinquent, shall pay a second delinquent penalty of ten percent (10%) of the amount of the tax in addition to the tax owed and the first ten percent (10%) penalty.

Interest
In addition to the penalties imposed, any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed, shall pay interest at the rate of one-half of one percent (.5%) per month on the amount of the tax, exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the remittance first became delinquent until paid.

Fraud
If the Finance Director of the City of Corona determines that the nonpayment of any remittance of the Transient Occupancy Tax is due to fraud, a penalty of twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount of the tax, shall be added to the tax owed and any applicable penalties and interest.


Refunds

After a transient has occupied a room or received other accommodations for more than thirty (30) consecutive days, the hotel operator may refund to the transient the prior tax collected. In filing a subsequent return with the city, the hotel operator may include the original rent charged the transient on the Exemption Claim Summary Form. The total amount of exempt charges for the reporting period will be summarized on the Tax Return Form, line 2. Supporting documentation must be kept on file with the hotel.

Whenever the amount of the Transient Occupancy Tax, interest and/or penalties has been overpaid or paid more than once or has been erroneously or illegally collected and received by the City of Corona, other than as listed above, it may be refunded to the transient. In filing a subsequent return with the city, the hotel operator may deduct the original tax paid by the transient in the place provided on the Tax Return Form, line 7. A written explanation to substantiate the refund and any supporting documentation must be attached to the Tax Return Form. All claims must be filed with the Finance Director within three years of the date of original payment.


Registration / Close of Business / Change of Ownership / Address Change

Each hotel operator shall register with the Finance Director of the City of Corona and obtain a Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate which is to be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises at all times. Returns and payments are due immediately upon close of business and/or change of ownership for any reason, i.e., foreclosure, assignment of receiver, business sold, etc. A Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate is not transferable. Please report all address changes immediately to the Business Tax Division.


Records Retention

The hotel operator must maintain for three years complete records as may be necessary to determine the amount of the tax and any of the exemptions as reported on the remittance forms.


Failure to Pay or Violations of Code

Any person violating any of the provisions of Corona Municipal Code Chapter 3.34 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a period of not more than six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.


For More Information

Please feel free to contact us at any time.
City of Corona
Business Tax Division
400 South Vicentia Avenue
P O Box 940
Corona, CA 92878-0940
Office (951) 736-2275
Fax (951) 279-3605
E-mail: buslicense@ci.corona.ca.us

Business hours are Monday - Thursday, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm.