Vrbo, Airbnb collect state sales tax from Georgia short-term rental hosts
- Jun 15, 2020 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Vrbo and Airbnb are now automatically collecting state lodging taxes for all of their short-term rental hosts in Georgia.
In Georgia, vacation rental operators are required to register with the state Department of Revenue, add state sales tax to the cost of the rental, collect the tax, file sales tax returns, and pay the tax to the state. The tax is due on any accommodations that are rented for fewer than 90 days.
A new state law that went into effect April 1 requires “market facilitators,” including short-term rental marketplaces, to collect sales taxes from end customers and submit them to the state if the facilitators’ total sales for the previous year equal $100,000 or more. That means Vrbo and Airbnb now collect state sales tax automatically on behalf of Georgia hosts and pay it directly to the state.
While individual hosts aren’t liable for the state taxes that their marketplaces are required to collect, they may be required to register with state tax authorities. For example, Vrbo requires its hosts to register with tax authorities, even if Vrbo is collecting tax on their behalf.
Hosts are also responsible for local taxes that marketplaces don’t collect. Several Georgia jurisdictions levy local taxes on short-term rentals, and neither Airbnb nor Vrbo collect these. In this case, vacation rental operators must collect the tax and remit it to the local tax authority separately from state sales taxes. In some jurisdictions, hosts are required to register with the local authority before they begin collecting the tax.
For example, Atlanta requires guests to pay a 7% hotel/motel tax. Hosts must register with the city, collect the tax from guests, file monthly tax returns, and pay any tax due.
The city of Savannah taxes short-term rentals at a rate of 6%. Operators are required to file monthly hotel/motel tax returns and remit the tax to the city.
Athens — Clarke County charges a 7% tax on lodging and requires lodging businesses to register with the director of finance, submit monthly hotel/motel tax returns, and pay the collected tax.
Other local communities in Georgia have their own similar taxes and requirements; check with your local tax jurisdiction to find out which taxes apply to your short-term rental property.
MyLodgeTax can automate and simplify short-term rental tax compliance, including registration and filing with state and local tax authorities. For more on short-term rental taxes in Georgia, see our state Vacation Rental Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.