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Common questions from short-term rental hosts: Lodging tax return filing dates

  • Jan 25, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Short-term rentals

Here at Avalara MyLodgeTax, we hold webinars on a regular basis to help short-term rental hosts better understand lodging tax compliance. During these sessions, we get questions about all kinds of vacation rental lodging tax situations.

We realize if one person has a question, plenty of others out there are probably wondering the same thing. So, we’re offering this series of blog posts in which we’ll provide answers to common short-term rental host questions. Short-term rental tax compliance can be complicated and confusing, but we’re here to help.

Q: Is the reporting requirement monthly for all states? Or do some states require sales tax returns to be filed quarterly?

A: One thing that can make short-term rental taxes challenging is that lodging tax filing rules are very local. They’re different for each state and may also vary from city to city or county to county. The reality is, as a short-term rental operator, you could be required to file several different lodging tax returns, each with different due dates and filing frequencies.

So, the short answer to this question is: No, the reporting requirement is not monthly for all states.

The longer answer is: It’s crucial for you to know which tax jurisdictions govern your short-term rental property, which jurisdictions require you to collect lodging taxes from guests, and the lodging tax filing frequencies and due dates for each jurisdiction.

For example, if you operate a short-term rental property in Illinois, you may be required to collect a number of different lodging taxes, depending on the location of your property.

On the state level, all short-term rental hosts in Illinois are required to register with the Illinois Department of Revenue and collect hotel operators’ occupation tax from guests.

Keep in mind that your filing frequency and due dates may depend on your revenues or how much lodging tax your business owes on average. Generally, the more money you bring in from short-term rentals, the more often you’ll be required to file. In Illinois, for example, you may file lodging tax returns with the Illinois Department of Revenue either monthly, on the last day of the month following the close of the filing period, or annually on January 31, depending on your average monthly tax liability.

If you operate a vacation rental in Chicago, you may also be required to collect other state-administered taxes, including the sports facilities hotel tax, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority hotel tax, and the municipal hotel tax. You’ll submit these to the Illinois Department of Revenue with the same form as the state hotel operators’ occupation tax and with the same frequency and due dates.

Short-term rental operators in Chicago are also required to collect and submit separate lodging taxes that are administered by the city of Chicago, including hotel accommodations tax and a vacation rental and shared housing surcharge. City returns for these taxes are due monthly, on the 15th of the month following the close of the filing period.

These due dates and filing frequencies are unique to Illinois and Chicago; the requirements in your location may be completely different, so it’s important to get information specific to your property. For more information on lodging tax due dates and filing frequencies at the state level, see our Lodging Tax Guides. But keep in mind that locally administered taxes may apply to your property as well.

Help for filing lodging tax returns

MyLodgeTax can help short-term rental operators automate lodging tax to streamline and simplify lodging tax compliance, including filing required lodging tax returns.

Have a burning question about lodging tax? Send us an email at MyLodgeTaxMarketing@avalara.com and we’ll try to answer it in an upcoming post

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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