New Mexico vacation rental tax guide

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Airbnb and Vrbo have changed the way vacationers travel. More and more guests are choosing to rent private homes rather than book hotels. With a bounty of popular destinations including Santa Fe and Taos, the Land of Enchantment offers prospective short-term rental hosts the opportunity to bring in extra income and meet new people.

But new income opportunities bring new tax implications. Like hotel and B&B stays, short-term rentals in New Mexico are subject to tax. Tax authorities require short-term vacation rental hosts to pay applicable taxes on short-term rental revenues to the proper authorities.

Failure to comply with state and local tax laws can result in fines and interest penalties. These may not catch up with vacation rental operators in the short term, but the sharing economy is under increased scrutiny so it’s important to address compliance before tax authorities address it for you. 

Avalara MyLodgeTax has put together this guide to help you comply with New Mexico short-term rental tax laws. For more information on the tax rates and jurisdictions that apply to your rental’s specific location, use our lodging tax lookup tool.

No short-term vacation rental tax guide is a substitute for professional tax advice. Consider this an asset to help you understand and prioritize your vacation rental questions and concerns. Questions pertaining to specific situations or out-of-the-ordinary conditions are best solved with a certified tax professional familiar with New Mexico tax laws.

Short-term rental tax basics

When you start operating a short-term rental, while you might not have experience with lodging taxes, you’re probably familiar with income tax. It’s important to understand the difference between the two.

Income tax is reported and paid annually to the federal government and many state governments on “taxable” income, which is income after allowed expense deductions. You pay this tax directly to the government.

In New Mexico, lodging taxes operate a bit differently than in other states. Vendors are taxed for the privilege of doing business in the state, with taxes levied on short-term rental businesses according to their gross receipts. Short-term rental business owners may pass the taxes on to their guests.

Who's required to collect and file taxes on short-term rentals in New Mexico?

If you collect payment from short-term guests renting out a room, apartment, house, or other dwelling, you’re likely responsible for paying short-term rental taxes to New Mexico tax authorities.

Location is key to compliance

The location of your rental is a crucial piece of information for short-term rental tax compliance. Your address determines which tax jurisdictions you’re required to report to, which taxes you need to collect, and the appropriate tax rates.

Use our lodging tax lookup tool to get a rate report specific to your New Mexico rental’s address. The report includes the estimated total tax rate to collect from guests, number of required registrations, number and frequency of returns per year, and minimum number of rented days to qualify as a taxable stay.

It should be noted that tax rates and the rules governing them change frequently. Please consider your tax rate report to be informative rather than authoritative.

Registering with tax authorities

Before you can begin collecting taxes on your short-term rental in New Mexico, you’re legally required to register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. You can register online, and once you’ve registered, you’ll receive a Combined Reporting System (CRS) Identification Number as well as instructions on filing your lodging taxes.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be required to register with your local tax authority and file local occupation tax returns in addition to state registration and filing.

Do I need to form an LLC?

In New Mexico, you don't need to form an LLC to register with tax authorities.

Local short-term rental regulations

Short-term rental operators in New Mexico should be aware of the local regulations that apply to them, including rules covering:

  • Legality
  • Permits, licenses, and registrations
  • Zoning
  • Advertising
  • Neighborhood notification
  • Building and housing standards

Homeowner associations (HOAs), condominium communities, co-ops, and landlords may also have specific rules regarding vacation rentals. It’s your responsibility to be aware of short-term rental policies that apply to your property.

Collecting short-term rental tax

Once you’re registered with tax authorities, you’re ready to start paying short-term rental taxes.

Which taxes apply to New Mexico short-term rentals?

In New Mexico, lodging taxes can include:

Tax name Filed and remit to
Gross receipts tax (GRT)
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
Local lodgers’ tax
Local tax authority

 

Tax rates

Before you can begin paying short-term rental taxes, you need to know the correct rate to pay. Rates can and do change frequently, so it’s critical to make sure you have the latest rate. 

Our lodging tax lookup tool can give you a rate report specific to your New Mexico address. The report includes the estimated total tax rate, required registrations, frequency of returns per year, and minimum number of rented days to qualify as a taxable stay.

What charges are taxable?

In New Mexico, the state gross receipts tax (GRT) is levied on a business’s receipts from sales and services, including transient accommodations, so any revenue received from providing short-term rentals is subject to GRT. However, hosts can pass the tax on to guests either by separately stating it on the invoice or by combining the tax with the selling price.

What happens when my short-term rental marketplace (such as Airbnb or Vrbo) collects taxes for me? 

Before paying any short-term rental taxes, you need to be aware of whether any taxes have already been collected from guests and paid for you. New Mexico requires all marketplace providers — such as Airbnb and Vrbo — that collect money on behalf of individual accommodations providers in excess of $100,000 in the prior calendar year to pay gross receipts tax on the transactions that they facilitate. As an individual seller, you must file GRT returns even if a marketplace provider is paying taxes on your behalf, but you can deduct sales on which taxes have already been paid. Marketplace providers may not collect locally administered taxes on your behalf. If taxes aren’t being paid for you, you’re responsible for remitting them to state tax authorities yourself.

Are guests ever exempt from taxes? 

There are situations in which you aren’t required to pay the gross receipts taxes in New Mexico. For example, receipts of the federal government, State of New Mexico, New Mexico cities, counties, public schools, and instrumentalities of the armed forces of the United States are exempt from gross receipts tax. Sales to Indian nations, tribes, pueblos, or their members are exempt if the transaction takes place on the tribe's territory.

Filing short-term rental tax returns

In New Mexico, you can lodging tax file returns online. In order to file, you’ll need to enter information on how much you charged for your rentals. You’ll also need to pay the tax amount due. The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department allows credit card payments, but you may be charged convenience fees for this type of payment.

Take the time to double-check your returns prior to submitting. Simple mistakes such as typos, missing signatures, and incorrect tax information can lead to unwanted delays.

When do I need to file my returns?

You’ll be assigned a filing frequency and due dates when you register with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. Filing due dates are as follows:

Filing frequency Due date
Monthly Due the 25th day of the month following the end of the filing period
Quarterly Due the 25th day of the month following the end of the filing period
Semiannually Due the 25th day of the month following the end of the filing period

 

I didn’t rent my property during this filing period. Am I still required to file a tax return for my short-term rental with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department?

Yes. Short-term rental operators registered with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department are required to file returns each assigned filing period, regardless of whether there was any short-term rental income or any short-term rental taxes were collected. Such returns are commonly known as “zero dollar returns.” Local tax authorities may have their own requirements.

Are there penalties for filing taxes late?

Whether you choose to offer short-term rentals through a marketplace like Airbnb or Vrbo or directly to guests, you open the door to tax liability at the state and local level. As tax revenue is a major source of local funding, tax authorities are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to identify individuals and businesses not in compliance with tax laws. Failure to register with tax authorities and file short-term rental tax returns in New Mexico on time may result in late fees, interest payments, and in extreme cases, legal action.

I’ve been offering short-term rentals without paying lodging tax. What options do I have?

If you’re already operating a short-term rental but you’re not paying short-term rental taxes, you may be in violation of New Mexico tax laws. Take the time to review your legal responsibility (with a tax professional, if necessary) and understand the risk of continuing to not collect tax.

Short-term rental hosts in New Mexico may be able to take advantage of a managed audit. A managed audit offers an opportunity for hosts to proactively disclose prior period tax liabilities in accordance with a binding agreement with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. Managed audits are offered to encourage cooperation with state tax laws and may result in some or all penalty and interest payments being waived.

Are there options for outsourcing lodging tax filing?

Yes. Numerous short-term rental hosts in New Mexico file several state and local lodging tax returns every year. For many, filing solutions such as MyLodgeTax can relieve this burden.

The Vacation Rental Property Owner

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