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Ohio Sales and Use Tax for Online Travel Companies

  • Sep 12, 2012 | Gail Cole

Do online travel companies have to pay Sales and Use Tax in Ohio?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently upheld a ruling from the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo on the complex issue of online travel companies and guest taxes.

In the original ruling, the district court decided that online travel companies "had no obligation to collect and remit guest taxes under any of the various guest tax laws at issue." The localities appealed the ruling.

In City of Columbus, et al, v. Hotels.com, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed that online travel companies are not defined as "vendors," "operators," or "hotels," and therefore "…had no obligation… to collect and remit guest taxes."

The localities contend that "the district court wrongfully dismissed the claim that the online travel companies were liable for failing to collect and remit taxes imposed by the tax laws." They claim that hotels have "contractually delegated their duty to collect taxes to the online travel companies." For now, at least, the U.S. Court disagrees.

The City of Columbus, et al, v. Hotels.com, et al. case illustrates some of the complex issues surrounding e-commerce and sales and use tax.

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Sales 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.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.