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Airbnb expands tax collection services on May 1

  • Apr 14, 2017 | Gail Cole

 Airbnb expands tax collections beginning May 1, 2017.

Collecting and remitting lodging taxes is about to get easier for some Airbnb hosts. The online marketplace for short-term lodging already collects and remits taxes on behalf of hosts in some parts of the country, including San Francisco and the state of North Carolina. But hosts in many other locations are responsible for tax collection and remittance themselves. Beginning May 1, 2017, Airbnb will collect and remit a variety of taxes on behalf of hosts in the locations listed below.

State tax collection

  • Texas: 6% Hotel Occupancy Tax

There are approximately 26,000 Airbnb hosts in Texas, and the state Hotel Occupancy Tax applies to all of their short-term rentals. Many cities, counties, and special purpose districts in the Lone Star State also impose additional local lodging taxes; under state law, these apply to “sleeping rooms costing $2 or more each day.”

Airbnb has explored collecting local taxes in parts of the state, including Austin. To date, however, it is not authorized to collect local taxes on behalf of hosts. So, while Texas hosts won’t have to collect or remit the state hotel occupancy tax as of May 1, they will still be on the hook for all applicable local taxes.

Local tax collection

Lodging in each of the localities listed above may be subject to additional taxes. In some locations, such as Florida, Airbnb collects and remits all applicable taxes. In others, such as Wisconsin, it only pays a portion — the hosts are responsible for any lodging taxes that Airbnb doesn’t cover. Additionally, those who also rent their property on other platforms besides Airbnb are responsible for collecting and remitting all lodging taxes on rental revenues through those sites.

Length of stay must also be considered

While many occupancy taxes apply to stays of 29 or 30 nights or less, lodging taxes in Leavenworth, KS, and Seneca County, NY, only apply to stays of 28 nights or less; stays of 29 nights or longer are exempt from these taxes.

On the other end of the spectrum, Florida occupancy taxes apply to reservations of 182 or fewer nights.

Airbnb provides additional information about where it collects and remits tax on behalf of its hosts. This is a moving target: The company is constantly negotiating agreements with tax jurisdictions to collect and remit lodging taxes on behalf of their hosts.

Tax automation software facilitates lodging tax compliance for vacation rentals in all states. Learn more.

photo credit: OuiShare Summit 2012 via photopin (license)

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.