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Airbnb Does a poor job both collecting and reporting Kentucky room and sales taxes


#1

Airbnb has begun collecting taxes for the state of Kentucky. However, there are several issues with their approach:

  1. The calculation they use is incorrect. In KY, you are supposed to pay Transient Room Tax (TRT) for all rooms in an establishment that have “Transients” regardless of the length of their stay. Sales tax, on the other hand is only due if the guest stays for less than 30 days. Airbnb does not charge either type of tax for stays of more than 30 days.
  2. The report they provide double counts some stays, and over-states the amount of tax they pay. There is no easy way to calculate the amount of tax airbnb paid on my account for the month because of this error.
  3. When municipalities (city and or county) have a TRT, the KY law says that the amount of sales tax assessed must include the amount the guest paid in TRT. This seems to be double taxation, but this is the law. In my area, Airbnb does not collect TRT for the municipalities (just the state of KY), Thus, they are under-reporting the amount of sales tax due because they do not include the TRT for the municipalities. I can provide an example if anyone wants details,

I contacted airbnb about this issue. They have not addressed it (or even tried to understand the issue), To cover my a$$, I have been calculating the tax I think I really owe and sending it to the state of KY. This is a complex and error prone process.
I also sent the state of KY a registered letter telling them what I am doing. No response there either.

If anyone is interested I have much more information,


#2

I’ll bet 50 cents that the law is the inverse of what you state, in other words:

sales tax for all stays
transient tax for stays under 30 days

Pretty much all states/counties/cities that charge transient tax have a “transient” definition, generally 30, 60 or 60 days, sometimes as long as six months tho. So when you say “transients regardless of length of stay,” that doesn’t make sense to me.

And in other news, the official AirBNB forums have plenty of similar reports of AirBNB screwing up tax collection, making it impossible for hosts to keep this straight and/or doubly taxing them and/or applying a too-high rate.


#3

No need to send me 50 cents, but I know that there would be a huge uproar from landlords if sales tax were charged on stays of 30 days or more. I have rental property so I am familiar with the topic. Please refer to this document for a thorough explanation. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8dgdw2kmcodl5xo/secf_transientrentals.pdf?dl=0


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