Can Someone please help me?

Hello all new to the forum. I am from Montgomery Alabama and am recently getting into the Airbnb space. Having just turned 18 I’m a bit confused on taxes and what taxes are involved with airbnb. Do you have to file income taxes on the money you make? In general I am truly lost and if someone could help it would mean the world. Thanks.

@Brock In the U.S., you are required to pay taxes on your income, therefore, when you make money from your Airbnb business, you will need to pay taxes on that income. You need to contact an accountant for additional guidance.
Wishing you success in your hosting adventures!

Hello @Brock

i don’t know about the US but in the UK our government sites provide really useful information on setting your self up in business either as self employed or through a limited company and our tax office provides useful information on what expenses you can claim too.

When you say you are getting into the Airbnb space - do you have a property you own that you are letting out.

  1. Check you are allowed to do Airbnb in the area your accommodation is in (check with your local government)
  2. Check that the accommodation owners allow you to do Airbnb if you have an apartment or live in an HOA

In general if you are running a business or are self employed you always need to file your tax return and pay taxes on the money you make.

Almost none of us are Tax people, and few live in Montgomery. This is an international forum. All we can give you are generalities.

First, go to the Air site and read everything about taxes; which you should have already done.

Yes you must file and pay income taxes on your earnings; why would you think you don’t have to pay??? You also need to pay local business taxes, bed or hospitality taxes, and may need to have a local business license. If you operate illegally, you can and will be shut down by local authorities and/or Airbnb, and give us all a bad name.

Contact your city and/or county departments that deal with short term rental businesses for local detailed information. Just call the operator and have him/her connect you to the right department.

I’m not sure you can even legally operate an Airbnb or other short-term rental business at the age of 18. You really should check that out as well.

Yes, the Federal government requires you pay taxes quarterly. Most states are the same. If you are already hosting, you need to get this sorted out quickly to avoid late payment penalties. You need to understand how to track your income and expenses, too, so you pay tax on only your net income.

Thank you for your response, the hard part for me is filing income taxes since I have never had to do it before and since I don’t have 9-5 job it just makes it a more difficult and stressful process

Do you not have family, friends or teachers that can help advise you on this @Brock . I am sure they will have had to file a tax return before @Brock

Believe me the hardest part of running your Airbnb will not be filling in a tax return ! :slight_smile:


None that are used to this type of space and the internet hasn’t been helping

They don’t need to be used to using AIrbnb. They just need to be able to help you set yourself up as self employed and tell you how to file your tax return. @Brock

I found this in a two second google search - so there are resources on the internet.

Have you look at the tax information on Airbnb?

You can do your taxes online with Turbo tax. They prompt you with tons of questions and take you automatically to the correct forms. It’s easy, just inputting numbers. Just make sure you keep receipts for all your expenses.

PLEASE do yourself a favor and take a small business class at your local community college.

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Nope Same simple process. Same one or two pages of form to fill out before April 15th. Talk to H&R Blockhead or Liberty tax service if you can’t find any other tax preparer.

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Not exactly as this is ‘rental income’, not self employment so it’s handled differently. If it were self employement, one would need to pay Social Security/FICA as well.
The hardest part can be allocating expenses to rental vs personal in a shared space.

As i said i am basing my information on being from UK where you can indeed be self employed and run an Airbnb business @pleasantforestshores

@Helsi And that’s something I didn’t realize but in USA, income from rentals like this isn’t self-employed unless you’re doing it via a registered business or corporation, in which case the business/corp would have to file it’s own tax return. How you earn the income determines how it’s handled. Because in a Airbnb, you’re not charging someone for your work per hour like a painter or mechanic or such, you’re charging rent instead and even cleaning fees are not hourly income.

How how would you classify self employed income in the US then @pleasantforestshores when not through a registered business?

It’s either Schedule C (self-employment, generally only if you provide significant services with the rental) or Schedule E (rental property income).

Someone posted a link to the H&R Block guide above - although I am loathe to promote their tax services, the guide actually does a very good job of explaining the tax implications of STR.

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@CeeBee Agreed that document explains it well! I, by having a seasonal weekly rental of self-contained cottages, fall into the non-significant services so it’s always been Sched E for me.
That’s why I was basing my answer on my own situation naturally.
If you’re operating it more like a hotel, then the Sched C would apply but that also will then require (AFAIK) payment of FICA on those earnings whereas that’s not true for me.

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AIrbnb will have an earnings summary, no longer a 1099 form, at the end of the year. You include it in both state and federal tax returns. If you rent a lot, you may want to set aside some money for paying this tax with your return. I keep track of Airbnb specific expenses and use them as deductions. If you get to the point that you make a lot of money on Airbnb, you may need to file quarterly estimated taxes. An accountant is a good suggestion, but if you just have a little income, just use the summary.