Federal taxes being withheld, but never turned in

Airbnb collected federal taxes from me in 2015. They said they weren’t supposed to but they did. And I had to battle to get the 1099. But once I did my taxes, it looks like the IRS doesn’t show it as ever being paid to them. It’s been a huge pain. Has anyone else had this problem?

A 1099 means that they didn’t withhold taxes, it just means that they reported your income to the IRS. If they did withhold the tax from your gross receipts, you should have received a different form altogether. [Would have been a W-something. Can’t ever remember that one since I have never received one.] AirBNB claims they never withhold taxes, but do report earnings in some circumstances.

I have assumed since you indicated a Form 1099, that you are in the USA. I know nothing about tax requirements or forms in any other country.

Yeah, that’s true. When I’ve done 1099’s for contractors, it’s for people I haven’t withheld taxes from. But it looks like they did withhold $230 in 2015. It’s listed in section 4 of the 1099, “Federal Income Tax Withheld”. My transactions in my Airbnb account show it too. I think it might just be some glitch on their part, why they withheld from me against their own policy. Hopefully I can get it straightened out. Thanks for the input.

I agree with @smtucker. It seems extremely unlikely that Airbnb withheld federal taxes. You would have to be an employee of theirs in order for that to happen, and you would have received a W-2 form showing what they withheld.

They would have given you a 1099 form showing how much money you made and a copy of that would have gone to the IRS. You would owe income tax on the amount shown on the 1099.

Here’s my transaction history:

11/25/2015 Reservation Nov 24 - 28, 2015 CF4NXB
Mike MacKenzie $532

11/25/2015 Tax Withholding Nov 24 - 28, 2015 CF4NXB
Mike MacKenzie ($154)

10/24/2015 Payout $70

10/24/2015 Tax Withholding Oct 23 - 25, 2015 JNJWMK
Katie Carey ($76)

10/24/2015 Reservation Oct 23 - 25, 2015 JNJWMK
Katie Carey $262

I take it this hasn’t happened to others.

I used to work in finance and it’s true that under certain circumstances income taxes can be withheld from payments for which a 1099 will be issued. This is usually when the recipient has failed to provide a W9 or when the recipient is in arrears and a lien has been issued by the IRS.

It is a very serious matter that Airbnb has withheld federal taxes from you, but not remitted them to the IRS. It could be either an oversight, or that they sent the funds to the IRS with an incorrect tax identification number. If I were you I would call Airbnb and have them send you copies of the paperwork they submitted with the payments to the IRS. Once you get this paperwork, you’ll need to submit it to the IRS with a letter explaining to them how to correctly apply the funds. Sometimes there is a form you have to fill out. Good luck.


This implies that you would need to file an amended return, correct? Makes no sense to pay tax on income twice. Amended returns are not that difficult to file, especially if you used a software tax program. Then that money can be applied to 2016 taxes. Just a real inconvenience.

I would guess that the original poster filed a tax return under the assumption that Airbnb remitted the taxes to the IRS and that the IRS is not letting the poster know that they didn’t receive the taxes from Airbnb so the poster now owes them. The other scenario is that the IRS has issued a lien for back taxes. In neither case would an amended return be called for.

You are correct. An amended return would only be required if the IRS was not notified and seasonmarie didn’t note include the withholdings as taxes paid.

Thank you, Ellen. That is exactly right. I submitted my taxes and included the info from Airbnb, but got a note from the IRS saying that I owe because it’s not showing anything was submitted by Airbnb. What’s worse is that I can’t seem to get a hold of anyone at Airbnb to look into this. I’ve been emailing and calling and no one will get back to me. And I can’t get through to the IRS on the phone. I’m going to mail something to them and hope for the best, I guess. I don’t have a lien or anything against me. And I may very well have not filled out something with Airbnb. I don’t know.

I’m sorry you’re going through this. Trust me, I know how awful it is. Pro tip, never call the IRS on Monday or Friday. It does take a long time to get through to them. If I were you, I’d keep nagging at Airbnb until you get someone who will help you. I know that their 1099 department is horrible. They made two mistakes on my 2014 1099. One they corrected after I threatened them. They refused to correct the other mistake. Still, you do need to get a copy of the paperwork they submitted with the tax payments.

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