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How to find out local laws?


#1

This seems like a silly question

I’m new to airbnb but have been having a blast. So far my guests have ranged from ok to fantastic.

I jumped into it with very little thought and was stunned to have my first booking before I finished editing my listing. So now I’m having to figure out insurance, taxes, etc.

I can’t even find out HOW to find out how to get straight on local taxes. Federal and state income tax is easy, but the occupancy tax, etc., I don’t know. Will I have to be inspected? I don’t think we’d pass inspection because there is a toilet in a closet under the stairs!! It’s fine an functional, and as most of my guests are European or Asian they don’t even think twice about it. However, it is not code!

We home educate our kids and in addition I work two jobs, so most likely will have to put our listing on hold in the fall. Also, I’m trying to figure out the insurance issue.

Anyone from Maryland know how to get hooked into the system so I can be totally legit, and see if I can afford to maintain this hobby? If not from Maryland, any suggestions for getting info? I’ve gone to our state tax website and searched all kinds of ways to no avail.

A neighbor (I don’t know them) has listed on airbnb - her place is much nicer (no closet toilet, lol) and she charges a good bit more (legitimately, my guests have to walk upstairs and through our living room to shower) - so I don’t feel like we’re competition, - would it be tacky to contact them and ask what they’ve learned?

Thanks!!


#2

Call your county and ask. Here in MT you have to have four units before having to be inspected. We pay hospitality tax to county. And you don’t have to pay until you’ve done fourteen days.


#3

teak - thanks. It was ridiculously easy once I started asking people at the county. I got a quick email reply - I need to pay 7%. My room rate is very low - for bookings that are already done I owe about $60, but now I need to figure out what to do about bookings that are coming. My place is a very good value, so I don’t feel to bad about writing them all emails and letting them know how much they will need to pay in tax upon check-in. I know that will seem fishy to some and I may lose bookings, but I really don’t think so. I’ve shopped my neighborhood and know that my price is good and the value even better.

My listing now does state, in several places, “7% will be collected in cash upon check-in”. I know I could add it to the price, but that costs us all a bit more money as the airbnb fees will also increase.

I have $2,400 in bookings left until the end of October, and then I’ll scale way back because of insurance issues (my HO policy allows bookings of two guests 2x a month) and because school is starting my family will be to busy.

Thanks!!

Nancy


#5

Thanks, Beach Guy - those are some excellent points!!

What would you do about the bookings that are coming up? I have $2400 in bookings which means $171 in taxes. My price is very low; I’ve looked around and know that I provide a very good value, and my reviews reflect that.

Thanks for any additional advice!


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