New Los Angeles Tax Collection - Current and Timely! :)

I know there have been a lot of posts with basic questions about local occupancy taxes. This one is a bit more of a deeper dive.

So, I’ve learned that Airbnb just started collecting Los Angeles occupancy taxes. However, they’ve been very light on the specific mechanics of how remittances will work. Does anyone know any more detail on the process for the new tax collection and remittance in Los Angeles? I am fine with Airbnb collecting and remitting taxes for my rental. However, I’d like to know what information about me Airbnb passes over to the taxing authority. Are they passing over my information such as name and social security number along with the tax payment, so the taxing authority can identify me specifically as the host associated with the taxes being paid? If so, do they need a host’s LA business license number?

Incidentally, does anyone know whether other sites like VRBO are also required to collect the same tax on behalf of Los Angeles, or was Airbnb the only company that was targeted for this new requirement?


I believe that Airbnb started collecting Transient Occupancy Taxes in Los Angeles for two reasons: First so that the City can see how much revenue they will lose out on if they limit or ban Airbnb. Second, so that they don’t have to pass on personal information about Airbnb hosts. Our local Airbnb representative met with my husband and me to discuss strategy to fight the proposed regulations. She emphasized that Airbnb doesn’t want to give personal information about hosts to the local government. By the way, pretty much anyone else who pays you does report your name address and social security number or tax identification number to the state and federal government via your W2 or 1099.

Thanks for the background. I understand about Airbnb issuing 1099s so I’m flagged to the state and feds as having made income from Airbnb. If Los Angeles isn’t receiving my personal information which shows that I’m associated with a particular tax remittance received by Los Angeles, it puts all of us LA hosts in an interesting position. (Because we’re still technically under an obligation to collect the occupancy tax on our own because LA has no way of knowing that the occupancy tax was already paid on our behalf by Airbnb.) Very peculiar.

I just got a reply from customer service, it seems to answer the question: no personal information of hosts is sent to the city:

For reservations booked on or after August 1, 2016, Airbnb will collect and remit the following taxes:

Transient Occupancy Tax of 14%

Guests are charged the above taxes based off the listing price including any cleaning fee for reservations 30 nights or shorter.

If you determine that you need to collect additional local taxes, you may do so by incorporating into your nightly price, adding it via a Special Offer, or collect it in person upon arrival. In each case, the guest must be informed prior to booking.

We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction with the total combined reservation revenue. This means that all hosts located in Los Angeles will be represented by one remitted amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return.

For your records, you may confirm the total taxes collected by going to your Account > Transaction History > Gross Earnings > Occupancy Taxes. Taxes will only appear here once the reservation payout occurs.

Beginning with tax year 2015, Airbnb issues 1099Ks to hosts who collect over $20,000.00 and host over 200 stays in a year. This is the 1099 that is issued to credit card companies Clearly, this means that very few hosts will receive 1099s. Previously to 2015, Airbnb issued 1099MISCs.

Ellen: thanks, that’s useful info