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Wow! Now I can add local taxes to my totals!

#8

That’s correct. But I’m willing to bet that once it’s up and makes it through the test period, that they’ll just stop remitting to taxing authorities and send hosts the collected tax in payouts, saving AirBnB from having to deal with all those local tax folks and giving hosts one more chore to do. If it works, that’s fine with me because I’ll have control of my tax returns and payments.

#9

I’ll take that bet. Airbnb is remitting taxes directly to appease localities and prevent them from passing more laws that restrict short-term rentals.

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#10

My take is that Air is tired of playing local tax whack-a-mole. I’m willing to bet that most taxing jurisdictions would be happy as long as hosts charge the tax and remit it to them, rather than having AirBnB do it.

My city wouldn’t do their previous way of making payments — just a check every month for all the tax, without saying which hosts were responsible to “protect hosts’ privacy”. The recently revised Terms of Service now notify hosts that their information may be shared with local tax authorities, which may be enough to satisfy many cities.

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#11

The option is showing on my account as well. Listing is in Costa Rica. :wink:

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#12

And it’s my understanding of the new STR MA law that sites like Airbnb are required to collect and remit the tax, not the host themselves since it wasn’t the host who was paid by guest but Airbnb on behalf of host.

#13

I do not believe you are correct. Unless the legislation insists on it, Airbnb Will not collect tax.

Here’s a link to the new regulations for Massachusetts Info on Massachusetts new STR law that takes effect 7/1/19

#14

Chapter 337 of 2018 Session laws in SECTION 8, Section 13 : requires intermediary (Airbnb) to collect and remit tax because they are the collection point for the rent.

#15

Thanks. I’ll do some more research. I have the email contact of the person responsible for implementing the law.

#16

I don’t recall if I had asked Jennifer about that but that section is, I think, quite clear in that whomever handles the rent payment must also collect/remit tax. Some other subsections are a bit more complicated.

#17

Hi Pleasant…,
I went to the law section you mentioned and I don’t see where it required Airbnb to collect and remit. I am not trying to make you wrong. I would want nothing more than to have Airbnb collect and remit the tax. I hate that I have to collect. If you think I’m misreading this please don’t hesitate to let me know.

So here’s that section. Often working bills get modified before they become legislation. but I am also going to reach out to my contact:

Section 13. (a) An operator may elect to allow an intermediary to collect rent or facilitate the collection or payment of rent on its behalf through a written agreement on an accommodation subject to the excise under this chapter. An intermediary that enters into a written agreement with the operator to collect rent or facilitate the collection or payment of rent on behalf of the operator of an accommodation subject to the excise under this chapter shall: (i) apply for and obtain a certificate of registration from the commissioner in accordance with section 67 of chapter 62C on behalf of the operator; (ii) assess, collect, report and remit the excise to the commissioner as described for operators in sections 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 7A, 7B and 12; (iii) assess, collect and remit the community impact fee to the municipality as described for operators in section 3D; (iv) maintain records of any excises collected that have been remitted to the commissioner and shall make these records available to the department upon request; (v) ensure that the operator is registered pursuant to said section 67 of said chapter 62C prior to permitting such operator to list or offer an accommodation for rent through the use of the intermediary; and (vi) notify the operator that the operator must comply with all applicable municipal, state and federal laws including, but not limited to, the collection and remittance of required excises.

I also think that this section points out

The certificate of registration obtained from the commissioner pursuant to this subsection shall identify and be in the name of the individual operator, not the intermediary.

I think that we as the Airbnb hosts have to obtain the certificate of registration so to me that further defines the host as the collector.

I have another questions for you Pleanant… (which I will also send to the DOR contact)
In regards to the actual tax collected I read somewhere that we are supposed to be a pay on the fees that we are charged and the Airbnb fees that guests are charged. Any thoughts?

#18

Last point first: From the definitions in SECTION 6: "“Rent”, the total consideration paid by or on behalf of an occupant, including any service, cleaning or other charge, to an operator or an intermediary collecting and remitting the excise on behalf of an operator under section 13 for occupancy, valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits and property or services of any kind or nature. ".
As to the 3% CC fees that we are charged, I realized my initial view was wrong as that 3% is not an added amt but a subtracted amt so by charging tax on the rent totals, it’s by default charging tax on that but it then may reduce our payouts by a very minimal amt.

So -to your other points: in ‘(a)’, it defines ABB or similar as the collector of payments and then in ‘(ii)’ and ‘(iii)’, they are required by word ‘shall’ as last word in ‘(a)’ to be the tax collector and remitter.

And in ‘(v)’, it requires that ABB or similar have proof that we as operators are registered with DOR before allowing us to list our rentals there. I read ‘(vi)’ as that ABB or similar must disclose to us the requirements of this law but not that we are to be the collector/remitter.

This isn’t a working bill - this is the signed and enacted law!

Obviously I’m NOT a lawyer but have been quite thoroughly reading about this for some time and spoke at a Public Hearing against it in Hyannis a couple(?) of summers ago so have talked with Sen Cyr’s office a couple of times.

#19

I’ve already sent off my questions to my contact. I think he’s on vacation until next week. I’ll follow up with these.

I really hope you are correct because it would make it so much easier.

#20

@Lynick4442
The only DOR contact for this STR tax that I’m aware of is Jennifer Desimone as shown on the DOR site so not aware of anyone else.

#21

I have a good relationship with my State Rep and when I couldn’t find good answers I reached out to him and he got me in touch with the person responsible for implementing the law. We’ll see.

#22

@Lynick4442
Ok - because when I contacted Sen Cyr’s office, they pointed me to Jennifer as being the official contact point person for this tax and its implementation and as i said, she’s the one listed on DOR site as such.

#23

Oh don’t you just love Government. This the contact but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet.
Robert Hazelton

Problem Resolution Office

Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Phone: 617-626-3833

hazeltonr@dor.state.ma.us

#24

I heard back from my contact and I am under-impressed.

  1. I’m trying to get clarification but he’s actually trying to tell me that I have to collect a tax on the Airbnb fees I pay to Airbnb and the airbnb fees the guest pays directly to the Airbnb.

  2. But he also says it is not Airbnb’s responsibility to collect the tax.

When I read the ruling, it states that we can enter into an agreement with the intermediary but we are the operators. It does not imply that Airbnb has collect this. And in fact they are not collecting taxes for any of my bookings in July.

  1. Can you provide a URL of where you are getting this copy:
    So -to your other points: in ‘(a)’, it defines ABB or similar as the collector of payments and then in ‘(ii)’ and ‘(iii)’, they are required by word ‘shall’ as last word in ‘(a)’ to be the tax collector and remitter.

Also, if you want to take this to email, my contact is lynnreznick@gmail.com

#25

@Lynick4442
The actual law can be found at: malegislature dot gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2018/Chapter337

Yes, the guest booking fee to Airbnb IS taxable under the ‘service charge’.
We don’t actually pay a fee to Airbnb, but they reduce payouts by charging that 3% fee for CC.
And that will be implicitly taxed when it’s calculated on the gross amt of rent. So - we may need to charge a tad more to net the same amount we had before but with it being unable to charge other than whole dollars, that become a problem.

I have yet to see any ABB changes to support this but based on law as i read it, they will be required to.

#26

Yay!!! I just checked my 2 Airbnb listings in Cambridge and did not see an “Add tax” button. When I drilled down and went to local laws, it said “Your listing is in Massachusetts State where Airbnb collects and remits occupancy taxes on your behalf.”

Whew!!!

Now, I just have to worry about VRBO. I am concerned that VRBO stated that the taxes were included in the fee which they were not!

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#27

YAH! If Airbnb is doing it then I think VRBO will have to too. It’s the same state law.

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