Airbnb Inc. (“Airbnb”) announced January 28 that it has voluntarily agreed to collect and remit hotel taxes in the District of Columbia and Chicago. Beginning February 15, Airbnb will collect and remit the District’s 14.5 percent hotel tax and Chicago’s 16.4 percent hotel tax. In a recent statement to Tax Analysts, Airbnb has expressed its willingness to helping its hosts and guests pay tourism taxes.
While Chicago and D.C.’s hotel/accommodations tax may be broad enough to encompass Airbnb’s business model into the existing definition of “operator,” Airbnb needs to remain vigilant in its review of each state and local municipality’s hotel occupancy tax laws and in its voluntary compliance. If we have learned anything from the online travel company litigation over the last few years, it is that merely because a taxpayer falls within a state or municipality’s definition of “hotel operator” or “hotel accommodations provider,” that does not necessarily mean that the taxpayer will qualify under each and every statute and ordinance with a similar provision.
For more on Airbnb and the evolution of the sharing economy, see Christopher Lutz’s article HERE.
Also view this post on LinkedIn.