Austin Hotel Occupancy Taxes
Good Evening fellow hosts,
I'm writing this because I'm trying to understand why and how city/state taxes are set up the way they are for short term rentals, specifically those here in Austin. I also would like to discuss and present rationale for a solution in mind.
AirBnB itself collects the state tax of 6% but neglects to charge the other 11% tax rate for the municipality. This is frustrating because there are countless AirBnB's in Austin, many of which I can only assume are not collecting or paying the 11% hotel occupancy tax (which is a ridiculous amount of money by the way.) I have gone through the process of getting my AirBnB permitted and am collecting/paying the city occupancy tax however there are a lot of AirBnB's here flying under the radar which I can only assume are making 11% more than me per booking. Now while it's very possible the municipal tax man will catch up to them I have a hard time believing that this is ever going to happen and find it unfair that going through the process of doing things right is leaving dollars on the table whilst many get away without paying their dues to the city.
I believe the solution to be simple. As previously stated, AirBnB collects and pays state occupancy taxes which I have no problem with and find very convenient, one less thing to worry about. Can AirBnB not collect the 11% on the behalf of all AirBnB's in Austin? This would make it fair to everyone and completely eliminate the widespread fraud. It's done in many other cities and counties in Texas, why not Austin?
Now I have to mention, I don't agree with how strict Austin's policy is on short term rentals and think that they are generally good for the city and even neighborhoods. For those hosts out there that aren't permitted but run great AirBnB's that harm no one, I wish it was easier for you. I just think if one person has to pay a tax we all should.
I'm sure if you don't collect and pay the city taxes you may be mad at me for posting this because you are getting away with a lot more money. In the future, however, you may get caught through state disclosures or disclosures of AirBnB to the city which would lead to ENORMOUS bills, fees, maybe even criminal charges. With AirBnB collecting the tax, there is no risk of this and no one person is getting cheated out of their paycheck.
I know that I can personally turn on professional hosting tools and add the municipal tax myself however this will still factor into the cost presented to guests when booking the place and when compared to other booking results in my area, my rental will of course show to be 11% more expensive than a comparable rental...
If you agree or disagree I'd like to hear it and why. I want AirBnB to be a place where guests and hosts alike are not competing with unfair practices and can do so in harmony.
Re: Austin Hotel Occupancy Taxes
I'm very confused, also in Texas. Where is the filing info located where they paid the state taxes? I just had to manually pay my city hotel tax and it wants a copy of the state comptroller form. I don't see that anywhere. Do you know?
Re: Austin Hotel Occupancy Taxes
@Sherry397 I can't speak for Texas, but here in Jersey City we just renewed our permit for another year and WE had to pay the city occupancy tax that Airbnb says they collected from guests. The city was adamant that Airbnb had stopped paying this $$ and we could only get a renewal if we paid it ourselves. Eventually, we will probably sue them in small claims court to get the money back.