How to collect & pay the Transient Occupancy Tax for San Mateo, California

in
San Mateo, CA
Level 2
39 Views

Hello,

 

I'm new to hosting in San Mateo.  I was browsing similar listings and noticed that most Redwood City hosts collect a "Transient Occupancy Tax"(TOT).  So I was curious to check San Mateo and there is a Transient Occupancy Tax to pay 14% of rent due at the end of every month!

https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/3814/Transient-Occupancy-Tax

 

I searched the forums and past threads and tried to set this up in Airbnb but have had no luck (here's a past thread about TOT in San Mateo from 2016: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/San-Mateo-regulations/m-p/71272)

 

Also many listings in San Mateo don't seem to collect this although a few do collect it from what I've seen.  If you've setup your San Mateo Airbnb listing to auto-collect this 14% tax - please share your steps.  I need to do the same.

 

It doesn't seem correct to calculate 14% of my past earnings since Airbnb charges a higher rent than what they pay me and wording for the tax says it's 14% of rent.... so ideally Airbnb should auto-collect this and remit it to the City of San Mateo on behalf of hosts.

 

Thank you in advance,

Yasoja

 

3 Replies

Re: How to collect & pay the Transient Occupancy Tax for San Mateo, California

in
San Mateo, CA
Level 2

I contacted Airbnb support, basically you have to enable "Pro Hosting Tools" on your account.  Then the option to add a custom tax collection shows up.  But it won't let you actually add it (save button grayed out) until you fill in an "account number" via which the taxes will be paid.

 

For that TOT account number I went to this website: https://sanmateo.hdlgov.com/  and filled in the "Transient Occupancy Account Update Form".  They sent me an account # and pin within a day.  So now that TOT tax shows up when someone tries to book my listing.

 

Unfortunately according to the docs they sent I also need a "Business License" from the city $50 per year and a Short-Term Rental Permit $250 per year.   Links to apply for online for the BL and STR permit are there via the original TOT link here: https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/3814/Transient-Occupancy-Tax.  I'm still going through the applications for those.

 

I downgraded my listing price now that I am adding on this tax. 

Re: How to collect & pay the Transient Occupancy Tax for San Mateo, California

in
San Mateo, CA
Level 2

One more thing in case it's helpful to someone - trying to retroactively pay 14% of "gross rent" I realized I can click on "Transaction History" click the long alphanumeric-code for each reservation and see "Total paid by guest" vs. "Total paid to you".  So I can total it up in a spreadsheet to calculate the 14% to be paid.

Re: How to collect & pay the Transient Occupancy Tax for San Mateo, California

in
San Mateo, CA
Level 2

Another interesting piece of information in the STR Permit form (short term rental permit) is there is an "Annual Limit" on the number of days you can Airbnb a part of your home.

 

"A primary residence may be occupied as a Short-Term Rental for no more than 120 days per calendar year."

 

They also need drawings showing floor plan and parking locations, there's some restrictions on providing parking (off street) for your guests.  Luckily we were doing this already.

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