Coming this Summer: Airbnb Will Collect Taxes in San Francisco, New York State

The ongoing saga of the tax and regulatory standing of Airbnb, the popular room rental app and poster child for the sharing economy, is evolving in San Francisco, Portland and the state of New York.
April 15, 2014, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Shortly after announcing the launch of its “Shared City” program in Portland, news about Airbnb’s tax collection policies have been emerging in San Francisco and New York State.

First in San Francisco, Carolyn Said reported that Airbnb had agreed to pay the city’s 14 percent hotel tax by the summer. A few days after that article, John Cote reported on a decision by the San Francisco Treasurer John Cisneros confirming that Airbnb is subject to the city’s hotel tax as the law is currently written.

Next in New York City, Kaja Whitehouse reports that Airbnb is “working on getting two bills passed by May that would allow it to collect the 14.7 percent hotel tax and pass it on to city and state authorities…”

The situation in New York State is different than that of Portland and San Francisco because “the company claims it is hindered in New York by laws that place the burden of collecting and paying taxes on the individual host….Airbnb says it wants to do the work for them. Changing the laws would allow the company to tack on an extra charge for taxes on renters’ bills in the same way hotels do for their guests.”

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 in SFGate
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