When I added my listing to Airbnb I went to my City's web site and got the information about TOT. So in my city it is applying for a Business License once granted you have to pay 10% of total revenue you receive on a quarterly basis. I have listed that Business License number on my listing. From knowing some of the other Airbnber's in town and chatting with them in the forums I honestly think I am the only one in town that is legal. What percentage do you all think of Hosts who are actually paying their city tax? I realize all of us in the US will be paying the Federal and State tax because Airbnb reports to both agencies.
Post by High Priestess on Oct 29, 2015 5:29:25 GMT
Very few hosts start paying the city tax before the city passes short term rental regulations. Many hosts rightly fear that by coming forward to try to pay their TOT taxes, if the city has not yet passed regulations that make it very clear that short term rentals are legal, that they might get in trouble, when they come forward and try to sign up and do the right thing. THis actually happened to a host in one story I heard. He wanted to be totally legal, so he marched down to the city to sign up for a business license and to pay TOT taxes, even though the city had not yet passed short term rental regulations to make short term renting clearly legal. The city had issued statements saying that those doing short term rentals needed to pay TOT, so this host thought that by the city saying this, it meant that the city was stating that short term rentals were legal.
WHen the host tried to sign up and pay the TOT, he ended up getting his head cut off, figuratively. He was shut down and not allowed to continue hosting, because, the city said, short term rentals were not legal in that city. (meanwhile, all the other Airbnb hosts in that city, of which there are many, are continuing to host, because they didn't reveal themselves to the city).
THe city you see had been talking out two sides of its mouth -- saying on the one hand that Airbnb hosts needed to pay TOT, but on the other hand saying that short term renting was not legal. Most hosts were smart and were not going to be walking into the trap this host walked right into. They sat in the background, waiting for the city to actually pass regulations, not trusting that they could come forward yet. They sat back and waited for the city to get its act together. They are happy to pay taxes when doing so will not result in the king cutting their heads off.
So that's a story about the sad fate of those who want to do the right thing. Or as the saying goes, "No good deed goes unpunished."
Wow I feel bad for that guy! I think when a city has the Code Enforcement Department get ahold of you your doomed! My City does require the TOT taxes they are very business minded and like the revenue. The Orange County Register has had quite a few articles about Airbnb and how each town is responding. In one article it even mentioned how many listings Airbnb had in San Clemente. In San Diego the city send out last year notices to all the Airbnb Hosts for back taxes and penalty fees. Some folks closed their listing down, some people had to get loans to catch up.