Transient occupancy tax in Oakland Sept 21, 2015 2:08:51 GMT
Post by High Priestess on Sept 21, 2015 2:08:51 GMT
Oakland 14% tax
I know Airbnb has started to collect 14% for short term stays in Oakland. Does anyone know if Oakland expects us to pay retroactively to before Airbnb started collecting, and how far back that would be required?
Can you direct me to whatever AIRBNB and / or Oakland has written on this?
There is nothing written on this as these laws as just being made and tested as we write. As I think I've told folks previously, the situation varies from municipality to municipality. In the case of SF, airbnb paid back taxes to the tune of an undisclosed millions of dollars. That said, you'd be wise to have a nest egg in savings just in case they come asking!
I very much doubt Oakland would expect hosts to pay the tax retroactively. As far as I am aware, no California city has asked hosts to pay retroactively -- San Francisco has not asked that of hosts, and SF is taking its STR regulations very seriously (actually, much TOO seriously...but that's another subject...).
Oakland has written nothing on this that anyone knows of...Oakland has not even begun to discuss doing any laws on STR's (*short term rentals). As far as we know, all that happened was Oakland thought to itself, "hey wouldn't it be brilliant if we just talked to Airbnb and got set up to get taxes collected, as then we'd get a bunch of free money. " And so she did.
This may have happened in conjunction with Airbnb "reaching out" to cities and saying, "hey would you like a bunch of money? Want us to collect taxes for you?" Which we think they are doing in order to "woo" cities into looking favorably on STR's. THus, it's a political tactic/strategy to see that cities start getting some good money, and start getting used to it, even way before they start writing any STR regulations.
Oh I forgot, Yes, back taxes in SF were paid by Airbnb...(not by the hosts...)
Well, this is challenging. I went to the city offices yesterday. Oakland does require that we register and pay taxes. The forms clearly include / state Airbnb "personal rentals." So, if Airbnb is remitting for us, but not identifying us, how do we prove that?
Also, can anyone direct me to Airbnb's email where they discuss collecting the 14%? I can't find it. Thanks!
FYI, the forms they provided stated "Per O.M.C. 4.24.060, you are required to register for a Transient Tax Acct within 30 days of starting your hotel activity."
I looked up O.M.C. 4.24.060, which states:
Within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this chapter, as to the hotel operators then doing business, and before commencing business, as to hotel operators commencing business after the effective date of this chapter, each operator of any hotel renting occupancy to transients shall register said hotel with the Tax Administrator and obtain from him a "Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate" to be at all times posted in a conspicuous place on the premises. Said certificate shall, among other things, state the following:
The name of the operator;
The address of the hotel;
The date upon which the certificate was issued;
"This Transient Occupancy Registration Certificate signifies that the person named on the face hereof has fulfilled the requirements of the Uniform Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance by registering with the Tax Administrator for the purpose of collecting from transients the Transient Occupancy Tax and remitting said tax to the Tax Administrator. This certificate does not authorize any person to conduct any unlawful business or to conduct any lawful business in an unlawful manner, nor to operate a hotel without strictly complying with all local applicable laws, including but not limited to those requiring a permit from any board, commission, department or office of this City. This certificate does not constitute a permit."
Right. But the laws still aren't aligned with what we are doing yet as we are similar to hotels but also different. Thus you will be in a limbo grey area if you register as a business before the laws catch up . It's your decision but I can tell you that the few folks in SF who registered before there was a well-defined process will NOT be getting back any of the TOT they paid in prior to airbnb collecting!
I applied for a business license, and Oakland sent me a TOT application. I'm going to call them tomorrow to discuss if they are recognizing the 14% that Airbnb is paying to the city...and if not, I'll let Airbnb know so they can change their process. Gulp!
Good luck with that. The very same issue is currently being debated in SF where airbnb has been paying the tax for nearly a year and still the city is sending threatening letters to hosts demanding they pay too. In fact there is a law suit in the works brought by a group of hosts who have essentially been double taxed. Not sure where it all will end but be sure to keep us posted on your progress or lack thereof!