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Starting Nov. 1, Airbnb will collect 9% meals and rental tax for NH

October 20. 2017 10:51AM

Airbnb has agreed to collect the state’s 9 percent meals and rental tax at the time someone books on its website, guaranteeing the state will receive more money.

“We hope it will eliminate any confusion that might have arisen in the past,” Airbnb spokesman Peter Schottenfels said in a phone interview.

Some hosts had posted on Airbnb’s own website that they hadn’t been collecting the tax while renting out a room as required.

New Hampshire becomes the 24th state to allow Airbnb to collect and send tax money to states.

John Beardmore, commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration, said he doesn’t know how much more the state will collect in tax revenue from Airbnb rentals, but that its research showed not all hosts sent the state a tax check.

“It’s very important to the department that the tax be remitted on the proper tax base,” he said.

“We have done audit work in this area, and there’s quite a bit of noncompliance in the short-term rental industry.”

Starting Nov. 1, Airbnb will collect the 9 percent state tax based on the combined advertised room rate and an Airbnb guest fee, Beardmore said.

Schottenfels said hosts had been paying the tax only on the room rate. Beardmore said that at least some hosts were paying tax only on what they netted after Airbnb subtracted a fee from the booking rate.

Beardmore said he couldn’t say whether Airbnb would pay the state any money that the state believes it is owed from previous rentals. Schottenfels said the agreement applies to future collections.

Airbnb reported that its New Hampshire hosts welcomed more than 150,000 guests between Oct. 1, 2016, and Oct. 1, 2017, an 87 percent year-over-year increase.

Its 2,600 New Hampshire hosts collectively earned $19.5 million in one year.

The typical listing is booked 27 nights per year, and the typical host earns $6,100 per year. The average host is 50 years old with 60 percent being women.

Airbnb said it had more than 300 tax agreements in place worldwide and remitted more than $250 million in taxes.

The state of New Hampshire has sued about a dozen online travel companies, including Priceline and Travelocity. A judge has heard the case but hasn’t issued a decision yet.

The 2013 lawsuit alleges that Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and other online travel companies failed to pay the full amount of tax due because they deducted fees before calculating the tax. Airbnb is not a defendant in that lawsuit.

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