Now that short-term vacation rentals are legal throughout Arizona, the largest third-party online home rental service is now making things a little easier.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, Gov. Doug Ducey and Airbnb announced an agreement between the online home sharing company and the Arizona Department of Revenue on the reporting and paying of taxes on behalf of Airbnb hosts. The agreement furthers the governor’s vision of embracing new, 21st century business models in the sharing economy that benefit all Arizonans.
“This groundbreaking agreement is a signal to entrepreneurs across the U.S. that Arizona is a state that empowers innovative companies like Airbnb to set up shop and expand their operations,” Ducey said in a press release. “Making it easier for companies to service Arizonans without jumping through an outdated tax and regulatory system is a win for everyone. It helps our economy grow, these companies expand and the thousands of Arizonans who are benefiting from this new and exciting economy thrive.”
This came as a result of this year’s Senate Bill 1350, which made the practice of renting homes for less than 30 days legal in all cities and towns throughout the state. Up until now, it was against Sedona city code to have a vacation rental home. However, homeowners associations are exempt from the law. This was tested when members of the Village of Oakcreek Association voted against allowing short-term rentals.
Under this agreement, Airbnb will begin to collect and remit the 5.5 percent Short-Term Rental Accommodations tax on behalf of their hosts and guests. Guests will be charged the appropriate taxes on their Airbnb bill and they will remit the taxes collected to the city.
With this agreement, Arizona joins a list of more than 200 jurisdictions globally that are collecting and remitting hotel taxes on behalf of Airbnb hosts and guests.
Those opposed to this practice, which has been widespread in Sedona even before the passing of the bill, have many concerns. Those include that every other house on their street will be a vacation rental, which may lead to vandalism, theft, loud music and parties and drop in their property value.
“The overwhelming majority of Airbnb hosts and guests are good neighbors and respectful travelers, so complaints and issues are incredibly rare, but when they happen, we work to make things right,” Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty said in an email to the Sedona Red Rock News. “We have no tolerance for this type of behavior and we immediately ban guests from the platform.”
He said they want to do everything they can to help hosts be good neighbors in the places they too call home.
“To achieve that, we recently launched a new resource for neighbors of Airbnb hosts. Anyone can go to airbnb.com/neighbors to share specific concerns they might have about a listing in their community.
“Hosting is a big responsibility and those who repeatedly fail to meet our standards and expectations will be subject to suspension or removal from the Airbnb community,” Nulty added.
In January, Airbnb will begin to electronically file and pay the state and local transaction privilege taxes due on behalf of its customers in Arizona, the release said. By doing so, the company will save its customers the time and cost of filing complex tax returns; maximize tax revenue due to state and local governments from home sharing activities; and spare the Arizona Department of Revenue the cost of manually processing hundreds, if not thousands, of paper returns on a monthly basis. This type of agreement is available to other companies operating in the home sharing industry.
“Serving taxpayers is the Department of Revenue’s mission,” David Briant, director of the Arizona Department of Revenue, said in the same release. “Streamlining the filing and payment of taxes for innovative companies is more efficient, more secure and helps our state operate at the speed of business. We appreciate Airbnb’s leadership in making these improvements a priority in Arizona.” BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS