4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2019 9:48 AM by thaxterlane RSS

    Massachusetts short-term rental tax?

    victoriastrauss New Member

      I'm a little surprised not to see any discussion yet of the new Massachusetts short-term rental tax. I've added the tax to my listing, but many rentals in my area (Cape Cod) do not include tax yet (which unlevels the playing field, since it looks like my rates are higher than others'), or if they do, include much less than the full amount that should be due (as much as 14.45%, depending on where you're located). Is anyone else confused? Struggling with this? Have any wisdom to impart? Thank you!

        • Re: Massachusetts short-term rental tax?
          feibus CommunityAmbassador

          Every county in Florida has a potentially different short-term rental tax rate.  The playing field is as level as it would ever be if your neighbors to your left and right are paying the same tax rate.  Further away than that, you can't worry about... people don't decide they're going to Cape Cod and stay in Natick... or vice versa.


          Just make sure the right rate is on your listing and be aware that you likely still owe the tax even if you didn't collect it because the tax didn't exist when you booked the guest.

          • Re: Massachusetts short-term rental tax?
            grant570 Active Contributor

            I know a large percentage of my competition does not charge and probably does not remit the accommodation tax.  Not much in the way of enforcement in my state.   And of course you likely lose some people due to that cost, but there are also renters that want the professionalism of a homeowner that is complying with the tax law.  I have no problem getting renters and from what I can tell my property is more popular than much of the competition, of course that may be for reasons other than cost.

              • Re: Massachusetts short-term rental tax?
                victoriastrauss New Member

                Interesting that some people are not complying! I imagine that's easier in a state that doesn't require short term rentals to register--but in Massachusetts, we must register with both the state and our local municipality. Also, we've been declaring the rental income on our state and local tax returns for years, so it would be a bit hard to fly under the radar.


                I think it's possible many Massachusetts rental owners may not even know about the tax--it certainly didn't get a lot of mainstream news coverage.

              • Re: Massachusetts short-term rental tax?
                thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                The tax has been discussed for many months on sites which are dedicated to short term rentals and specifically Cape and Islands short term rentals, as we are truly the backbone of the summer tourism season.  (The original pitch for the tax was made some ten years ago, fyi.)  The sites which offer direct booking of homes with owners are also publicizing the tax.  There are several facebook groups where the tax has been discussed, too.  There may not be very many active Cape, and especially Island, members in this forum, as the constraints of listing on homeaway/vrbo are not compatible with local best practices and booking cycle.


                The majority of the media have been focused on the tax and registration and inspection process for Boston. 


                Here's a Cape Cod realtor's site with good information:  https://www.cciaor.com/shorttermrentals/


                Be certain to contact your locality to determine the rate of the local tax component and confirm the water protection fee is being charged, too.  It is a requirement for some counties, but not others.


                Good luck working all of this out!