17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 21, 2019 3:25 PM by snow RSS

    How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?

    twinmountain Contributor

      I'm getting conflicting stories depending on which rep I talk with.  One rep says that I gave them my tax ID number when I signed up, which I don't remember doing.  Another rep says no, that the tax payment will show VRBO as the payor and that it will reference our street address.  I"m sure the state tax agency will love that one!


      Along the same vein, a different rep says that at the present, there is no way to see what VRBO is paying on our behalf.


      It sounds to me that I could easily be hung out to dry if the state audits me as I will have no information from VRBO to refute the claim!


      Now Ruidoso is charging a 5% lodgers tax and there is no graceful way to charge the guest for it!


      I've been using VRBO a long time, but they keep tightening the screws.  Another pet peeve is that I can't understand 3 out of 4 reps.


      Oh well!  Sorry for the rant.



        • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
          greggt Senior Contributor

          HA says "Trust us, we know best"!!

          • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
            margaret CommunityAmbassador

            Ha/VRBO doesn't collect tax for my location but ABB collects the state tax. When this began I called the tax authority to get clarification on the situation. You may be wise to do the same. As I understand it, the site is being required by the state and/or county to collect and remit tax. The tax is paid to the State and/or county under the site name in a lump sum for all properties in that location. There is no record of the tax being paid directly to your tax ID or property address. You are still required to file tax for any bookings taken from other sources that are not collecting and remitting tax in you location. When I file my tax each month, I do not include the bookings made through ABB for the state, I submit those as zero. I still remit the tax to my county as ABB doesn't collect those taxes.

            • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
              feibus Senior Contributor

              HA has legal agreements with certain states/counties/cities to collect and remit the tax money.  Doesn't matter whether you trust them or not, they have a legal obligation now (that they call a "voluntary agreement") to perform this operation on behalf of those states/counties/cities.  So they will.


              In Florida, the state has told owners/operators who book exclusively through Vrbo and AirBnB that they can close their sales tax account completely and not worry about it.  Check with your state/county/city dept of revenue/taxation to see what they advise in light of the collection agreement Vrbo has entered into with that particular state/county/city.

              • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
                twinmountain Contributor

                A supervisor called me back last night and walked me through downloading a CSV file which he says will show a breakdown of payouts to the state for any selected time period.  If that works, it will satisfy my concerns.  I can't test it yet because VRBO will pay the state portion for the first time at the end of July.


                From the Dashboard, click on "Reservation Manager", then "Payments", then on the download icon (arrow facing downwards).  Select desired dates, then click on "Submit" and be patient.  Takes a while.


                I'm sorry if I "sounded" snippy with my posts and I assure you that it's VRBO, not the people that replied to me that is the root of my dissatisfaction.  When I first started with VRBO in 2009, it was a great place.  Now days not so much!


                Thanks to everyone that responded!



                • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
                  ha-moderator-christi HomeAway Employee

                  As a heads up here is a little more information-


                  What happens when my jurisdiction changes the tax rate?

                  In jurisdictions where HA collects and remits:
                  If the tax rate applicable to the traveler’s stay dates increases after the traveler has booked, no additional tax will be collected.  We will cover any under collected tax out of pocket.  Additionally, should the tax rate decrease, we will still remit all taxes collected.  We will not keep any over-collected tax.  New tax rates will be updated as they become available.  The new tax rates will only apply to bookings made after the tax rate has changed. 

                  In jurisdictions where HA does not collect and remit:
                  The partner will need to review his/her local tax rules to understand how new tax rates are intended to apply and whether additional tax is due from the traveler.  Partners are responsible for keeping their tax settings updated.

                  Do I need to file a tax return if you are collecting and remitting taxes?
                  You may still need to file a tax return after we begin collecting and remitting tax in your area. In many jurisdictions, owners are required to submit a tax return for stay taxes even if the amount of tax they collected is equal to $0.

                  Additionally, if your property is listed on multiple sites, you may still have a tax filing obligation on reservations booked on other sites. You should check the reporting requirements for your jurisdiction by contacting them directly or consulting with your tax professional to avoid penalties for not reporting.

                  As a side note in any jurisdiction where VRBO/HA has an agreement to collect taxes voluntary or not they have the tax liability for anything booked through VRBO/HA and all other VRBO/HA owned sites.

                  What Stay Taxes/Lodging Taxes do you collect and remit? | Vrbo Help

                  I hope this helps.

                  • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
                    irecat Contributor

                    I have been on VRBO/HA since 2008 and this is my second year with them paying the local/state lodging tax, it is weird to me to find the percentage in my area to be different in calculation (not the percentage due) than what is being charged to my guests. Not sure how they (VRBO/HA) are coming up with that little extra padding, but not one figure that I put on my invoice to my people so they see the actual breakdown has been the same. This year 2019, I no longer put any information on my invoice to them, that shows anything, but what I am to be paid. Perhaps a little extra to VRBO/HA's pocket. It would be nice that this is clarifed as well.


                    I also agree with the not being able to understand their reps. Best of luck to you twinmountain with your rental season

                    • Re: How do we know that VRBO is sending our tax money to the state correctly?
                      snow New Member

                      The state of Maine also started collecting directly from vrbo. I was concerned with my property properly being credited with the correct lodging tax so I called the state taxation department directly. The tax guy explained that vrbo's portion of collected taxes I will show as an exemption on my quarterly return. When vrbo files a return to the state they do not indicate individual the addresses they collected on behalf of, but their lump sum must match the total of exemptions made by rental owners. As owners we have record of rentals done through vrbo and other booking sites and that is our tax record. Vrbo is responsible directly to the state period. That is the simplified version in a nutshell in the state of Maine. I am sure it is similar in other states as well.