12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 18, 2019 2:58 PM by feibus RSS

    How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?

    swlinphx Premier Contributor

      I finally got the new Rates Editor last week (long after most of you have had it I believe) and have had to tweak my settings to now conform with % discounts, much like AirBnB.  I came up with an imperfect by acceptable solution..  But there is another new "feature" that I haven't seen discussed here (been absent a while and nothing came up when I searched this forum)...

       

      If HomeAway is taking a page out of AirBnB's book and is now charging people in major cities lodging (or hospitality, hotel, guest, etc.) tax to the guest, why on Earth are we the owners/managers held accountable for the processing fee? We get invoices from VRP now that show the transaction (the rental, cleaning, etc.) along with credit card processing fees (domestic, or extra for international cards) based on and taken from that initial charge.  How now then can HomeAway (not us) collect lodging taxes from the guests (not us) and remit it in bulk each month to the government (again, not us) yet then stick an extra processing fee charge on our invoice payouts for this transaction we are not a party to??

       

      And now, the excuse they are collecting the tax on our behalf is not valid.  They are not collecting a tax and remitting it to the city under each of our names.  They are just raking in the tax money and submitting it as HomeAway paying tax to the city once a month (just like AirBnB has been doing for some time now).  However, AirBnB does not try to come up with some bogus or irrational conclusion that we must pay the processing fee on a transaction between them and the guests that does not include  us.

       

      I have brought this up with VRP and HomeAway reps by phone and e-mail and (surprise, surprise) am getting half that assure me it is a glitch or mistake and unwarranted and half that insist it is valid to charge us for something that does not involve us personally on our invoice or transaction because HomeAway is collecting and remitting "on our behalf".  That's like buying washing machine detergent only (showing up as the only item on the store's receipt) but seeing the tax on that invoice for both detergent and bleach you didn't buy but your friend did on a separate transaction/receipt, so you pay tax on it.


      No, if we are to be charged a processing fee then it has to be from the tax we personally charge and collect and receive and see on our invoices (as was in the first screen shot below) not the tax for an item appearing nowhere on the VRP direct deposit invoices/notices.  What am I missing here?


      Screen shot 2019-01-12 at 1.49.18 AM.jpgScreen shot 2019-01-12 at 1.49.06 AM.jpg

      This image below shows what we are not receiving from VRP with the new HomeAway lodging taxes thrown in.  You can see the amount is for my direct deposit followed by the first $16.71, the 3% processing fee on that amount.  What the heck is that second fee of $8.40 doing there?  That is apparently the processing fee we are paying on taxes we don't collect and never see, since it's only between the guest, HomeAway and the government..

       

      Screen shot 2019-01-12 at 2.48.39 AM.jpg

      Has this been discussed too far back to appare in recent discussions or are you all not seeing this appear on our VRP payouts?  What gives man?

        • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
          swlinphx Premier Contributor

          ...and on the subject of lodging taxes, why are there two city taxes (3% and 2.3%) for Phoenix???

          HomeAway lodging taxes now collected for Phoenix.jpg

          • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
            feibus CommunityAmbassador

            Ok, some people have been getting worked up over the same thing.  I look at it as a "meh!"  Why?

             

            Because before VRBO collected those taxes, we paid the same Yapstone CC fee on the tax.  And made up the difference when we remitted to the state.

             

            Now we pay the exact same Yapstone CC fee... but Homeaway has to make up the difference when they remit to the state.

             

            So... "meh!"  I receive the same amount of money, but don't have to remit more money to the state.  I'm ok with that.

              • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                ohst8er Senior Contributor

                swlinphx, yea, I'm pretty much in agreement with what feibus says in this.   Your out of pocket hasn't changed.  And also, I don't think it's fully explained anywhere, but do you know you DO NOT have to use discounts %?  I've seen a number of people on this forum sweat the whole notion of discounts and having to tweak their rates to conform etc, so I always try to point out, discounts are not necessary to use the new rates editor.  Use them if you want them of course, but only if it makes good sense and doesn't require headache.   I don't use them AT ALL.  I didn't see the need or purpose in the beginning (I was one of the first users to get the new Rates Editor), so I just chose not to use them.   It's been just fine. 

                  • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                    greggt Senior Contributor

                    We have always discounted a full week stay in order to try to encourage longer stays. Most of our repeat guests take advantage of the savings. With the new rates editor it is a real pain and timeless trial and error to get the numbers right.

                    I have said it before and say it again, I hate the "New Rates Editor" for multiple reasons, this is just one of them!

                      • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                        ohst8er Senior Contributor

                        I just don't understand the headache.  I know you've mentioned this before, what was the "trial and error" issue? 

                          • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                            greggt Senior Contributor

                            Trying to go from a daily rate to a weekly rate that makes sense to our guests, like attempting to hit some even number to fit in with our competition.

                              • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                                ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                greggt, yea, I remember running into that when I first got the new rates editor.  I remember that VRBO loaded my rates to show that my daily rate in prime season was $228, when my weekly rate was actually $1599.00, which would make my DAILY rate $228.428571 (so, rounding), except that I didn't offer a daily rate during prime season...  and being driven nuts trying to compute a daily rate that got me back TO $1599.00, then I finally had a DUH! moment and said, "oh heck, the rate is right there in front of me at $228 a night."  So the super simple answer to my question is that I should either take the $228 rate that VRBO gave me and eat the 3$ a week, OR, round up to $229.00 and capture $4 extra a week.   So I just kept the $228 they were already showing  me. 

                          • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                            swlinphx Premier Contributor

                            I think everyone is missing the point.  No matter how you figure taxes what you do in the end can vary and that is not my point or concern here.  The fact remains we receive less on each invoice for a charge that isn't even on that invoice.  How can you add a surcharge on a charge that does not even appear on that statement or invoice??

                             

                            And to all you justifying it somehow, then why doesn't AirBnB charge us processing on the taxes they collect from guests and then remit in bulk to the government for all bookings in that city in one lump sum?  We are charged a flat 3% on AirBnB and that is only on our rental and cleaning -- period.

                             

                            The way it is now I am receiving less so I have to add another flat fee in to accommodate.  I prefer % discounts because up until this new tax rule I was counteracting the 3% so that I received the full amount every time.  With the same flat fee (for both longer and peak season stays vs. off-season or short stays) it will never be exactly proportionate like I had it for years until now.

                             

                            No matter how a guest books (through a vacation rental/travel site or directly thru us) I have all my listings set up so that my net income is always the same.  That is how I like it and why it doesn't matter to me how they book.

                              • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                                feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                That's the thing... you are NOT receiving less than before they started collecting the taxes.  At booking, you are receiving the same amount except you didn't collect the tax money to hold and remit to the state.  There's absolutely no difference in what you would have received, except you don't have to turn around and send it to the state at some later date.

                          • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                            treeguy Contributor

                            As stated previously your total payout is not really impacted by HA collecting and paying the taxes *on your behalf*.  Your assertion that this tax collection is a transaction between the renter, HA and your taxing authority is incorrect on one very important point.  You, as the property owner, are 100% accountable for the tax being collected and paid to the correct taxing authority.  If the tax is not received it is not HA the taxman will be coming for.  It is this reason that gives me concern with the process.

                              • Re: How on Earth can HomeAway/VRP get by with this?!?
                                twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                Except that when I called the department of revenue about how I handle the ABB guests that I have had that willl be paid for by them.....they stated that I only had to put the amounts on the tax form for those guest that “I” actually received funds for. I asked if I needed to list the other guests for ABB, the answer “NO”. Nothing further is required from me other than the guests that I actually received the taxes for.

                                 

                                At this time HA is not collecting for me state so I imagine when they do I won’t have to file anything anymore! YAY!