Hawaii Rental Receipts Not Taxable for Agent

According to a Hawaii Letter Ruling, a real property rental agent’s receipts of rental deposits and payments that were forwarded to the real property owners were considered income of the owners, and therefore the agent was not liable for Hawaii general excise tax on such receipts. Furthermore, the amounts the agent withheld from rental receipts in order to pay expenses on behalf of the owners were not income of the agent. Amounts the agent received from the owners in reimbursement for expenses of owners paid by the agent were exempt reimbursements under common law and statute HRS 237-20. The Department of Taxation made no determination of whether an agency relationship existed between the company requesting the ruling and the real property owners. The above determination was solely based on the requestor’s representation that it was an agent for the real property owners. (Letter Ruling No. 2010-06, Hawaii Department of Taxation, March 23, 2010)

Posted on April 16, 2010