New York Internet company not liable for tax on travel services.

A travel company in New York, operating over the Internet, which provides customers with multiple travel services, much like a traditional travel agent does, was not subject to tax when acting as an intermediary between hotel operators and consumers. The company allows their customers to access airline and cruise ticket services, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and vacation packages, as well as make hotel reservations. However, since the travel company does not maintain any buildings for lodging of guests, maintains no inventory of rooms for rent, nor does it have any financial responsibility for the rental or failure to rent rooms, and is not the employee, agent or representative of any hotel operators using the website for advertisement purposes, the company cannot be considered an “operator of a hotel” as described by New York tax law. (Department of Taxation and Finance Office of Tax Policy Analysis Technical Services Division, TSB-A-04(6)S: State of New York Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, Docket No. S030422D, Decided March 17, 2004)

Posted on May 15, 2004