Online Travel Companies Responsible for Hotel Occupancy Taxes in Pennsylvania

Effective January 22, 2019, booking agents – which includes online travel companies – are required to collect Pennsylvania 6% state and local hotel occupancy taxes on the full retail rate charged for a hotel room. The applicable taxes must be charged on accommodation fees and any other amount charged by the booking agent. Hotel operators will not be responsible for collecting state and local hotel occupancy taxes on accommodation fees charged by booking agents. The legislation defines “accommodation fee” as “the amount by which the rent exceeds the discount room charge, if any.” Previously, OTCs would collect and remit the tax on the typically lower negotiated rate with the hotel rather than what was actually paid by the customer. This bill was pushed by the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association with the intention of closing the loophole taken by OTCs. (Act 109 (H.B. 1511), Laws 2018, effective January 22, 2019)

Posted on November 8, 2018