Pennsylvania Releases Guidance on Hotel Occupancy Tax for Booking Agents

Beginning January 22, 2019, booking agents that facilitate short-term booking of an occupancy on behalf of a hotel operator located in Pennsylvania must collect and remit hotel occupancy tax on the rental fees collected. Pennsylvania’s hotel occupancy tax applies to a property rental provided to a guest for a period of fewer than 30 days.

New rules effective January 22, 2019 make several changes. The rules expand the definition of operator to include “booking agents.” This includes third-party intermediaries that purchase hotel rooms at discount and resell them and online marketplaces that connect people renting out their homes to travelers for short-term lodging (such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, etc.).

Tax is now imposed on all rent collected by booking agents, including “accommodation fees.” Previously, booking agents were not considered hotel operators and did not have a state tax collection obligation. Booking agents are now required to register for two licenses to collect hotel occupancy tax: a Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax license and a Booking Agent license.

Visit Pennsylvania’s notice for more information on filing and remitting requirements, due dates, and local taxes. (Notice, Hotel Occupancy Tax – Booking Agents, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, December 2018)

Posted on January 11, 2019