If you AirBnB your place, you may owe “hotel taxes” says L.A. City

If you “host,” meaning, rent out your place on AirBnB or by any other means within the city of L.A., you may owe some taxes,1LAMC Sec 21.43(c) and the city is now working to make sure you pay up. Any person who rents out a room or house within the city must collect a “hotel” tax from guests, and then pay that to the city. However, as long as you earn less than $20,000 per year in revenue from renting, you are exempt from the tax.

The L.A. Times reports that the City is working with AirBnB to make sure that these hosts are “warned” about their tax responsibilities, but officials’ are mostly limited in terms of actually collecting the tax. They cannot require AirBnB and similar companies to collect the taxes themselves, and cannot directly identify who is hosting since AirBnB keeps this information private. AirBnB only releases an address to a “guest” once he/she books the place.

However, if the California attorney general were to seek a court order to get these records, as New York’s attorney general has done, this could lead to more enforcement actions from the state or the city.

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