Eyeing the popular online lodging service’s growth, some cities and states are concerned some accommodations aren’t paying the appropriate amount of taxes.
Airbnb will start paying taxes on behalf of the hosts in Washington state who use the vacation-home rental website.
On Oct. 15, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting taxes for hosts in the state. That includes state and local retail sales tax, as well as all lodging taxes.
The San Francisco company lists online the homes and apartments of people interested in renting them out on a short-term basis.
Users can opt to list for rent everything from a room in an apartment to a house or a larger building, and more than 40 million people have used the service since its founding in 2008, the company says.
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The arrangement can cause tax headaches for users who lack the sophistication of hotel chains.
Some cities and states, meanwhile, have cast a wary eye on Airbnb’s growth, out of concern that some accommodations may not be complying with local lodging laws or pay the appropriate amount of tax.
San Francisco and Portland both introduced new regulations to more closely monitor the vacation-rental industry.
“I appreciate their willingness to step forward voluntarily to ensure that the appropriate taxes are being collected,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement distributed with an Airbnb news release announcing the policy.
Washington joins San Francisco, Oregon and Chicago, among more than a dozen jurisdictions where Airbnb collects and remits taxes on behalf of its users.