Hawaii petitions court to subpoena Airbnb rental records

HONOLULU — Hawaii is seeking to find vacation rental owners who aren’t paying taxes by getting Airbnb to turn over rental records.

Hawaii News Now reports the state Department of Taxation filed a court petition last week to serve an administrative subpoena on Airbnb for rental documents dating back to 2008.

The department is investigating vacation rental owners’ compliance with the general excise and transient accommodation taxes.

State Director of Taxation Linda Takayama says the department’s goal is to get the taxes paid, which could involve penalties and interest fees if owners haven’t been paying.

Airbnb in a statement said it has received the request and is reviewing it.

A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Oct. 5.


Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

  1. Charlie Chimknee September 8, 2018 7:53 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    This is another Hawaii Government IQ TEST for our well paid gov’t workers and elected leaders.

    Subpoenaing AirBnB records to tax individuals for the rental income they have received; and too many individuals have not even charged for any taxes to their guests, nor are the proper amount of taxes being paid, which easily amounts to huge amount of $$$ millions of dollars per year that the state has lost out on.

    Some large cities on the mainland make AirBnB pay all the taxes, and on time too, since they are the ones that not only inform the guests of the taxes and cleaning fees to be paid, but also collect the taxes from the guests and forward them to the home or condo owner working with AirBnB.

    Furthermore, besides AirBnB, there are at least 100 other similar companies who provide a similar AirBnB service, they are referred to as OTA’s, or Online Travel Agencies…VRBO, HOMEAWAY, FlipKey, Pagoda, Cloudbeds, etc.

    HAWAII should make it for these OTA’s in order to operate in Hawaii, that they the OTA’s, the AirBnB’s, etc., should pay the taxes all at once every month, on time, online, on the already in place Hawaii State Tax website for Transient Accommodation Tax (10.25%) and Excise Tax (4.0 or 4.16?).

    This way the Home or Condo owner is not even in the picture and whether legal or illegal the tax would be paid and NON-REFUNDABLE if the rental unit is found to be illegal.

    As well the OTA’s would already have the addresses of the rental unit, legal or otherwise, in order to see who is operating illegally in Hawaii.

    The way the State is looking to do this is definitely the “Cart Befoe the Horse” or Bass Ackward. Or like like washing the rice one grain at a time.

    It’s only software to make it happen and the OTA’s are already collecting the taxes but paying it to the landlord when they could be paying the taxes directly to the state and leaving the little guy out of the picture.

    The extra money in taxes immediately collected could send some of our government workers and elected leaders to Smart School, and be sure to send the Missile Alert guy with them…front seat.

    This should have been done years ago and would benefit the legal landlords of needing to file monthly ontime.

    After tuition is paid at Smart School, maybe some roads could be fixed, aren’t we all tired of chipped teeth?



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