BVI News

It’s official! Gov’t signs agreement with Airbnb for Hotel Accommodation Tax

Premier and Tourism Minister, Andrew Fahie

Government and Airbnb have signed a voluntary collection agreement for Hotel Accommodation Tax on transient occupancy.

This is according to a government-commissioned media release which said the agreement was signed by Premier Andrew Fahie on November 20.

The agreement is aimed at complementing government’s overall strategy to increase room stock in the British Virgin Islands for overnight visitors.

It will see an addition to the number of rooms that will be made available in 2020.

Just one day before signing the agreement, Premier Fahie praised the Airbnb service and listed it as a valuable asset to the BVI.

“Our strong entrepreneurial spirit of Virgin Islanders shone in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria as local homeowners opened up their houses to visitors through the Airbnb online service. This provided a lifeline to our tourism industry when major properties were inoperable,” said Premier Fahie who is also Minister of Tourism.

He further said: “The expansion of the hotel stock poses no threat to Airbnb owners since the demand for rooms far exceeds the set targets and the market preferences are diverse. Your government views Airbnb as a valuable part of our economic landscape, and contributing positively to the economy.”

According to the release, more than 2,000 visitors booked accommodation through Airbnb in the BVI from July 2017 to July 2018.

The revenue generated from the service played a pivotal role in assisting homeowners in the territory with their rebuilding process, following the devastation caused by the September 2017 hurricanes.

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  1. Short Sighted says:

    Airbnb is not the only online booking system fleecing our laws & regulations. What about VRBO, Tripadvisor, Homeaway network, Expedia….etc? SMH!

    • ??? says:

      It is not these online companies that are fleecing the laws and regulations. It is the people offering and renting their rooms. Everybody in the BVI knows the HAT is 10%. If you are honest you will pay it if not honest, you will not pay it. It is a matter of people doing what’s right. So now you will be forced to pay whether you want to or not! A very good thing and it cuts down on work for the property owner!

      • Except says:

        Wait until the govt claims that they did not receive the occupancy tax for a particular property. AirBnB will leave you out to dry (read the fine print in the agreement- it asks you to hold them harmless for any tax related issues.

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  2. Well okay says:

    What’s done is done, it is what it is.

  3. Just remember says:

    AIrBnB is in more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On that basis, BVIs’ represents 0.1%. In terms of revenue, probably even less, so flicking off the BVIs would cause nary a ripple. They are there to make money not to promote the BVIs. Read the fine print….mark my words.

  4. mmm says:

    whiytey tax again..really

  5. ???? says:

    According to AirB&B, they have been collecting HAT since August 2019. See correspondence below:

    Great news! Airbnb will start collecting and remitting the following tax(es) administered by the below State for all reservations booked on or after August 1, 2019.

    State Name:

    British Virgin Islands
    Tax(es) Name(s):

    Hotel Accommodation Tax
    Guests will see a separate line item for the tax(es) when booking. Airbnb will collect and pay the tax(es) to the jurisdiction at the next filing due date.

    Will my payouts be affected?

    No. The tax(es) will be charged to guests.

    How do you know what tax(es) to apply to my listing?

    The tax(es) applied will be determined by the address you have entered for your listing. Please double check the details of your address in the Manage Your Space page to ensure you have entered a complete and accurate address for your listing. Airbnb will not be responsible for any tax collection errors due to a typo in the address.

    How can I see the amount of tax collected on my behalf?

    The amount is displayed in the Gross Earnings tab of your Transaction History.

    How will you be remitting tax on my behalf?

    We will be filing one tax return per jurisdiction with the total combined reservation revenue for all Airbnb bookings in the area. This means that all hosts will be represented by one payment amount, and we will not be providing your personal information on the return. We may provide your personal data only in cases where we receive a binding request by a competent authority pursuant to applicable law, including data protection laws, and our Privacy Policy.

    I’ve been collecting the above tax(es). What do I do now?

    You’ll no longer need to collect this tax for transactions completed through the Airbnb platform from guests who book their reservation on or after August 1, 2019.

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