GO-TIME: Revenue Department Collects $1.5 Million with Innovative Home-Sharing Outreach Initiative

April 10, 2017

Harrisburg, PA — Secretary Eileen McNulty today announced the Department of Revenue has collected an additional $1.5 million in hotel occupancy tax through an innovative outreach and education program as part of Governor Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative to reduce costs and improve efficiency in government.

“Pennsylvania is an exciting destination and travelers are increasingly using technology to book a room, apartment, or house for their short-term lodging. Just like a traditional hotel or bed and breakfast, the hosts must collect the state’s hotel occupancy tax from guests,” said McNulty. “Our one-of-a-kind initiative is helping to inform hosts so they can comply with the state’s tax law.”

The department began reaching out to property owners last year with information about the tax. Under Pennsylvania law, anyone who rents out lodging to the same person for less than 30 consecutive days must collect and remit the state hotel occupancy tax.

The tax rate is 6 percent – the same as the sales tax. The department collects an additional 1 percent tax in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties. Both counties, and many other local governments, impose and collect a separate hotel tax.

“Home-sharing is another example of how the sharing economy is expanding to give consumers more choices, and the department is adapting to apply the tax laws fairly across industries,” said McNulty. “This initiative is ongoing and will continue to level the playing field for the various lodging entities in Pennsylvania.”

Home-sharing websites and other intermediaries or brokers are not required to collect the hotel occupancy tax, however the home-sharing company Airbnb began collecting the tax last year as part of a separate initiative, which is not included in the $1.5 million total.

Hotel occupancy tax should be reported to the department on the sales tax return and income from home sharing should be reported on the taxpayer’s Pennsylvania personal income tax return.

The Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME) is working to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services.

GO-TIME works with agencies to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation. State agencies already saved over $156 million and Governor Wolf challenged GO-TIME to build upon this success by achieving $500 million in savings by 2020. To learn more about GO-TIME, visit www.governor.pa.gov/go-time.

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