A new agreement between the U.S. Virgin Islands and Airbnb will affect St. Croix vacation rental owners and those visiting island starting on June 1, 2017. The tax agreement allows Airbnb to collect the 12.5% V.I. Hotel Room Occupancy Tax on behalf of homeowners and remit payment to the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Hotels and resorts have been charging the hotel tax for many years and the USVI economy depends on this income as one of many facets of the tourism industry. As vacation rentals through web sites like Airbnb.com and VRBO.com have become more popular, it’s said that collecting the hotel tax has become more of a challenge.
Since the inception of these new rental platforms, it has been the responsibility of the homeowner or property manager to collect, file and pay the hotel tax. Unfortunately, it is believed that not all who are offering short-term rentals are doing so, resulting in less income for the Virgin Islands government. Now, in addition to the per night rate, service fee and cleaning fee, Airbnb will also apply the 12.5% V.I. Hotel Room Occupancy Tax on vacation rentals in the USVI. The homeowner will no longer be responsible for collecting, filing and paying the hotel tax on rentals from Airbnb.
Homeowner and property managers with short-term vacation rentals using other means to market and rent their properties (like VRBO, HomeAway or others) must still file Form 722VI with the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue. This new agreement only affects Airbnb vacation rentals. Homeowners should always check with your accountant or tax advisor for any other taxes or fees that may be owed.
St. Croix For Rent
Coldwell Banker St. Croix Realty has a vacation- and long-term rental arm called St. Croix for Rent. In addition to helping people find the perfect rental on St. Croix, our rental agents manage a portfolio of properties on island. They can help you market your vacation rental to potential guests, manage your property between guests, and decipher the tax requirements.