airbnb

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Finally getting some action regarding airbnb's and compliance regulations.  I have been corresponding with the provincial tax department regarding airbnb's.   Have to start somewhere.  The tax department has sent a form letter to two airbnb members that are also  complying with all the regulations----taxes, licenses, insurance, and health and fire. They are legal B and B's. And we know each other!  The tax department just wanted to see if the form letter would be passed on to them through airbnb first before going to the trouble of trying to get through to the rest of them---seventy some.  The letters did go through as they (B and B's), responded to me and the tax people that they are compliant.  So now the form letter will be sent out to the rest of them.  It takes some doing to get this done,. apparently.  Now we wait and see if airbnb members decide to go legal.  Then I hope to tackle the fire and health and licensing powers that be in the same way.   The Federal Government wasn't too concerned  just yet and had never heard of airbnb.  But said they would look into it.  They also said they could not inform me of any progress as some sort of privacy law.!#%^&(*__(*%$.    Fat chance with that, I feel!

Have any of you like minds had any success?  Would like your comments.  The tax lady did tell me that in Europe or???? airbnb's far out number the B and B's  And the legal ones are raising some waves saying this is not a fair playing field. 

2cat_lady's picture
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What province are you in Charlie May? I'm in Newfoundland. 

Silverspoon's picture
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The latest on NYC fight against illegal air rentals: "New York Slams Airbnb, Says Most Of Its Rentals Are Illegal"

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I heard this story on NPR yesterday. It amazed me that some people actually are managing 20-30 apt. rentals for air. The cost in tax revenue is astronomical!

 

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I thought the most interesting part was that 6% of those listings represented 37% of the revenue (so it's not about the little guys and the "sharing economy, really.) With one guy bringing in close to $7 million in revenues and not paying taxes on it. And with a hotel tax of 5.875% means just that one guy owes almost $400K in hotel tax. Talk about your tax evasion!

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It doesn't say airBnB but it is along this same topic:

Mass. resident fined for illegal bed and breakfast
SFGate
QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — Quincy officials have fined a homeowner $1,000 on accusations he operated an illegal bed-and-breakfast in his home.

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Generic's picture
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That's nothing... around here it's over $700 a day, per room for the first offence.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

New wrinkle with air: I got this e-mail tonight. More Wizard behind the curtain.....

To help make your Airbnb experience safer, we’re changing how we share and display private email addresses. We’re always thinking about ways to give you more control over how and when your information is disclosed—especially when that information is closely tied to your account’s security.
Soon, when you accept a reservation, we’ll start providing you and your guest with a pair of unique, temporary email addresses instead of sharing your private email addresses. Any emails sent to this address will be forwarded to your private email address, so you don’t need to do anything differently. You’ll start seeing this change over the next few days in places like confirmation emails or in your dashboard.
Why we’re making this change
Since your private email address is associated with your Airbnb account, disguising it helps us protect your personal information from people who abuse our system. While rare, we take these abuses seriously and want to protect our community as much as possible.
Do I need to change how I use email?
No—these addresses work just like a regular email address. Any emails sent to them will be forwarded to your private email address, and you can reply, attach directions, include weblinks, and otherwise communicate with guests as you always have. Just copy the address, place it in the “To” field within your preferred email client, and email away.
If you have any questions or concerns, visit our Help Center or reply to this email and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.
Thanks,
Airbnb's Trust and Safety Team

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Yup, hide your email address from the taxman, the inspector, the licencing department, the police, the ATF.....

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I am so happy they are cooperating with the governmental agencies.

Generic's picture
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You mean fighting them. They are helping people HIDE by doing this. It's all a way around asking people to do things the right way. 

gillumhouse's picture
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Jon Sable wrote:

You mean fighting them. They are helping people HIDE by doing this. It's all a way around asking people to do things the right way. 

Yes, thwarting government. They were doing a huge PR campaign about how they were working with the cities to get everyone legal. So now they come up with the hidden e-mail to circumvent any form of the government sniffing out the cheaters.

Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

Well hiding is what they are doing.

Also they are using their address private address. We use our business e mail  address not our private address to respond to our guests. So that will give the people some protection by not having to use there own e mail address. For me it is killing two birds with one stone. It does protect the users in both ways  And yes it will be harder to find where they live. Now I can see it  will be harder to find the house that is A B.  Great way to protect their users. Smart idea . Just darn sneaky  still get away with no taxes  and so on.

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Generic's picture
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RICO

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Heard back from the provincial tax compliance lady.  She sent out about 50 tax information packages through airbnb.  They did go through.  Some responded that they were closed down for the summer (really?) and others had no idea they were suppose to collect provincial tax.  Some deleted it off their email and did not open it.  Others are agreeing to sign up for tax collection.  Percentage wise---it is low for being compliant.  She will keep track of them.  So at least it is a start.  And airbnb did forward them through to the owners.

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08/07/2008

The firemen just did their annual inspection today.   One of them mentioned to us that they are going to be staying in a b & b in the San francisco area next month.

He said it is through airbnb.   Well he opened a can of worms, didn't he?   I gave him the entire story on airbnb.   He had no idea and now plans to call them to make sure they are licensed and approved, inspected (health and fire) and insured.   Let's get this going folks.  

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Generic's picture
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They need to forward though an email with a list of the fines for not complying.

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10/07/2008

if you feel you need to speak out against this, share your thoughts here where people can read them. I see Anthony Melchiorri gets it.

Imagine if innkeepers went in masse and commented, maybe this industry star would consider sharing it to someone somewhere?

Generic's picture
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We have helped our government become more savvy in how to use tools to find the illegals. The fines are heavy and then they hand them over to the tax people. You have to keep on reminding everyone that not paying your taxes is stealing from everyone. That we all pay more income tax because these people aren't paying their fair share.

Joey Camb's picture
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they do have rules - just no one is enforcing them which is not the same thing

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Flower's picture
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We had a few rounds with our town and tourist office. The bottom line these people do not have a to have a busyness license and are getting away with this.  They have no rules they do not need to be inspected for fire or health issues. We have a bout 18 air  lodgings so far . They out way the number of B&Bs. they can allow people to cook at there place. We B&Bs are not allowed to have cooking in our places.They seem to have no rules nothing to comply to. Free to do as you please.

egoodell's picture
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06/01/2008

I think we should all close our businesses, and list with AirBnB. I don't think our County would do anything until we all did that. If they come after us, sue them for favoritism. The AirBNB bookings here are not any cheaper than we are, so you know they are making LOTS of money.

 

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Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

I agree with you.  But lawyer fees would cost more then we could afford. I am sure that company is well aware of the fact also.

egoodell's picture
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Flower wrote:

I agree with you.  But lawyer fees would cost more then we could afford. I am sure that company is well aware of the fact also.

I think I could find someone to take it on contingency (sp?) where they get the money. Our County has no money to fight lawsuits anyway. If they went after the 200 airbnb bookings in the County, they would HAVE money. They are too lazy to figure out the addresses since they are not listed.

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