Air Conundrum

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Can't decide what to do....

Locally, air collects the hotel tax, but not the VAT. I need to collect the VAT. If I put the VAT as part of my price, the hotel tax is wrong and the fees are charged on all of it (despite the fact that it's actually illegal to commission taxes). If I don't, I have to collect the VAT from the guest separately and it may appear to the guest that it's hidden or I'm trying to gouge them?

What do you do? How do you phrase it?

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02/15/2017

We had a period of time where we had to collect a separate tax that Air wasn't collecting and we mostly ended up doing it  upon the guest's arrival. It sucked when we had to take a hit on the processing fee against the tax, but better that than not have the payment and record of it. I noted it repeatedly: in the communication I had with the guest PRIOR to accepting their booking, then in the notes when their booking was ACCEPTED (after they agreed) and gave them their options - to contact us to settle up prior to check-in, or at check-in. They understood that we had to pay certain taxes that Air wouldn't collect, and they were fine with it. Receipts emailed and everyone happy...best to get it out of the way during check-in so everyone leaves with the taste of good food and hospitality in their mouth instead of leaving on a tax-paying note!

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Before air started collecting tax here I put it in the text that I was required to collect the tax. I set up my confirmation to show the guest had a balance of whatever the tax was.

If you don't do instant booking, tell the guest again about having to collect the vat, that air does not collect it and you are required to do so.

Hammer it home. Repeat as needed. Almost everyone paid it without a whimper.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Well, my problem is... if I put the tax in, then the lodging tax is wrong.... I may need to talk to the tax people and air might need to reprogram, because it's being done in violation of our tax laws as far as I can see.

Let's say that a room is $100... the lodging tax is $3.50 and the total sales tax is $15.50. But if I include the sales taxes, they calculate the lodging tax on the sales tax, when it's the other way around... the sales tax is on the lodging tax. So I would have to make it $115.50 and they calculate the lodging tax as $4.04... and then I have a problem with remitting, because I have to calculate that they remitted $4.04 for the lodging tax on my behalf and only $3.50 was payable, so the government has to give back to the client the $0.54 or I have to reduce the $4.04 collected and get back the $0.54? It's a nightmare.

So, I might have no legal choice but to collect it from the client. And I have to manually enter that the lodging tax was paid directly and I don't owe it. But shouldn't Air have an option for those who are legally registered to opt out of the tax collection scheme? And a way to add the taxes to be collected without commission? I'm leaning more and more towards having a legal clarification issued to me, so I don't get in trouble with the revenue department... because around here, making an error with them comes with ENORMOUS fines and audits and miserable lives.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Then the revenue Dept should be on air's case to get that sorted out. You certainly don't have the leverage.

But, yes, get it in writing how revenue wants it handled.

Because air does not tell the state government WHO they collected and remitted the tax for, we have to keep records of any air bookings in case the state comes after us for the tax money. Because, you know, it's easier to pull my license for failure to remit the lodging tax than it is for this tiny state to take on a billion dollar corporation.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Adding it as a "cleaning fee" would be the same as adding it as tax wouldn't it. That IS crappy. Could you put it in the text that VAT will be due  on arrival?

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

It depends on the rate, so it can't really be a "cleaning fee" and I don't really charge one. I think I will have to put it as due on arrival. Seems stealth, though.

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