Per Albany Municipal Code Section 4-3, operators of short-term rental properties are obligated to charge, collect, and remit hotel occupancy taxes for all accommodation rentals under 30 days. The current tax rate is 10% of the rent charged and is a tax on the renter to be collected by the operator.
In addition to having a Business License, each operator should register to remit taxes. The City of Albany has contracted with Host Compliance to allow operators to register and remit taxes at https://secure.hostcompliance.com/albany-ca/permit-registration.
While this tax has been codified for many years, the Finance Department will be reaching out over the next few months to bring operators into compliance. In an effort to encourage compliance, the City will only be asking for taxes on rentals as of July 1, 2019, and no penalties or fees will be charged for late payment of taxes until the last quarter of 2019 is due on January 31, 2020.
|Tax Collected||Due Date|
|July 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019||January 31, 2020|
|January 1, 2020 - March 31, 2020||April 30, 2020|
|April 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020||July 31, 2020|
|July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020||November 2, 2020|
|October 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020||February 1, 2021|
Are there any exemptions from Hotel Occupancy Tax?
Albany Municipal Code § 4-3.4 states that no tax shall be imposed on any Federal or State officer or employee on official business nor any officer or employee of a foreign government who is exempt by reason of express provision of Federal law or international treaty. In addition, Hotel Occupancy Tax only applies to people staying for thirty (30) consecutive days or less.
Are there any interest or penalties associated with Hotel Occupancy Taxes?
Yes. Pursuant to Albany Municipal Code § 4-3.8 the following apply:
a. Original Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this section within the time required shall pay a penalty of ten (10%) percent of the amount of the tax in addition to the amount of the tax.
b. Continued Delinquency. Any operator who fails to remit any delinquent remittance on or before a period of thirty (30) days following the date on which the remittance first became delinquent shall pay a second delinquency penalty of ten (10%) percent of the amount of the tax in addition to the amount of the tax and the ten (10%) percent penalty first imposed.
c. Fraud. If the City Treasurer determines that the nonpayment of any remittance due under this section is due to fraud, a penalty of twenty-five (25%) of the amount of the tax shall be added thereto in addition to the penalties stated in paragraphs a. and b. of this subsection.
d. Interest. In addition to the penalties imposed, any operator who fails to remit any tax imposed by this section shall pay interest at the rate of one and one-half (1-1/2%) percent per month or fraction thereof on the amount of the tax, exclusive of penalties, from the date on which the remittance first became delinquent until paid.
e. Penalties Merged with Tax. Every penalty imposed and such interest as accrues under the provisions of this subsection shall become a part of the tax herein required to be paid.
In addition, § 4-3.9 of the Code states that if an operator fails or refuses to collect any tax due from the transient, the City Treasurer may assess any tax, interest, and penalties directly to the operator.
Do I have to file a return if I didn't rent this quarter?Yes. If you are registered to remit hotel occupancy taxes, even if you did not rent during any given quarter, a $0 return must be filed.
How do I pay Hotel Occupancy Taxes?The City of Albany has contracted with Host Compliance to allow online registration and remittance of Hotel Occupancy Taxes. Click here to go to the Host Compliance website.
I'm not a Hotel, do I still have to collect the tax?Yes. Per Albany Municipal Code § 4-3.2, hotel shall mean any structure, or any portion of any structure, which is occupied or intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes, and includes any hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, studio hotel, bachelor hotel, lodging house, rooming house, apartment house, dormitory, public or private club, mobile home or house trailer at a fixed location, or other similar structure or portion thereof.
What are Hotel Occupancy Taxes?Hotel Occupancy Taxes, sometimes referred to as short-term rental or transient occupancy taxes, are taxes imposed on rent charged for the privilege of occupancy in any hotel. Albany Municipal Code § 4-3.2 defines hotel as any structure, or any portion of any structure, which is occupied or intended or designed for occupancy by transients for dwelling, lodging or sleeping purposes. Taxes apply to stays of thirty (30) days or less.
What if I am no longer renting on a short-term basis?To inform the City that you have ceased doing business as a short term rental property you must complete a Request to Cease Business License form which can be found on the Business Licenses webpage (click here).
When are Hotel Occupany Taxes due?
Hotel Occupancy Taxes are due from the transient to the operator at the time rent is paid. All taxes collected by the operators must be held in trust for the City until payment is made. Such taxes shall be reported and remitted to the City on the last day of the month following the close of each calendar quarter:
If the operator ceases doing business for any reason, a final return and payment of any taxes collected are due immediately.