This week, the IRS unveiled its new Sharing Economy Tax Center to help active participants in the sharing economy navigate the many income tax considerations associated with common income-earning activities such as driving for Uber or renting out a room on Airbnb. Unsurprisingly, the IRS content focuses on Issues for Individuals Performing Services – like a car shuttle service or short-term property rental. But consider the source. Remember, this is the IRS whose chief concern is how you report revenue from these activities and file your individual income tax returns. They are focused exclusively on your income and collecting the proper taxes on that amount at the federal level.
But lodging tax has nothing to do with the IRS. If you’re looking for lodging tax help on the new IRS website, you’re likely to be frustrated. Although the site does provide useful information for vacation rental property owners about depreciation, amortization, as well as what expenses you can deduct (such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, casualty losses, maintenance, utilities, insurance) – issues which will affect your annual taxable rental income – it does not provide any lodging tax compliance guidance whatsoever.