Vacation rentals are nothing new. For centuries travelers have opted to stay in private residences over hotels for a variety of reasons. It’s quite common here in Southern California with the lure of our local beaches and mountains for property owners to rent out their properties on a transient basis. Vacationers have long used the Internet to search for available properties by visiting sites like Craigslist or VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner).
Tag Archive for Airbnb
If you’ve ever been picked up by an Uber driver or know someone who’s rented a room through Airbnb, then you are aware of the ‘sharing economy.’
In the past few years, the ‘sharing economy’ has become a targeted focal point for the IRS. Needless to say, they really want their “fair share” of this rapidly growing business segment.
We hear a lot about the sharing economy – making money by sharing something you are not fully using, such as a room in your home, or your entire home or vacation home. Sounds like a good way to make some extra money and perhaps raise your standard of living* (note- the rental income is taxable unless the dwelling is rented out less than 15 days for the year (Section 280A(g)). The federal tax treatment (and state as most states follow the federal income tax rules) can be complicated due to the need to determine which of two rules apply to measure deductible expenses and what to do with any loss generated. If the average rental period is 7 days or less, treatment of any income and loss also depends on whether you materially participate. The income tax rules easily get complex. Read more
The Sharing Economy
On the internet, everything is for hire. Last night 40,000 people rented accommodation from a service that offers 250,000 rooms in 30,000 cities in 192 countries. They chose their rooms and paid for everything online. But their beds were provided by private individuals, rather than a hotel chain. Hosts and guests were matched up by Airbnb, a firm based in San Francisco. Since its launch in 2008 more than 4,000,000 people have used it—2,500,000 of them in 2012 alone. It is the most prominent example of a huge new “sharing economy”, in which people rent beds, cars, boats and other assets directly from each other, coordinated via the internet. Read more