Claiming the Ontario Residency Tax Credit for an Airbnb trip? You could get in trouble
Emily Young took three family vacations to Ontario last year and thought she was eligible for the province’s “residence tax credit.”
But when she filed her taxes this month, Young couldn’t find the HST number of the Airbnbs she stayed in. The HST number is required to claim the credit.
When she took her concerns to Airbnb, Young said she was told she had to request the information directly from the host, not the platform.
One host was able to give her an HST number, but the other two told her to contact customer service. Young did, but says Airbnb told her it couldn’t provide the number for “privacy reasons.”
“I was hoping that I could resolve this so that I could complete this HST portion and not be denied this vacation credit,” Young told CBC Toronto.
“Something isn’t right.”
Airbnb customer service told Young in an email that they had “carefully reviewed” her case but were “unable” to provide the information she was looking for.
“We understand this may not be what you were hoping for, but we came to this conclusion because the HST number is not information that we provide to our guests,” the email reads that CBC Toronto has seen.
The short-term rental platform told CBC Toronto that it provided the information upon request.
“We have shared the HST number with hosts and guests who have requested it,” Airbnb spokesman Matt McNama said in a statement to CBC Toronto on Monday.
McNama did not comment on Young’s case or provide any further information.
Loans are expected to return $270 million to Ontario residents
The Ontario residency tax incentive was introduced in 2022 to encourage families to explore the province after a difficult few years for the tourism sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan allows Ontario residents to claim up to 20 percent of eligible housing costs, up to $1,000 per person or $2,000 per family. That gives a maximum return of $200 per person or $400 per family.
The incentive is valid for leisure stays between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
The tax credit, administered by the Revenue Canada Agency, is expected to provide an estimated $270 million to support approximately 1.85 million Ontario families.
Young, who lives in Mississauga, said her lodgings in Prince Edward Country, Owen Sound and Midtown Toronto totaled about $3,000. She hoped to get a few hundred dollars back from the tax claim.
“The government probably shouldn’t have put so many conditions on the holiday loan [made] It’s difficult for people to achieve that … or they shouldn’t have said Airbnbs is included if Airbnb doesn’t provide us with the information,” Young said.
According to the Treasury Department, Ontario residents are eligible for accommodation expenses for a leisure stay in the province of less than a month, such as a vacation rental. B. in a hotel or on a campsite. Motels, resorts, lodges, bed and breakfasts, cottages and vacation rentals are also eligible.
According to the province, Airbnbs qualify for the loan because they fall under vacation rentals.
No word on what to do if the HST number is declined
However, other Airbnb customers have had similar difficulties when trying to get HST numbers from Airbnb, says Toronto-based accountant Sandra DaCosta.
She said many of her clients told her they hadn’t received an HST number after requesting one from the vacation rental platform.
“It’s a little frustrating because I think that surprised a lot of people,” DaCosta said.
“People send me their vacation tax receipts, some of them have HST numbers and some don’t,” she said.
“Some [clients] have used the unfortunate third party websites to book their premises, for example Airbnb which can be difficult to get the HST number in this situation.”
A Treasury spokesman said accommodation providers – either the company or the individual host themselves – must be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). According to Airbnb’s website, these taxes apply to its listings.
When asked what customers should do if they don’t receive an HST number, the ministry didn’t respond.
“Detailed receipts should be retained for all eligible expenses claimed against the loan,” said department spokesman Scott Blodgett.
Receipts must include the locations of accommodations, the total share paid by an individual or family for their stay, the amount of GST/HST paid, the date of stay and the name of the payer, he added.
In December, Ontario’s tourism minister announced that the province would not extend the stay tax credit for another year in 2022, despite the hard-hit industry recommending the move to recover from the pandemic.