Airbnb will now collect the 6.625 percent New Jersey sales tax and 5 percent state short-term occupancy fee, as required by the New Jersey 2019 budget law, with reservations booked on or after December 1, 2018. See below this post for details from Airbnb.
Renters of New Jersey Shore properties will only be able to avoid paying this tax IF: the rental is a permanent residence (you live at the location and have at least a month to month lease), the accommodations are obtained via an agent or broker licensed by the state Real Estate Commission, or the rental is by a qualified non-profit organization which typically receives waivers of state fees.
The powerful Realtor lobby worked hard to ensure the loophole which exempts realty agencies from these taxes. Homeowners, which have no similar lobby, have an obligation to collect the taxes even when renting directly to friends or other consumers whether it be online or offline. This certainly seems to be inequitable. However, shore realty agencies typically charge 16-18% commissions (and I would expect it is only a matter of time before the state of New Jersey comes to them for more revenue).
Bottomline, if you use Airbnb or local agencies exclusively this is not much of a concern for you. Otherwise be sure you collect and remit the 11.625% required for New Jersey short-term rentals you acquire by any other means.
Lawmakers in New Jersey have passed a budget for fiscal year 2019 and as a result, one change affects the bottom line for hosts who choose to list New Jersey rentals on Airbnb or VRBO.
Beginning October 1, 2018, online rental marketplaces like Airbnb or VRBO must collect the state 6.625% sales tax, any applicable municipal taxes, and the 5% hotel occupancy fee.
Strangely, Airbnb does not seem disappointed by this bill. The full article is here, but Josh Meltzer, head of Northeast public policy for Airbnb was happy the bill was passed. The article quotes him as saying, “Airbnb has fought for years to ensure that the short-term rental community can contribute tax revenue to support public services throughout New Jersey.”
Airbnb already collects taxes in the New Jersey municipality of Jersey City, so you can expect Airbnb to collect the taxes and fees (Update here) on the front in for the guest…at least making this a non-issue for the host to worry about collecting and remitting.
However, it may have an impact on whether guests choose to find you through Airbnb or the local agency. Oddly, the brick and mortar rental agencies are not required to collect a state sales tax…at this time. You may have already seen my post touting Airbnb over local Ocean City rental agencies because of the latter’s exorbitant ~15% commissions. This development changes that calculus. The conclusion of that earlier post, was that the bonus of using Airbnb was that one could post a rate 11% less than the local agencies (Fox, Berger, etc.) and net the same amount of money. 6.625 + 5 = 11.625% and this effectively makes Airbnb and the local agencies awash, if not a bit worse, from a cost perspective in a rental transaction. I will not need to adjust my rates, per say, as the renter will be charged the state taxes and fees on top of my rate (see the Jersey City example above) while the agency commission comes out of my rate. However, it will be interesting to see what effect this has on the marketplace. In 2018, I had just one week rented through a local agency. I will update this post with what the 2019 number looks like when this is fleshed out. The bottom-line is I am trying to maximize my return and this can do nothing but hurt the bottom-line.