Nebraska Sales and Use Tax on Short-Term Rentals: New Guidance by the Nebraska Department of Revenue

By Ryan Coufal

Earlier this year Nebraska LB 284 passed into law requiring remote sellers—those without a physical presence—whose retail sales exceeded $100,000 in the previous year or current calendar year or if the seller made 200 or more separate Nebraska retail sales transactions in that same time frame, to obtain a sales tax permit from the Nebraska Department of Revenue (DOR) and begin collecting and remitting Nebraska and local sales tax.  Included with the online retail sales were sales made Multivendor Marketplace Platforms (MMP), or online marketplace facilitators.  Remote sellers selling through MMP’s must file sales tax returns reporting all of their Nebraska sales, but are relieved of the duty to collect and remit the sales tax on sales facilitated by the MMP if the MMP reports and remits the tax to the DOR.

Recently, the Nebraska DOR provided guidance on sales and use tax collection for remote sellers and MMPs which transact sales regarding Short-Term Lodging and Rentals in General Information Letter (GIL) 1-19-1.  The GIL clarifies that beginning on April 1, 2019, MMPs which facilitate short-term rentals must obtain sales and lodging tax licenses and begin collecting and remitting these taxes on the sales they facilitate, much like MMPs facilitating retail sales.  Additionally, the MMP is to complete the MMP Lodging Tax Worksheet-Breakdown by County with the Nebraska and County Lodging Tax Return (Form 64) to report the lodging tax by each county for sales facilitated in Nebraska.  Hotel or tourist home owners who provide short-term lodging and rentals are relieved of the duty to collect and remit the sales and lodging taxes on sales facilitated by an MMP if the MMP reports and remits the taxes themselves to the DOR, however, any sales and lodging not facilitated by an MMP must still be reported by the short-term rental provider themselves.

Per the Nebraska Revenue Act, a retailer or seller of lodging is defined as any person who, directly or indirectly, rents or leases property for a profit or gain when the transaction is subject to the sales tax, including sales facilitated by an MMP.[1]  The GIL indicates that travel agents who do not publish room availability and rates on behalf of hotels or tourist homes are generally not considered MMPs. This helps clarify a travel agent from a more well-known MMPs, such as Airbnb.

[1] Neb. Rev. Stat. §§77-2701.07, 77-2701.13, 77-2701.16, 77-2701.32 and 77-2701.36; see also Neb. Rev. Stat. §§77-2701.25, 77-2701.31, and Nebraska Sales and Use Tax Regulations 1-004.02C.

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