Noting its intention to create a “fair tax system and a level playing field” – particularly for those in the hospitality industry – the BC government announced today that it has negotiated and reached a taxation agreement with Airbnb.
“The sharing economy is growing rapidly and we as a government need to adapt,” said BC Finance Minister, Carole James.
“British Columbians want access to the sharing economy – and they want it to be fair,” said James.
Once legislative and regulatory changes are made, Airbnb will begin collecting the 8% provincial sales tax (PST) and the up-to-3% municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on short-term accommodations provided in British Columbia through its platform.
To streamline the process of collecting taxes, Airbnb will remit on behalf of its hosts in British Columbia, ensuring that no additional administrative burden is placed on them.
And while Airbnb collects the 3.5% tax on lodging in Québec, the tax agreement with BC to collect and remit the PST is the first of its kind in Canada.
Revenue raised from the new tax agreement will be used to fund affordable housing projects in BC, added James. She said details of those projects would be announced as part of the budget two weeks from now.
“We really appreciate Airbnb coming to the table and our hope is this is just the start,” said James.
The minister also noted that while an agreement has been reached on a provincial level, municipalities throughout BC will still have the ability regulate short-term rentals within their borders.
“This is a defining moment for Airbnb in British Columbia,” said Alex Dagg, public policy manager for Airbnb Canada.
“These changes are a welcome opportunity to continue helping the province and its residents benefit from the positive economic impacts of home sharing.”