FAQs for Portland & Multnomah County occupancy taxes on hotels/motels and short term rentals
Program Contact: Stephen Bouffard
Phone: 503-865-2857 | FAX: 503-823-5189
Mailing Address: City of Portland - TL, PO Box 8791, Portland, OR 97207
- Who is required to register and pay the Transient Lodgings tax to the City?
- Once registered, how do I file TL taxes with the Revenue Division?
- How do I know if a particular business is paying the tax?
- Are there any exemptions?
- How do I take a deduction or exemption?
- Are 501-c3 organizations (nonprofits) exempt from paying the tax?
- Who qualifies as a federal government employee for the purposes of the government exemption?
- What documents must be provided to receive the federal employee tax exemption?
- What is the difference between a due date and a delinquent date?
- Are the allowable deductions subject to the TID assessment?
- What is a credit?
- How do I claim a credit?
- Why can't I get your calculated tax report form to calculate?
- Does the change in the State of Oregon TL Tax law (10/2013) regarding Online Travel Companies (OTC) affect reporting for the City/County TL Tax?
- I am a Booking Agent or Online Travel Company (OTC). Once registered, how do I file transient lodging taxes?
- What is the agreement between Airbnb and the City of Portland?
- I use the Airbnb platform to rent space. Am I required to report transient lodging taxes to the City of Portland?
- I am a Booking Agent or Online Travel Company (OTC). Once registered, how do I file transient lodging taxes?
- Did you rent space on a short term basis in the City of Portland before July 1, 2014?
- Where do I find information about Short Term Rental permitting?
- Registration requirement: Portland hotel, B&B, and vacation rental operators who provide lodging on a transient (non-permanent) basis for eight days or more days in a calendar year and/or operators who advertise or market space for rent to the general public are required to register with the Transient Lodging Tax Program.
- Register within 15 days of the start of business
Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) accounts set up to report and remit TL taxes to the Revenue Division on a quarterly basis. The quarterly reporting schedule is provided on the reverse side of the TLT Quarterly Report.
However, Booking Agents, as defined in PCC 6.04.010 D are required to report and remit TL taxes to the Revenue Division on a monthly basis. If you are uncertain as to whether you are considered to be a Booking Agent by the City of Portland, please contact our office at 503-865-2857.
Call the Revenue Division at 503-865-2857.
The Revenue Division will only confirm that an operator is registered with the city. By law, no financial information will be provided.
Yes. There are five types of allowable exemptions:
- Monthly Renter Exemption
- Taken as a deduction on Line 2 of the tax report
- Eligible exemptions:
- Occupants renting space for more than 30 consecutive calendar days. The guest is eligible for a refund or credit for the 1st 30 days if they stay 31 days or longer without a break. Tax should no longer be charged starting day 31
- People who rent a room on a monthly basis and pay all at once for the entire month (regardless of the number of days in such a month)
- Incidental Use Exemption
- Owners who rent private homes, vacation cabins, or a like facility for 7 days or less within a calendar year and do not advertise space for rent are not required to collect the occupancy tax. Bed and Breakfast Homes and Inns do not qualify under this incidents/use exemption.
- Medical and Government Facilities Exemption
- Any occupant in a hospital room, medical or mental health facility, convalescent home, home for aged people, or a government-owned and operated public institution
- Emergency Shelter/Disaster Relief Exemption
- Taken as a deduction on Line 5 of the tax report
- Any person housed through an emergency shelter or disaster program where the rent is paid with government assistance funds.
- Federal Government Exemption
- Taken as a deduction on Line 3 of the tax report
- Federal Government employees traveling on official government business, who presents an official Government Exemption Certificate or official travel authorization, is exempt from paying the Transient Lodgings tax. Go to qualifying federal employees
Qualifying deductions are claimed on lines 2 – 5 of the tax report.
- Line 2: Rent by Month: Amount of rents received that are paid on a monthly basis, or those guests who stayed, and paid, for more than 30 consecutive days. You can only deduct amounts for which you have documentation and have not collected any tax. If you collected and retained the tax, you must remit it to the City. Deductions that cannot be supported with documentation will be disallowed and the operator will owe the tax.
- Line 3: Government Exemptions: Amount of FEDERAL Government exemptions plus American Red Cross exemptions or Amtrak exemptions. You must be able to support this amount with copies of official government certificates. Red Cross and Amtrak exemptions must also be supported with verification. Deductions that cannot be supported with documentation will be disallowed and the operator will owe the tax. Go to qualifying federal employees
- Line 4: Uncollectible Taxable Rent: Any rent that became uncollectible (due to NSF check or invalid charge card) may be deducted from Gross Rents only if the amount was originally included in Gross Rents. You can only deduct amounts for which you have documentation and have not collected any tax. Only actual bad debts make be taken as a deduction. No allowances or estimates are acceptable. Deductions that cannot be supported with documentation will be disallowed and the operator will owe the tax.
- Line 5: Other Deductions: If you accept emergency housing vouchers, the rent is deducted here. Vouchers must be paid directly with government assistance funds. In order to support your deduction, you must keep a copy of all vouchers. Deductions that cannot be supported with documentation will be disallowed and the operator will owe the tax.
To get this exemption, a guest must be a current employee of a federal agency. The guest must be traveling on official business and their travel expenses, including the lodging bill, must be paid by the federal government, either directly, or by reimbursement.
Federal employees are defined as an employee of a federal governmental department, agency or instrumentality (e.g., IRS, FDA, US Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs). By an act of Congress, additional exemptions are granted for employees of the American Red Cross, Amtrak, and Federal Credit Unions traveling on official business.
Federal employees do not work for the state, county, municipal or tribal government.
There is no exemption for federal contractors, as they are not employees of the federal government.
You must provide a copy (or allow a copy to be taken) of one or more of the following:
- Employment verification (government ID)
- Travel orders (including statements authorizing travel on agency official letterhead)
- Government exemption certificate (includes tax exemption card issued by the State Department)
The hotel must keep all government employee documentation to support deduction taken on the tax report.
The Due Date is the date the tax report is due:
“On or before the 15th day of the month following each quarter of collection, a return for the preceding quarter’s tax collections shall be filed with the Bureau.” PCC 6.04.070 B
Quarterly Tax Report Due Dates:
1st Quarter: April 15
2nd Quarter: July 15
3rd Quarter: October 15
4th Quarter: January 15
The Delinquent Date is the date the report is late and penalty and interest charges are assessed:
“All amounts of such taxes collected by any operator are due and payable to the Tax Administrator on the 15th day of the following month for the preceding 3 months; and are delinquent on the last day of the month in which they are due. If the last day of the month falls on a holiday or weekend, amounts are delinquent on the first business day that follows.” PCC 6.04.070 A
Quarterly Tax Report Delinquent Dates
This is the date that reports are considered late and are charged penalties and interest:
1st Quarter: April 30
2nd Quarter: July 31
3rd Quarter: October 31
4th Quarter: January 31
Avoid penalties & interest: Postmark or deliver reports to the Revenue Division before the last day of the due date month
Remember: Collected taxes are not available funds for your operations. You are required to segregate these funds to ensure they can be paid when due.
No, like Portland and Multnomah County occupancy taxes, the TID assessment is calculated as gross rents less applicable exemptions, uncollectibles and deductions (Line 7, "Taxable / Assessable Rents" on the Transient Lodging tax report).
Here is an example of how the TID assessment is calculated on the tax report (per PCC 6.05.060):
|Line 1: Gross Rents||$50,000|
|Line 2: Minus Monthly Renter Exemption||$1,000|
|Line 3: Minus Federal Employee Exemption||$200|
|Line 4: Minus Uncollectible taxable rents||$0|
|Line 5: Minus Other allowable deductions||$2,500|
|Line 6: Total deductions (sum Lines 2-5)||$3,700|
|Line 7: TID Assessable Rents (Line 1 minus Line 6)||$46,300|
Line 10: TID Assessment (Line 7 x .02) (In this example: $46,300 x .02)
In cases where a tax payment exceeds the amount of tax due, the City will notify the operator in writing that they have a credit. Credits must be claimed on the next tax report. Unclaimed credits will not be automatically applied.
In cases where an operator has been notified by the City that they have a credit, the operator must claim that credit on their next tax report. Credits are to be claimed on line 15 of the tax report.
- Make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/
- Apple (Mac) computers have a default setting that will open PDFs using the program Preview instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Our forms were programmed to use Acrobat Reader -- not Preview -- please open and use the form in Acrobat Reader
- If you cannot get a Fill & Print PDF form to work (i.e., cannot fill in fields, cannot get the fields to calculate), please click once on the file and then hold down the ctrl key and click again.
- Select "Open with" (or "Always Open With") and choose Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- This will open the PDF in Reader and you should be able to fill in the fields and the form will calculate.
Attention Chrome Users: By default, Chrome uses a built-in PDF viewer to open PDFs. This will cause a calculation error in the Transient Lodging reporting forms. If you have disabled the built-in PDF viewer, Chrome will use Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to display PDFs. You must use Adobe to get a correctly calculated Transient Lodging reporting form. You should chose Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader as your default PDF viewer in Chrome. Here's how:
- 1.) Enter chrome://plugins into your address bar.
- 2.) Scroll down to either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader (you will only see them if you have them installed).
- 3.) Click the Enable link.
Does the change in the State of Oregon TL Tax law (10/2013) regarding Online Travel Companies (OTC) affect reporting for the City/County TL Tax?
Yes. The City of Portland Revenue Division is reviewing the changes to the State of Oregon Transient Lodging Tax law regarding the new reporting requirements for Online Travel Companies (OTC). Operators will be notified of changes to the City’s Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) reporting requirements and will be issued new reporting forms to accommodate any changes.
Effective for the third quarter 2015, operators who take reservations from OTC’s will begin to report OTC rents as an Allowable Deduction since the taxes are being directly remitted by the OTC’s. As a result, operators are required to keep a monthly record detailing the gross rents being claimed by
each separate OTC, beginning July 1, 2015. This monthly record will serve as supporting documentation for audit purposes itemizing the OTC Allowable Deduction claimed each reporting period.
As a reminder, the 2% Portland Tourism Improvement District (TID) Assessment is an assessment on the hotel, not the guest. Requirements regarding the TID assessment are not affected by the change in Oregon law. OTC rents are not an Allowable Deduction for the purposes of calculating the TID assessment. New reporting forms will allow operators to correctly calculate the TID based upon Gross Rents (including OTC rents) less Other Allowable Deductions.
Beginning July 1, 2014, Airbnb began collecting the 11.5% combined City of Portland and Multnomah County Transient Lodging Tax on reservations made through the Airbnb platform. Airbnb is remitting the Transient Lodging Tax to the City on behalf of operators (hosts) on a monthly basis.
I use the Airbnb platform to rent space. Am I required to report transient lodging taxes to the City of Portland?
If you rent space exclusively through the Airbnb platform, then you are required to register with the Transient Lodging Tax program. Please visit our website to access the TL Registration form at: www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/article/34924. For months booked entirely through Airbnb, you are not required to submit Transient Lodging Tax reports to the City.
If you rent space through Airbnb and any other reservation platform, then you are required to both register with the Transient Lodging Tax program and to collect, report and remit Transient Lodging taxes to the city on a quarterly basis. You will be remitting the Transient Lodging taxes collected on the reservations made using other reservation platforms. Note: Airbnb rents are deducted on line 5 (Other Allowable Deductions) of the quarterly reporting form. Please visit our website to access the TL Quarterly Reporting form at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/29560.
I am a Booking Agent or Online Travel Company (OTC). Once registered, how do I file transient lodging taxes?
Booking Agents, as defined in PCC 6.04.010 D, and Online Travel Companies (as of July 1, 2015) are required to report and remit TL taxes to the Revenue Division on a monthly basis. The monthly reporting schedule is provided on the reverse side of the new Online Travel Company (OTC) / Booking Agent Monthly Reporting Form. If you are uncertain as to whether you are considered to be a Booking Agent by the City of Portland, please contact our office at 503-865-2857.
You are required to register with the Transient Lodging Tax program. You must begin collecting and remitting Transient Lodging taxes as of July 1, 2014. Note: Airbnb rents are only deductible beginning with the third quarter of 2014. Airbnb is not an allowable deduction before the third quarter of 2014. Please visit our website to access the TL Quarterly Reporting form at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/29560.
Please contact the Bureau of Development Services www.portlandoregon.gov/bds for information regarding Short Term Rental permits or call 503-823-7300.