Quebec government to begin collecting Airbnb ‘tourist tax’ in October

Airbnb sign on wall

The Quebec government has reached an agreement with home-sharing company Airbnb to begin collecting ‘lodging taxes’ from short-term rentals in the province. Airbnb says this is a first in Canada.

The service will now automatically collect and remit a 3.5 per cent tax on bookings for stays that are under 31 days in duration. The money raised through this tax will go towards the province’s 22 regional tourism offices.

In a news conference, Tourism Minister Julie Boulet said the new Airbnb rules are necessary in order to keep up with an ever-expanding industry.  “The government has the obligation to adjust, to adapt to this new reality and bring about changes to attain two objectives: to have competition that is fair and just for all partners and the second, to respect the laws that govern Quebec,” Boulet said.

According to Airbnb, close to one million people used its service in Quebec in 2016 and it estimates the province would have recouped $3.7 million last year if the tax had been put into effect.

Currently, Airbnb says there are 22,300 active hosts in Quebec who, on average, rent out a listing around 38 times a year and collect about $2,600.

As per law implemented in April 2016, Airbnb and other home-rental homeowners and companies must have a permit and pay the province a hotel tax, with non-compliance leading to significant fines.

Via: BNN