Short Term Rentals
A Short Term Rental (STR) is any residential rental property that is occupied for fewer than 30 consecutive days by the same occupant. Under CBJ code, STR sales are subject to both sales tax (5%) and hotel-room tax (9%). In addition, STR operators are required to register each unit for rent with the Sales Tax Office, and must display their registration number in any public listing. Please note that registering your STR unit(s) is separate from registering your business with the Sales Tax Office to report and remit collected taxes.
Short Term Rental Registration
On July 10th the Assembly adopted Ordinance 2023-26(c)(am) creating a short term rental registration program within the CBJ Sales Tax Office. The purpose of this program is to gather information about the impact STRs may or may not have on the availability of housing in Juneau. The information gathered through this program is not information that is collected normally through the regular sales tax registration process. This program will also assist the Sales Tax Office with compliance enforcement against operators who are not collecting and remitting sales and hotel bed taxes.
When you register your STR you will be asked to provide:
- State of Alaska Business License number under which this STR is operating
- Contact information for the operator or their designee
- A general description of the unit for rent including physical address, property type, number of bedrooms, and overnight capacity.
Short term rentals must be registered and displaying their registration number by October 8, 2023. The penalty for non-compliance is $25 per/day that a listing is live without registering.
Sales Tax Requirements of Short Term Rentals
All businesses are required to collect and remit a 5% sales tax on the selling price of any sales or rentals made within the City & Borough of Juneau. An additional 9% hotel room tax is levied on room rentals for short-term guests.
At this time no STR listing platforms collect and remit CBJ sales tax or hotel-room taxes on behalf of sellers. It is the responsibility of the business owner to register your business with the CBJ Sales Tax Office, and to collect, remit, and report sales taxes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Short Term Rental (STR)?
Short-term rentals provide residential lodgings for fewer than 30 consecutive days to the same occupant. STRs are most commonly advertised and booked through online platforms such as Airbnb or VRBO, but can also be advertised by other means and/or booked directly with the owner.
What do I need to do in order to operate a Short Term Rental in Juneau?
All STR operators are required to have an Alaska Business License, register their business with the CBJ Sales Tax Office, and register each STR unit with CBJ prior to operations. All STR listings must display a CBJ STR Registration number.
What does it cost to register my STR?
There is no fee to register your STR with CBJ.
Are there any exemptions to STR registration?
Hotels required to keep a register under CBJ chapter 20.10 and pursuant to CBJ chapter 69.07 are exempt from STR registration.
How often do I have to renew my STR registration?
STR registrations will renew annually every calendar year. CBJ will send out renewal notices to all registered STRs when it is time to renew. 2023 registrations will be good through December 2024.
I already registered my business with the Sales Tax Office and am filing my sales tax returns, do I still need to register my STR units?
Yes. STR registration is separate from your Sales Tax registration. Different information is collected with the STR registration and you will be issued a unique registration number. Your CBJ Sales Tax account number is not your STR registration number.
I have hired a property manager to manage my STR; do I still have to register with CBJ?
A property manager may submit your STR registration on behalf of their clients, however, the owner is ultimately responsible for the registration, sales tax collection/remittance, and any fines or penalties associated with non-compliance.
Can my property manager collect/remit and file my sales tax returns on my behalf as well?
If your property manager collects all payments and taxes on your behalf, they can file and remit the sales tax returns for the entire transaction to CBJ under their sales tax account. In this instance, the property owner is not required to set up a sales tax account or file sales tax returns themselves.
If payments are received by you as the property owner and you in turn pay out a fee to your property manager, you are required to set up a sales tax account and file your own sales tax returns. You may choose to add your property manager as an authorized representative on your sales tax account which will allow them to file and remit for your account on your behalf.
Under both scenarios, any fees charged to the property owner outside of a commission are subject to sales tax and reportable by the property manager.
What taxes should I be collecting on my Short Term Rental?
STRs located within the CBJ’s taxing jurisdiction are subject to both the 5% sales tax, as well as the 9% hotel tax for a total of 14%. These taxes are assessed based on the full price of the room rate, not the amount received by the operator after the online platform takes their fees.
I rent my facility through an online platform; am I required to collect and report CBJ taxes?
STR operators are responsible to ensure both sales taxes and hotel taxes are collected from all rentals and remitted to CBJ. No rental platforms currently collect and remit sales taxes to CBJ directly.
I only rent my house out for short-term stays a couple times a year, do I still have to register and file my sales taxes quarterly?
CBJ sales tax code does not have a minimum level of operations, and taxes must be filed quarterly, even when there is no sales activity for the reporting period. Very small businesses with $20,000 or less of annual gross sales may request to file sales tax returns annually.
I am no longer renting my STR; what do I need to do?
If you are closing your business, you need to file your final return and complete a Business Closure form. Also make sure to deactivate your STR online listing(s) completely.
I have changed my business to only provide long-term (30+ day) residential rentals; how does this change my tax and registration requirements?
Long-term residential rentals are exempt from both sales tax and hotel-room tax, and businesses that operate only long-term residential rentals are not required to register or file with the Sales Tax Office.
If you anticipate that you are no longer going to rent your unit out as an STR again, you should complete a Business Closure form for your sales tax account, and you will not renew you STR unit registration the following year.
If you think you might occasionally still rent your unit out as an STR or that this change is not permanent, you should continue to file sales tax returns, reporting your gross sales and showing the full amount as exempt for any long-term rentals during that period. Businesses with 100% exempt sales may request to file sales tax returns annually.
The STR Registration ordinance says I need to notify CBJ of changes in the information submitted with my registration within 30 days; what does that mean?
You should report to CBJ if your contact information changes, property management changes, the nature of the property changes (e.g. a remodel adds bedrooms) or if you sell your property and/or STR business. You do not need to notify CBJ if you temporarily stop listing your STR.
I charge a cleaning fee to my renters; is that subject to the hotel tax as well?
The 9% hotel tax only applies to the nightly room rate. Any additional fees the STR operator charges a customer, such as a cleaning fee, is only subject to the 5% sales tax.
The online platform I use charges my customers a service fee; do I need to collect taxes on that?
No. Fees charged by the online platform directly to the customer, are not reportable by the STR operator, and are not taxed in Juneau.
The online platform takes a percentage of my rental revenue; what do I report as sales to CBJ?
If the online platform charges the STR operator a fee for their services, that amount is an expense of the business (think advertising expense) and considered a separate transaction, even if they automatically take those funds from the disbursement.
I’m still confused about what taxes I should be collecting and how to report it?
Example: If your guest stayed for one night and your nightly rate was $200, you charged a $50 cleaning fee, and Airbnb charged the customer a $25 service fee, your taxes should be collected and reported as:
$200 * 14% = $28
$50 * 5% = $2.50
$25 – no tax/not reportable
Total tax $30.50
You received $212.50 from Airbnb ($250 minus a 15% Airbnb fee), you should still be collecting tax on $250 and reporting the sale total as $250.00 in your gross sales.