Air BnB Hosts might be receiving alerts from Air BnB to make sure to have a short term rental license by April 10th.
A month in, we have learned some things. Specifically a D-30 form that my guess is some other hosts are going to run into a problem with.
You can’t apply for a Short Term Rental License without a Certificate of Clean Hands.
One requests a Certificate of Clean Hands on MyTax.DC.Gov
MyTax.DC.Gov will tell you if you are missing returns, like Personal Property or Income Taxes. It will also let you file them right there online if you are late.
A lot of Air BnB hosts pay an Unincorporated Business Franchise Tax on their earnings. We hire an accountant to do this, and he has filed a D-30 when we have made over $12,000.
Page 4 of the D-30 says you don’t have to file a D-30 if you make less than $12,000. Because of the 2020 Covid Lockdown, we made way less than $12,000 and our accountant did not file a D-30.
When we went to My Tax DC last month, everything looked good. We went to request a Certificate of Clean Hands so we could turn around and apply for the Short Term Business License. It was denied. But it would not say what specifically we were missing.
When we called the Certificate of Clean Hands one gentleman said everything was in order and should be fine. Still we couldn’t get a Certificate of Clean Hands issued online, the message would say we were not in compliance but no detail of what was missing. Another call in to the tax office and a woman informed us we needed to file a D-30 for 2020 even though the Air BnB earnings were well below $12,000 (Covid Lockdown 2020).
The Office said that we couldn’t file it on MyTax.DC yet, they had not made that function available but were working on it with high demand. They informed us that our accountant had to e-file it, except our accountant then tried and was unable to-file for a past year. You can mail it in, but she said it would take up to 4 weeks. Just for the return to be filed. Not to mention the added time for a Certificate of Clean Hands we’d need next. Then the time for them to process the Short Term Rental License application. And we’ve been trying to do this for one month already.
Hosts might not know they need this past D-30 filed. Why a tax schedule would outline when you don’t need to file and then surprise you that you were not in compliance and haven’t filed your taxes correctly is hard to understand. This has been very unsettling and leaves you with a feeling of “what else are we missing?” despite trying to follow the letter of the tax law.
My guess is many AirBnB hosts will not be in compliance by April 10th but it is not for lack of trying. We pay our taxes like clockwork. And we invest in a professional to ensure we are in compliance.
The city is making it very difficult to be in compliance with this very misleading tax language and difficulty filing. The tax office was well aware of this when we mentioned how hard this had been to be in compliance and they mentioned they were getting flooded with calls.
1) Why would the D-30 schedule say you don’t need to file under $12,000 if you do.
2) Why does My Tax DC not tell you “this is exactly what you are missing” for a specific to Air BnB host tax form but it does tell you “this is exactly what you are missing” for all other tax forms.
3) Why does MyTax DC not allow you to upload a D-30 return (specific to Air BnB Hosts these last few months to make this April 10th deadline) on their website when it allows other returns (Personal Property Tax, Income) to be filed in real time online.
It is almost as if they are trying to make it difficult for Air BnB hosts…. Leave out the option to quickly file the one return specific to Air BnB hosts on MyTax.DC.Gov. Not issue a Certificate of Clean Hands but not tell you specifically why (couldn’t find it anywhere- although it will tell you specifically and say “you need to file a Personal Property Return”- but no words or anything that ” you are missing D-30″). Require you to file a tax even though the schedule says you don’t need to (surprise!).
It’s a mess.
I must be missing something. By the conversations I have had with the Tax Office, I don’t think so.
My solution was to get an email address of one of the Tax Office employees I spoke with on the phone and email him my tax return. There is nothing secure about sending my tax info around on email- but we don’t have time to wait for snail mail and there appears no other way to upload the 2020 D-30 Tax form (that itself outlines we don’t need to file- page 4).”
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