Posted on January 9th, 2018 by Gregory M. Sawatsky in Commodity Tax (HST), General Business

How Does GST/HST Apply to Airbnb/Short-term Rentals?

How does GST/HST apply to Airbnb/Short-term rentals?

The popularity of Airbnb, short-term rental pools for cottages and vacation properties continues to grow.  One aspect of venturing into the short-term rental game is how GST/HST applies.  The volume of rental income and the length of the rentals is the determining factor on whether you will need to charge GST/HST.

Essentially, long term-rentals are exempt from GST/HST, while short-term rentals are subject to the tax.

What is considered a short-term rental?

A short-term rental is generally one where the period of occupancy is less than one month, or the consideration for the supply is $20 or less per day of occupancy.

Am I considered a small supplier?

If you are supplying short-term rentals, you will need to determine if you are a considered a small supplier for GST/HST purposes.  A small supplier is one who’s worldwide annual GST/HST taxable supplies, (including zero-rated supplies and including the sales of any associated parties) are less than $30,000, or less than $50,000 for public service bodies (colleges, non-profit organizations, charities, hospitals).

One of the most common oversights we see is forgetting to include any other associated business revenue into the small supplier test.

Should I voluntarily register for GST/HST?

If you are under the $30,000 of taxable supplies for your associated group, you can elect to voluntarily register for GST/HST.  The benefits of this would be to enable the claim of any GST/HST paid on expenses related to your short-term rental income.  It may also permit you to recover some or all of the GST/HST you may have paid on the unit.

But be aware – if you choose to register, you will be required to collect and remit the GST/HST on your short-term rental income.

There are many factors to consider when venturing into this market; especially if you will be using a portion of your principle residence.  Before you rent, contact us to discuss to ensure you are properly set up from the start.


About the Author

Gregory M. SawatskyPartner | MAcc, CPA, CA

As a Partner in the tax services area, Greg provides GST/HST, corporate, personal and estate tax services for the Hamilton and Halton regions.
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