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The NH Meals & Rooms Tax

Navigating New Hampshire's 8.5% Meals and Rooms Tax for Short-Term Rental Owners

If you're a short-term rental owner in New Hampshire, understanding the 8.5% Meals and Rooms Tax is crucial to ensure you're on the right side of the law and to make your hosting journey as smooth as possible. This tax, often referred to as the 'Rentals Tax,' applies to a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, and, yes, short-term rentals like those you might list on Airbnb or Vrbo. Let's dive into the specifics of who needs to pay it and how it all works.

Who Needs to Pay It?

If you're renting out a property for short durations (less than 185 days at a time) in New Hampshire, you're likely on the hook for the Meals and Rooms Tax. This includes owners of vacation homes, condos, and any other type of residential property offered for short-term stays. Whether you're a full-time landlord or just renting out your place for a few weeks a year while you're away, you're required to collect this tax from your guests and remit it to the state.

How It Works

The tax rate is set at 8.5% of the rental amount you charge your guests. Here's the breakdown of how you should go about handling this tax:

  1. Registration: Before you start renting out your property, you need to register with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). This process will grant you a tax identification number, which you'll use when collecting and remitting taxes.

  2. Collecting the Tax: You must add the 8.5% tax to your guests' bills. It's a good practice to be transparent with your guests about this additional charge, so they know exactly what they're paying for.

  3. Filing and Payment: The Meals and Rooms Tax needs to be filed and paid monthly. You'll file a return with the DRA, detailing your rental income and the tax collected, and then remit the appropriate tax amount.

  4. Record Keeping: It's crucial to keep detailed records of your rental activity, including dates, amounts charged, tax collected, and tax payments made. These records should be kept for at least three years, as the DRA may request them if your account is audited.

Exemptions and Special Cases

There are a few scenarios where the Meals and Rooms Tax may not apply, such as long-term rentals (more than 185 days to the same occupant) or certain types of nonprofit or educational organizations. However, these exceptions are fairly specific, so it's wise to consult with a tax professional if you think you might qualify for an exemption.

Airbnb & VRBO

Airbnb & VRBO will collect the Meals and Rooms Tax on your behalf.  If you are ever audited by the state, you might need to show proof that you are renting on those platforms.  They do not have an individual license for each property, so all Airbnb taxes are collected and paid under once license.

Getting Caught Will Cost You

I have seen owners attempt to avoid the tax and get caught.  It is a costly mistake, so don't fool around with it.  Here is the webpage where you can get started and file your payments.

Send any questions that you have!

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