AN ACT TO SIMPLIFY THE REPORTING AND REMITTANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR SALES TAX AND OCCUPANCY TAX ON ACCOMMODATIONS RENTED THROUGH INTERMEDIARIES.
Amends multiple sections of GS Chapter 105 concerning sales taxes and occupancy taxes on accommodations rented through intermediaries. Defines accommodation intermediary as a person that charges or facilitates an accommodation charge, including real estate agents and brokers and websites and mobile applications that facilitate short-term listings and rentals. Mandates that sales taxes and occupancy taxes be based on the gross accommodation charge which includes any fee charged by an accommodation intermediary to the accommodation provider. Obligates the accommodation intermediary to collect and pay the applicable sales and occupancy taxes on a rental if the intermediary collects the accommodation charge.
Applies sales and occupancy taxes to the rental of residences for fewer than 15 days per year if the accommodation is listed with an accommodation intermediary (previously rentals of residences for fewer than 15 days per year were taxable only if listed through a real estate agent or broker).
Eliminates liability for taxes for the accommodation provider if the accommodation charge is collected by an accommodation intermediary.
Identifies the revenue produced by local sales taxes and occupancy taxes as local revenue, not a state expenditure, meaning the Governor may not reduce or withhold the distribution of said revenue. Requires local sales and use tax revenues to be distributed in accordance with Subchapter VIII of GS Chapter 105. Requires local occupancy taxes to be distributed by the state quarterly to the taxing districts.
Requires all local governments that levy occupancy taxes to report their occupancy tax rates to the Secretary of Revenue by October 1 annually and for the Secretary to publish those rates on its website. States that taxpayers who rely on the information provided by the Secretary shall not be liable for underpayments caused by errors in that information.
Amends the uniform provisions for county occupancy taxes (GS 153A-155) and municipalities (GS 160A-215) as follows. Requires delivery to the Secretary a certified copy of a resolution adopting, increasing, repealing, or reducing an occupancy tax within 10 days after adoption. Limits changes in occupancy tax rates to once every two years. Requires accommodation providers to remit occupancy taxes to the taxing local government and requires accommodation intermediaries to remit occupancy taxes to the Department of Revenue. Mandates that any local acts that conflict with certain sections of the uniform occupancy tax provisions are superseded by the uniform occupancy tax provisions.
Creates a new provision, GS 66-450, requiring any business that maintains an Internet website or mobile application that lists and facilitates short-term rentals to obtain a valid North Carolina registration number issued under GS 105-164.29 from the owner or operator of every short-term rental unit listed on that website or mobile application.
Requires all local governments that levy occupancy taxes on the effective date of this act to submit within 90 days of that date a certified copy of the resolution authorizing the local occupancy tax levy.
Makes the act effective January 1, 2016, and requires the Secretary to publish local occupancy tax rates on its website within six months of that date.
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