California: tax ruling against online travel companies

After years of underpaying transient occupancy taxes on hotel rooms, U.S. top online travel companies are being forced to pay the City of Anaheim the difference, plus penalties and interest, said a spokesman for the city’s legal counsel. The US$21.3 million ruling is expected to influence a host of similar suits filed on behalf of local governments throughout the country.At issue in the case was the companies’ tax liability per the Anaheim Municipal Code – and the assessment of taxes owed over an undetermined period of time. According to the hearing officer, the defendants in the case will be required to pay the 15 percent transient occupancy taxes on the difference between the wholesale and retail rates of hotel rooms they purchased and resold in Anaheim between 2000-2008, as well as all service fees associated with the transactions.Source: eTurboNews; find article here>>.

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