Airbnb Can’t Stay up to Date on Tax Laws

Recently I was contacted by the County of Marin, stating that I owed $2,400 due to Airbnb paying the wrong amount of Transient Occupancy taxes. I was notified by the county after one year, so the mistake was very expensive.

I contacted Airbnb approximately three weeks ago, and I still have not heard back. I have called numerous times. They promise to call back within 24-48 hours but they never do. I spoke with a supervisor who said he would call back within 24 hours, but no success.

I keep getting reservations, and they still are still charging the wrong amount. I have asked at “a minimum” to please change it to the correct amount, which they have verified to be accurate on their end, and they tell me someone from “the appropriate department” will contact me. This never happens.

This is only one example of the horrible customer service received by hosts. I recommend that everyone boycott Airbnb, and go to VRBO. That is the only way this monopoly will learn how to treat their customers with respect. Absolutely horrible customer service.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Just a minute. Airbnb is not responsible for local taxes, you are. They don’t have agreements with most localities to collect tax, so, you have to be careful. Airbnb tells you this in a number of places on their website and when they send you tax information. You cannot blame airbnb for your own tax liability, local, state or federal. Grow up.

  2. Yep. Sounds about right. Airbnb just does not care.

    Be careful with VRBO. A couple of years ago they changed credit card companies and the company they used was in Germany. This company claimed I was paid over $6000 that I wasn’t. VRBO also suddenly changed the structure of my reservation to a percentage model even though I made the reservations during my subscription period. They felt that this fact did not matter. If the reservation occurred after my subscription ran out, then it would be suddenly subject to their percentage model. Efficacy modifying the contract between myself and the guest with neither party’s approval.
    When I canceled the reservation (after contacting the guest and making other arrangements) their credit card company tried to “recapture” over $6000 that was never paid to me. I asked for proof that it was paid to any bank account in my or my husbands name and they just ignored me and sent their own messed up records. I had to freeze my business account and eventually close it to keep them from “recovering” monies that were never paid to me.
    Close to 18 months later, I got a call and letter from a collection company claiming to be a law firm. They were not. THEY claimed that I owed VRBO and their credit card company over $6000. AGAIN I asked for their proof because I KNEW they did not have it because it never happened. Again they sent their incorrect interoffice memo. I told them to just sue me because I knew they did not have a case. They went away.
    Unfortunately, there really is no safe platform to use these days. I think there is a huge hole in the market for a decent short term rentals company. VRBO and AIRBNB want to be like priceline or amazon where they do not have to deal directly with customers but rather just take their money over the internet. The market is flooded with a bunch of bad players.
    We got out. It just is too risky.

  3. I’ve already dumped my AIRBNB membership cuz their customer help desk has many times said I’d get a call in 24 hours. One year later and I’m still waiting

  4. I agree. Airbnb is operated by children. If you call them 3 times for the same issue, you will get 3 different responses from 3 different reps.

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