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After years of debates – including hotly-contested local ones – over short-term rental regulation, the provincial government and Airbnb have come to an important agreement.

The government of¬†British Columbia will now collect provincial sales taxes on all short-term rentals conducted through Airbnb’s platform.

WIth over 18,500 Airbnb providers operating in British Columbia, the Province estimates that Airbnb will remit approximately $16 million through the PST and an additional $5 million through the MRDT.

Finance Minister Carole James announced the new taxes today and said that the revenue collected will help fund affordable housing measures throughout the province.

Airbnb to remit on behalf of hosts

Once legislative and regulatory changes are made, Airbnb will begin collecting the 8% provincial sales tax (PST) and the up-to-3% municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) on short-term accommodations provided in British Columbia through its platform.

To streamline the process of collecting taxes, Airbnb will remit on behalf of its hosts in British Columbia, ensuring that no additional administrative burden is placed on them.

This is the first arrangement of its kind in British Columbia, with Airbnb agreeing to voluntarily register its platform to collect the PST and MRDT.

“British Columbians want access to the sharing economy – and they want it to be fair,” James said. “This initiative will provide additional revenues to address housing affordability, and it improves tax fairness for all British Columbians.”

According to a press release, the Province will be looking to move forward with similar arrangements with other accommodation platforms.

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