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Short-stay and visitor accommodation is when you're renting out your residential property to guests for up to 4 consecutive weeks at a time.

Examples of property rental online marketplaces are Airbnb, Bookabach and Holiday Homes.

Short-stay and visitor accommodation overview

Your guests do not see your property as their main home.

Short-stay and visitor accommodation includes:

  • a room in your house
  • your whole house
  • another residential property – not your main home such as an investment property or a property you intend to sell
  • a cottage, caravan or sleep-out on your property
  • a holiday home.

Short-stay and visitor accommodation does not include accommodation for residential tenants, boarders, or care home residents. It also does not include student or emergency accommodation.

Income tax obligations

So that you can calculate your income and expenditure correctly you:

  • need to keep records of all income earned and declare it in your income tax return, subject to some limited income exemptions
  • need to keep records of expenses you can claim as deductions.

GST obligations

Your online marketplace will return and pay GST on all short-stays rented through their platform.

For GST you must:

  • tell the online marketplace you're using your GST registration status and if it changes
  • register for GST if you have earned or will earn more than $60,000 from all taxable activities including short-stay and visitor rental income in any 12-month period
  • keep all records of your income and expenses.

GST for drivers, deliverers and accommodation hosts

If you're also renting out your accommodation directly to customers for example using your own website, the ordinary GST rules apply and you may have to pay GST on this income. 

Long-term accommodation provided through an online marketplace

There's no GST to pay on rental income from long-term residential renting. You also cannot claim GST on your long-term rental expenses.

This is generally the case if the accommodation is used by the customer as their home and comes under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

GST applies to all supplies of accommodation in a commercial dwelling, for example a hotel, motel, boarding house, or camping ground, regardless of the length of time the accommodation is provided for.

The rules that allow for a reduced rate of GST for accommodation provided for 4 weeks or more do not apply if the accommodation is supplied through an online marketplace.

When you get paid directly by guests

When you receive payment directly from guests, the operator of the app or website may still be required to account for GST on the supply. This is the case when they are treated as an online marketplace and the supplier of the services.

The marketplace operator may collect the GST they owe us from you directly.

When this occurs, the marketplace operator may ask you for information so they can meet their GST obligations. This may include asking you for the amount paid and the date of the payment for the service. 

More information

You can read more about your income tax and GST obligations when you rent out residential property.

Renting out residential property

Last updated: 08 Apr 2024
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