The Hawaii Department of Taxation announced that it will provide a six-month transition period to allow taxpayers to meet the transient accommodations tax requirements relating to local contacts and information reporting enacted by Act 326 (H.B. 2078), Laws 2012. As previously reported, Act 326 enacts a transient accommodations tax provision that requires the designation of a local contact for each transient accommodation, requires local contact information to be provided to certain nongovernmental entities, requires certain relevant information regarding transient accommodations operators to be provided to the department, provides for penalties, and requires the display of transient accommodation registration identification numbers on certain websites. (TAXDAY, 2012/07/16, S.12 ) Act 326 is effective July 1, 2012, and repealed on December 31, 2015.
Under the department’s transition policy, no penalties will be imposed on taxpayers (nongovernmental entities) that fail to provide to the required relevant information regarding transient accommodations operators to the department before January 1, 2013. However a penalty will be imposed if the taxpayer fails to timely provide the information after December 31, 2012. The department will issue further guidance when it determines the manner and form in which taxpayers should submit this information. The department notes that the Act’s definition of “relevant information” is broader than the information operators are required to submit to the nongovernmental entities. For example, the website address must be provided if the transient accommodation is advertised or solicited on the Internet. No penalties will be imposed on taxpayers that fail to provide relevant information if the law does not require an operator to provide that relevant information to the taxpayer.
In addition, no penalties will be imposed on operators of transient accommodations who fail to designate a local contact before January 1, 2013, provide the local contact’s information before January 1, 2013, or fail to include the local contact’s name or phone number in any contract or written rental agreement executed before January 1, 2013. However, penalties will be imposed for operators who fail to designate a local contact after December 31, 2012, provide the local contact’s information after December 31, 2012, or include the local contact’s name or phone number in any contract or written rental agreement executed after December 31, 2012.
Furthermore, taxpayers have until January 1, 2013, to comply with the requirement to display registration identification numbers on websites.
Announcement No. 2012-12 , Hawaii Department of Taxation, August 15, 2012, ¶200-923