Hawaii ~ Sales and Use Tax: Online Travel Companies Subject to General Excise Tax, Not Transient Accommodations Tax

According to a news release issued by the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, a Hawaii Tax Appeal Court judge has ruled that online travel companies (OTCs) are subject to general excise tax, but not subject to transient accommodations tax, on their sales of hotel room accommodations in Hawaii. The release notes that a summary judgment granted by Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary W.B. Chang on January 11, 2013, requires OTCs to pay Hawaii approximately $150 million in overdue taxes and interest for the period from 2000 through 2011. Further proceedings are scheduled for March 8, 2013, to determine if the OTCs are subject to penalties for failure to file returns or pay taxes due. The OTCs involved in the case include Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Priceline.

News Release 2013-1, Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, January 12, 2013



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