Anchorage Municipal Code (AMC) Chapter 12.20 authorizes the collection of a 12% tax on short-term room rental transactions, which are rentals of less than 30 days of continuous occupancy. Room tax applies to a broad spectrum of lodging businesses (called operators), such as hotels, motels, inns, corporate suites, bed and breakfasts, rooming houses, townhomes, cabins, duplexes, condominiums, vacation rentals, seasonal rentals and apartments. Room tax may also be referred to by a variety of names, including bed tax, occupancy tax, transient occupancy tax and hotel tax.
Operators are required to register each individual rental business with Treasury prior to renting or offering to rent a room(s) (AMC 12.20.030). Operators have an obligation under AMC 12.20, otherwise referred to as a fiduciary duty, to timely collect, safeguard, and remit all room taxes due to the Municipality (AMC 12.20.035 & .040; see also AMC 8.15.060 & .010).
On June 21, 2016, the Anchorage Assembly unanimously approved AO 2016-66 As Amended, which newly defines a "hosting platform." Hosting platforms, such as Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Flipkey, and others, facilitate short-term room rental transactions by connecting potential hosts and guests while also collecting money from guests.
- AO 2016-66 only applies to hosting platforms that have formally agreed to voluntarily collect and remit room tax to the Municipality on behalf of the operator.
- The ordinance does not apply to hosting platforms that have not agreed to voluntarily collect and remit room tax to the Municipality on behalf of the operator.
- An operator who exclusively uses one or more registered hosting platforms to rent rooms will no longer have to separately register with Treasury to collect, safeguard, and remit room tax associated with registered hosting platform bookings.
As of late June 2016, there are no hosting platforms registered with the Municipality; however, the Municipality is close to reaching a voluntary agreement with Airbnb. Once Airbnb registers with Treasury, operators offering and renting rooms exclusively through the Airbnb hosting platform will no longer have the responsibility of separately registering with Treasury, or for collecting and remitting room taxes on the transactions processed through Airbnb. This same rule applies to all future registered hosting platforms.
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Registered Hosting Platforms and Operators
Click here for a list of registered hosting platforms and operators. Treasury updates this list on a frequent basis.
- An operator must complete Treasury's application for a Certificate of Registration prior to renting or offering rooms for rent on a short-term basis (less than 30 consecutive days). Form is located below.
NOTE: If an operator is exclusively renting or offering rooms for rent through a registered hosting platform, Treasury's application for a Certificate of Registration is not required.
- Treasury will review the application and determine whether the operator is required to provide a financial guarantee, and will inform the operator of the amount of the required guarantee (AMC 12.20.035). Operators with 3 or fewer rooms are generally exempt from providing a financial guarantee (AMC 12.20.035E).
- As applicable, the operator must provide the required guarantee before the application is considered complete.
- Upon approval of the application, Treasury will issue the Certificate of Registration authorizing short-term rentals in the Municipality and mail it to the operator. The Certificate must be displayed at the lodging facility where it can be readily viewed by members of the public.
- The operator is then authorized to conduct business under AMC 12.20, and therefore must understand and comply with all provisions of the code.
- Room tax returns and payments are due within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter (April 30, July 30, October 30, and January 30). Form is located below. Please contact Treasury with any questions related to the timely filing of room tax returns.
Application, Tax Return Form and Related Materials
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Note: Only active Informationals are listed below.
Credit Cards of Alaska School Districts and Alaska Local Governments
Treasury will issue a letter of determination to an Alaska school district or an Alaska local government entity after it has provided sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the entity's credit card qualifies as a direct payment pursuant to the definition of "paid direct" in AMC 12.20.022. The letter of determination will note that the rental(s) paid for with the specified credit card qualify for tax-exempt treatment. The representative of an Alaska school district or local government should provide a copy of this letter of determination to the lodging facility when requesting tax-exempt status.
Alaska schools districts and local government entities should contact Treasury if they wish to obtain a letter of determination.
Miscellaneous Lists and Reports