The IRS is warning Airbnb hosts to be on the lookout for a potential IRS investigation related to the company’s tax-free home rental program.
The IRS is investigating whether Airbnb hosts in Washington, D.C., are improperly deducting hotel and car rental fees from their guests’ taxes, according to the agency.
The agency is looking into whether the companies violated the federal tax law that prevents companies from using money from their home rentals to pay for services like lodging or other travel expenses.
The tax code allows for up to $250 per person per day to be used to offset the rental costs of a property, and that amount can be increased by up to 20% of the actual value of the property.
Airbnb, which has been expanding its services in Washington in recent years, allows people to rent out rooms in their homes and is the subject of a new federal crackdown on its business.
It is being sued by local governments for not being transparent about how it is paying for its services.
“We are extremely concerned about this potential IRS violation and want to take every possible step to make sure that Airbnb does not benefit from a potential tax liability,” said an Airbnb spokesperson in an emailed statement.
The spokesperson said Airbnb is “committed to being transparent and doing everything in our power to comply with the law.”
Airbnb hosts who have signed up to participate in the program will pay an initial $250 credit to help offset the costs of rental expenses.
That credit is set to expire in 2018.