Living in a “destination location” such as the Geelong region can provide a unique opportunity to rent out your home as a holiday house for visitors. This has become a popular way to earn an income while going away on holidays.
Listing your home on websites such as Airbnb allows you to host guests whenever you like for whatever price you choose and you can even include house rules. Some of these websites may also offer property damage insurance as part of the deal. The listing may be free, however there is generally a service fee charged to you by the provider once you receive a reservation.
Here are some things you need to know from a tax perspective. When you rent out all or part of your home through websites such as Airbnb, Home Away or Flipkey you:
- need to keep records of all income earned and declare it in your income tax return
- need to keep records of all related expenses
- don’t need to pay GST on amounts of residential rent you earn.
It is important to note that websites such as Airbnb are linked to the ATO by “data-matching” which means that the ATO will automatically be aware of the additional income you have generated through the booking.
There are different rules and considerations for commercial residential premises (like a boarding house) but generally speaking, it is unlikely that your home will be considered to be carrying on a business and fall into this category. If you choose to rent out your home through a site such as Airbnb, you may provide additional services such as breakfast or cleaning and you will still not be considered to be a commercial residential premises.
Thanks to West Carr & Harvey for giving us the Airbnb know how!