The State of Florida has filed suit against online travel reservation companies over hotel taxes. This is the latest in a series of lawsuits nationwide claiming the sites owe local authorities millions of dollars. Attorney General Bill McCollum filed suit against Expedia and Orbitz last month, claiming they failed to pay Florida the full amount of taxes collected on hotel room rentals through their sites. The Attorney General has this to say:
The customer is paying the tax already. Orbitz and Expedia are not remitting to the state all the taxes they have collected.
Consumers are charged a rate when they book a room online, and the company later reimburses the hotels a lesser amount, allowing them to pocket service fees. The taxes are paid on that less expensive rate, which has led to legal action by cities and states that claim they are being cheated out of millions of dollars in tax dollars. The Florida lawsuit, filed in a state Circuit Court in Tallahassee, claims the companies have been keeping some of the tax as profit.
Similar complaints against online travel companies have been filed by a number of cities including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Officials have alleged that online travel services charged customers for local tourism taxes, but failed to remit those funds.
Source: USA Today
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.