Colombian Government To Require Online Lodging Hosts Like Airbnb, Booking, Trivago To Register, Pay New Tax
Monday, Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism announced that Decree 1836 of 2021 would take effect, requiring online lodging platforms to only accept hosts registered in Colombia’s National Tourism Registry (RNT), and to display hosts RNT number on any booking information. Guests do not need to register with the government.These residential hosts will also be subject to business taxation, a move that the hotel industry trade group COTELCO has long lobbied for.
“From the hotel and tourism association of Colombia, COTELCO, we celebrate the RNT requirement and obligation for lodging service providers. It is a point that we have been requesting for some time and we consider that it is a stimulus for formalization, which in turn will generate greater competitiveness in the sector,” said the trade association’s executive director Angela Patricia Lastra.
Registering with Colombia’s RNT is free, but is done through local Chambers of Commerce, which may mean additional registrations and business licenses would be required. Registering with the Chamber of Commerce requires business or individual contractor tax registration with the DIAN, Colombia’s tax authority. In Colombia, Chambers of Commerce are not trade groups, but government-affiliated institutions responsible for business registration.
New tax on digital platforms
The digital platforms such as AirBnB & Booking.com operating in Colombia are also subject to a new excise tax of 2.5 pesos per 1,000 pesos of revenue. The ministry says that the funds raised will be earmarked for the Fontur Tourism development fund, and that the platforms will benefit from the increased investment in tourism development.
The ministry says that an international dollar-denominated account will be created in Fontur’s name, and taxed entities must deposit the tax in dollars, converted to Colombian pesos with the TRM (official exchange rate) at the time of payment of the tax.
“This contribution allows us to strengthen the promotion, competitiveness and tourism infrastructure,” said the Fontur President, Irvin Pérez, who pointed out that the expectation of parafiscal collection for this year is $64 billion Colombian pesos, or approximately $16 million USD.