7

Traveled in several places in Italy, reservation made either with booking.com or Airbnb, and the hosts asked us to leave the tourist tax in the apartment before we check out. It's small, usually 5-10 euros.

But to me, this seems like tax evasion, and the first time I refused to do it and got a very negative review on Airbnb. Say you are on a business trip, isn't it a rule that you should get a receipt for everything? how are you going to reimburse that tourist tax?

How should I deal with the situation fairly for both? I don't want the host to feel cheated, but I also want my invoice so that I feel good that taxes are being paid and not being pocketed by the host?

Another one yesterday at booking.com, I asked for the receipt and they told me that there is no receipt for city tax.

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    So did you actually ask for the invoice? Could it be that they don't want to pay a fee to booking or AirBnB over the tourist tax? They basically loose money that way. – Bernhard Jul 3 '20 at 21:43
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    You should report that to AirBnB. I don't think that is allowed in their terms of service. – Michael Hampton Jul 3 '20 at 22:04
  • @Bernhard I asked, but they didn't give it. – Travel guy Jul 3 '20 at 22:24
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Multiple cities in Italy (and some other European countries) do have a "City Tax" or "Tourist Tax" which is generally a fixed amount charged on a per-night/per-occupant basis for transient accommodation like hotels and AirBNB.

This tax is generally NOT included in the stated price of the accommodation, and IS paid locally to the accommodation provider at check-out.

AirBNB do claim that they collect this tax in a number of locations across Italy, however they also state that they do NOT collect it in all locations and/or for all potential taxes that are payable.

Booking.com do generally states very clearly when booking that the City Tax is NOT included. For example, I just searched for properties in Rome and all included a statement to show that this tax was not included in the price displayed :

booking.com price

This very clearly states how much the City Tax is, and that it is NOT included in the price being paid - thus implying it needs to be paid locally at the property, even if you were pre-paying the booking.

If a tax is being charged then the property certainly should be able to provide a receipt, and I've always had such taxes listed on my final invoice from hotels, but I can't speak for AirBNB-style providers. From an expenses perspective for business travel, most companies have a process for such charges where a receipt is not available for some reason.

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    +1, my company can reimburse small purchases up to $20 without a receipt – JonathanReez Jul 4 '20 at 21:55
  • thanks, partly answers my question. I guess I just have to complain to booking.com – Travel guy Jul 5 '20 at 12:09
3

You are correct, they should have given you a receipt. Many cities have official forms and regulations for these receipts; see e.g. Milan, Florence, Rome, Verona... : they all mention a ricevuta or quietanza.

Even if there is no form, they can write and sign a piece of paper with the hotel's letterhead stating that they got the money from you.

If they refuse, you have every right to threaten to get the local police involved.

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