The Colombian government will require online accommodation hosts like Airbnb, Booking, Trivago to register and pay a new tax
Monday, Colombia Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism announced that Decree 1836 of 2021 will come into force, requiring online accommodation platforms to only accept hosts registered in Colombia’s National Tourism Registry (RNT) and to display the hosts’ RNT number on all booking information. Customers do not need to register with the government. These residential hosts will also be subject to corporate taxation, a measure that the hotel trade group COTELCO has long lobbied for.
“From the hotel and tourism association of Colombia, COTELCO, we celebrate the RNT requirement and obligation for accommodation service providers. This is a point that we have been calling for for some time and we consider it to be a stimulus for formalization, which in turn will generate greater competitiveness in the sector,” said the executive director of the professional association, Angela Patricia Lastra.
Registration with the Colombian RNT is free, but is done through local chambers of commerce, which may require additional registrations and business licenses. Registration with the Chamber of Commerce requires tax registration of companies or individual entrepreneurs with DIAN, the Colombian tax authority. In Colombia, chambers of commerce are not business groups, but government-affiliated institutions responsible for business registration.
New tax on digital platforms
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 income. The ministry indicates that the funds collected will be intended for the Fontur Tourism Development Fundand that platforms will benefit from increased investment in tourism development.
The ministry says an international dollar-denominated account will be set up in Fontur’s name and taxed entities will be required to deposit the tax in dollars, converted into 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 president of Fontur, Irvin Pérez, who pointed out that the expectation of parafiscal collection for this year is 64 billion Colombian pesos, or about 16 million US dollars.