BOISE COUNTY -- It's getting down to the wire - the total solar eclipse hits in less than five days!
Are you planning on selling or renting anything out during the event? If so, there are a couple really important things you have to do beforehand, things that many weren't aware of.
We've seen on Craigslist, social media, eclipse websites and on roadside signs that many people who live in towns in the path of totality are renting out their property or homes to people who want to see the eclipse and stay overnight.But these people renting out their property need to know: they must collect and remit taxes.
In addition, many are also looking to make some money and take advantage of the rare event by selling eclipse souvenirs. This coming weekend, on the day of the total solar eclipse, even more individuals will sell food, T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs.
"We have seen people advertising like selling T-shirts or other types of eclipse souvenirs. If you're selling those, you need to collect the Idaho sales tax," Idaho State Tax Commission Public Information Officer Renee Eymann said.
Whether you're selling eclipse souvenirs or you're renting out your home or property - even for just one day, even to just one person - you must collect and remit taxes.
"They might not even think about that taxes may apply for what I'm doing," Eymann added.
A 6 percent sales tax applies to those types of items (food, water, souvenirs, etc.) as well as to your house, cabin, trailer, yard, parking lot or any other space you are renting out for temporary lodging or overnight camping.
If you are offering eclipse visitors rooms or homes to rent, or spots for overnight camping, you must also collect and remit the 2 percent travel and convention tax.
Idaho X Sports is the middle man for several private property owners across the Garden Valley-Crouch area. They turned their reservation ste into a website where visitors can book campgrounds and parking spots.
"We're charging customers through our website and the sales tax and lodging tax will be on top of that," Idaho X Sports owner, Jason Sawin, said. "It's around $50 depending on the site,
Make sure you brush up on whether there's a local sales tax for whatever jurisdiction you're in; some Idaho resort cities and three auditorium districts have local sales tax in addition to the state sales tax, often referred to as the local option taxes.
The state tax commission is trying to contact people before the event.
"But if we don't get to them ahead of time or we find out later, then we will still be contacting them to let them know they owe the tax," Eymann added. "If they don't collect the tax from their customer, they're still responsible for paying the tax to the state."
The agency is asking those of you who are selling or renting out for the eclipse to be vigilant: register for temporary tax permits on their website.
"It's really easy. You just go online for a temporary permit and you get the permit instantly," Eymann said.
If you are only selling or renting out during a one-time event or a few times per year, you can use this one application to apply for temporary permits. You don't need a temporary permit if you already have a regular tax permit.
if you miss the return date, officials say you will be penalized and charged late filing and payment fees and interest on the late payment.
You must fill out the application, fill in your personal information, and describe your business and specifics about the event.
For anyone looking to rent out their property or sell souvenirs during or before the total solar eclipse, you'll want to check out the total solar eclipse page on the Idaho State Tax Commission website.
Many places, such as Garden Valley, also have parking spots you can reserve. That is not a taxable service.
For Idahoans selling eclipse souvenirs online, they must collect sales tax if items are delivered in Idaho. If they're not, they don't need to collect that tax.
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