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Letter Ruling

Letter Ruling Letter Ruling 80-57: Travel Agency Discount Included in Rent

Date: 08/20/1980
Organization: Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Referenced Sources: Massachusetts General Laws

Sales and Use Tax


August 20, 1980

************ (the "Travel Agency") is allowed a commission in the form of a discount on hotel and motel room charges. No part of the commission is passed on to the room occupant, who pays the same amount for the room as he would pay if he did not use the Travel Agency. You inquire whether in such cases the Massachusetts room occupancy excise applies to the total room charge, or to the total charge less the travel agency commission.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 64G, Section 3 imposes an excise upon the transfer of occupancy of any room or rooms in a hotel, lodging house, or motel in Massachusetts by any operator; the excise is based on the "total amount of rent." "Rent" is defined in Chapter 64G, Section 1(h) as "the consideration received for occupancy valued in money, whether received in money or otherwise, including all receipts, cash, credits and property or services of any kind or nature, and also any amount for which credit is allowed by the operator to the occupant, without any deduction therefrom whatsoever."

Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that the rent upon which the room occupancy excise is based is the total charge for occupancy, without any deduction for commissions given by operators to travel agencies.

Very truly yours,

/s/L. Joyce Hampers

L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue



LR 80-57

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