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Published on Monday, December 7, 2020

OTAs sued for underpaying tax to Nevada






A lawsuit filed in Las Vegas is claiming as much as $100million in lost tax revenue from more than 20 online travel agencies.


The suit was filed in the spring but has now been unsealed.


It is an unusual 'qui tam' civil lawsuit brought by two individuals on behalf of the state of Nevada.


PR executives Mark Fierro and Sig Rogich allege Booking Holdings and Expedia Group companies among others short changed the state by underpaying tax on wholesale room rates rather on the rates they sold to customers.


It dates back several years and they claim it could amount to more than $100 million.


"There's no way the online travel companies did this mistakenly," Rogich said in a statement.


The suit is claiming damages and loss of tax revenues under the state's Deceptive Trade Practices law.


Similar actions have been filed in many other states with mixed results.


OTAs were forced to pay the state of Denver $19 million for unpaid taxes in 2017 but supreme courts in Hawaii and Florida ruled in favour of OTAs.


According to research by the Tax Foundation, courts in 23 states ruled for OTAs while in another six states OTA were forced to pay up after losing cases.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, US Editor

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