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How do I know if I can get a tax refund?
In Maine, when you stay in some kinds of short term rentals, like a hotel or motel room, you pay a state sales tax. If you stay more than 28 days you may be entitled to a refund of the tax you paid.
First, you must have rented:
- a hotel or motel room,
- a room in a rooming house, or
- a space in a tourist or trailer camp
for at least 28 continuous days.
Second, the room or living space must be your primary residence. Your primary residence is the place where you have the most legal ties. For example,
- Where does your driver's license say you live?
- Where do you vote?
- Where is your child enrolled in school?
A primary residence does not include staying at a hotel while on vacation. But, if you do not have a "primary residence" outside of Maine and you are living here, you can claim Maine as your primary residence.
Exception: If you are in Maine to work or go to school, you do not have to claim Maine as your "primary residence." You can meet the "education" exception if you are enrolled in a diploma or degree program at an accredited secondary school or college. You can meet the "employment" exception by giving the manager of your housing a written statement from your employer explaining that your work requires you to be away from home.
What if I do not stay in the same room or space for the entire 28 day period?
The 28 day period is not interrupted by changing rooms within the same hotel, motel, rooming house, tourist or trailer camp.
Is “continuous occupancy” interrupted if the unit is occupied by different people?
The 28 days of “continuous occupancy” may not be interrupted just because the unit is occupied by different people. For example, if the room is rented for work purposes and paid for by the same employer (such as an airline company for its employees), this can count as 28 days of continuous use.
Do I get a refund on taxes for other services?
No, the owner can still charge taxes for extra services. This includes, for example, charges for cots or cribs or for use of cooking facilities.
How do I get my refund?
The party who rented you the living space should refund all of the lodging tax you have paid.
What if I ask for the refund and the owner refuses to give it to me?
Fill out the tax refund form in writing.
If they still won't give you a refund, you can contact Maine Revenue Services. This is the state agency that enforces this tax law.
Maine Revenue Services
Sales, Fuel and Special Tax Division
P.O. Box 9107
Augusta, ME 04332-1065
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail)
What if the state doesn’t help me?
Contact Pine Tree Legal Assistance
PTLA # 242