Online Travel Companies Ordered to Pay Penalties and Unpaid General Excise Taxes
DALLAS -- On March 19, 2013, the office of the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii issued a press release announcing that Honolulu-based Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary W.B. Chang granted the State of Hawaii’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Online Travel Companies (“OTCs”) selling Hawaii hotel rooms over the Internet owe the State approximately $70 million in tax penalties, including interest, for failing to file or pay the Hawaii general excise tax over a period of eleven years. This ruling follows an earlier decision in January 2013, when Judge Chang ruled that the OTCs, including Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity and Priceline, owed the State of Hawaii approximately $158 million in unpaid taxes.
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