An employee requested to use Airbnb, a website for renting lodging rather than staying in a hotel while traveling. Are there any ramifications, 1099 or otherwise, and is the preferred method of payment a credit card?

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A lodging expense is a lodging expense, and if it is $600 or more, must be reported on a 1099 as “Rent.” You also want to require a receipt as documentary evidence of the lodging expense (see IRS Pub 535 and Pub 463).

Within the U.S., a policy of payment by credit card might be preferred, because it shifts the 1099 responsibility to your card provider, who would report the payment on a 1099-K (see 6050W Removes 1099 Reporting for P-card Users), and relieve you of the responsibility and having to obtain a tax ID/W-9 from providers of rooms via Airbnb. Note that 6050W does not apply to payments made to foreign entities or individuals, so you would have a W-8/1042-S and withholding obligation there.

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