Online Travel Companies Owe Hawaii $170 Million In Unpaid Taxes

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Online travel companies have been underpaying general excise and hotel taxes for more than 10 years and now owe Hawaii $170 million in unpaid hotel occupancy taxes, the Hawaii Attorney General's office said Wednesday.

The websites owing back taxes include industry giants such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity,,, Priceline and others.

The state Department of Taxation has determined the tax evasion began in 1999 and continued through 2010, with the companies routinely underpaying Hawaii's general excise (GET) and transit accommodations taxes on rooms they rented to online customers.

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