Taxes and Fees Policy

Google requires that you provide users with complete and correct tax, fee, and pricing information. We’ve created this policy to provide a positive experience for our users and ensure legal compliance.

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What's the policy on taxes and fees?

You must represent prices to the user in as complete and transparent a manner as possible. Users booking public rates directly through your website or through Google should expect to view an identical breakdown of base rate, taxes, and fees if the total price is the same for both channels. Taxes and fees must be clearly disclosed on the final booking page without requiring additional user action.

It’s prohibited for partners to manipulate the price breakdown by decreasing the base rate while increasing taxes and/or fees. If your taxes and fees seem unusually high compared to other partners, we may display your price as a total price even in countries where we display a base rate by default. Taxes and fees charged for Google users mustn’t be computed differently than they’re computed for non-Google users.

Prices that you send to Google and that the user views on the final booking page must itemize the following:

  • Base room rate
  • Taxes and fees (review examples below)
Note: If all you can send is an all-inclusive price, your site must clearly indicate that all required taxes and fees are included. Check the “All-inclusive prices” section below.

What taxes and fees should be included in the price?

The price you provide must include the base room rate and all taxes and fees required to book a stay. This applies to hotels, vacation rentals, or any other lodging options you send.

Taxes and fees must represent all mandatory charges collected by the partner or the hotel, regardless of when they’re due. For example, if a boat transfer is required to stay at the hotel, and the boat transfer fee is collected by the hotel, then that fee must be a part of the total price. Optional fees can’t be included in the total price by default.

Transaction messages must include taxes and fees that apply to most users and taxes and fees that can't be reasonably avoided. This pertains to not only taxes and fees collected by the booking partner, but also those collected at the time of the stay. Examples of taxes and fees you must disclose include but aren't limited to:

  • Occupancy Tax
  • County Tax
  • City Tax
  • Value Added Tax
  • Tourism Tax
  • Resort Fees
  • Registration Fees
  • Service Fees
  • Transfer Fees
  • Cleaning Fees

Taxes are intended to include government-collected taxes. Fees are intended to include non-governmental mandatory hotel fees. Our policy does not allow merchant-specific fees, commissions, and profits to be excluded from the base price and solely shown in the total price.

The total taxes and fees must be clearly disclosed on your final booking page (and ideally your landing page) without requiring additional user action. It’s recommended to include a breakdown of the individual taxes and fees. Learn more about Referral Experience Policy.

How are the <Tax> and <OtherFees> values used?

The information provided in the <Tax> and <OtherFees> elements of the Transaction messages is added to the value of the <Baserate> element. This results in a total price, which is displayed to users.

Additionally, the values of the <Tax> and <OtherFees> elements are used by Google to test your site for accurate prices. If taxes and fees aren't provided or don't match what's disclosed on your website, this will result in a violation of Google's Price Accuracy Policy.

How are prices presented in different regions?

For users in the United States and Canada, Google highlights the value of the <Baserate> element more prominently. However, for California properties and for California users searching for properties, Google will display the total price inclusive of non-governmental fees.

In all other countries, the total price (which includes taxes and other fees) is more prominently shown. Google reserves the right to amend the way in which it displays prices to comply with local law or other requirements.

Note: International users searching for hotels in Israel will view prices exclusive of taxes and fees, whereas users in Israel searching for hotels in Israel will view prices inclusive of all taxes and fees.

All-inclusive prices

If you can't provide a rate that separates the values of the <Baserate>, <Tax>, and <OtherFees> elements, but you're able to provide all required components as a single number, your price is considered "all-inclusive". When providing all-inclusive rates in your price list, you must set the all_inclusive attribute to true.

When providing an all-inclusive rate, it's the expectation that both the <Tax> and <OtherFees> fields are sent with values equal to "0". If a non-zero value is received for <Tax> or <OtherFees> fields for an all-inclusive base rate, the price update will throw an error and won't be saved.

In this case, when users in the United States and Canada choose to view “Nightly price”, which excludes taxes and fees, Google will also display the "Nightly total" rate, which includes taxes and fees.

What happens if I violate this policy?

Google will consider any prices that don't include all mandatory taxes and fees to be inaccurate. Check the Price Accuracy Policy for more detail on actions Google may take in response to low price accuracy.

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