Housing: Tax dispute with Airbnb: Judge confiscates millions

Housing: Tax dispute with Airbnb: Judge confiscates millions

In Italy, the housing platform Airbnb has to pay almost 780 million euros to the tax authorities. The company is accused of tax evasion.

The housing platform Airbnb has to hand over almost 780 million euros to the tax authorities in Italy due to alleged tax evasion. The Milan public prosecutor’s office accuses the company, which specializes in short-term rentals of apartments and rooms, of failing to pay the tax intended for such rentals for five years.

An investigating judge officially ordered the confiscation of the sum on Monday evening.

From 2017 to 2021, Airbnb did not pay the 21 percent tax on income from short-term rentals. In 2017, the so-called uniform tax on rental income was introduced in Italy. The housing platform sued against the introduction at the time. However, the European Court of Justice rejected Airbnb’s arguments last December and confirmed the obligation to collect and pay the tax.

The judicial investigation began in spring 2022 after an initial tax audit of Airbnb. According to the public prosecutor’s office, sales from the tax would have amounted to 3.7 billion euros over the five years. The housing platform appeared irritated after the investigating judge’s order. Airbnb is in contact with the tax office. “We are confident that we have acted in accordance with the law and intend to exercise our rights,” the Ansa news agency quoted the company as saying.

The current Italian government even wants to increase the flat tax from 21 to 26 percent in the future. Above all, she wants to combat the housing shortage in large cities, high rental prices and overcrowding by tourists. Many landlords prefer to offer their apartments to tourists for more money and sell their properties through platforms such as Airbnb.

Source: Stern

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