Italian authorities have seized more than €779 million from accommodation booking platform Airbnb as part of a tax evasion investigation, Italy’s financial police announced today.
Milan’s Public Prosecutor’s Office accuses Airbnb of failing to levy taxes on rental income received by owners from 2017 to 2021, which must be paid to the Italian tax authorities, the Finance Guard (Guardia di Finanza, in Italian) said.
Italian law requires the North American platform to charge a 21% tax on short-term rentals.
Airbnb has not yet responded to the Italian court’s ruling, reports agency France-Presse (AFP).
In 2017, Italy adopted a new tax regime for short-term real estate rentals, which stipulates that income from these derivatives is subject to a withholding tax of 21% and that data related to contracts must be reported to the tax authorities, which is the norm. responsibility of contractual intermediaries, including online portals, if they exist.
At the end of October, the Italian government announced its intention to crack down on short-term rentals that escape taxation, and to increase taxes on owners who list more than one apartment on platforms such as Airbnb.
An amendment to the 2024 budget proposal provides for the creation of a “national identification code” linked to tourist accommodation, which will make it possible to trace those who have not been declared to the tax authorities, explained the Vice President of the Government out. Antonio Tajani.
“In this way there will be transparency and the entire system will be regularized”he argued, adding that this budget measure “will also increase state revenues” and help “reduce the tax burden” on families.
As for the expected increase in the tax rate, “it will only be applied from the second apartment rented by each owner, so it will not apply to everyone,” he assured.
Short-term apartment owners can currently opt for a flat rate of 21%.
This rate increases to 26% for the remaining apartments rented for a period of less than 30 days.