Airbnb to start collecting tourist tax in Amsterdam – TechCrunch

As Uber battles regulatory crackdown in Europe, likely exacerbated by its brash operating style, Airbnb is more emollient operating mode signed its first sharing economy agreement in Europe: a partnership with the city of Amsterdam that the the pair say aims to promote responsible sharing of the home.

The bulk of the agreement with the city’s housing and finance departments is on the tax side, with Airbnb taking on the role of tax collector, collecting tourist tax from guests and paying it back to the local government. city ​​on their behalf. It will start doing this from February 2015. This follows the start of the collection and remittance of transitional occupancy taxes in San Francisco by Airbnb in October. He also collects and remits taxes in Portland.

The Amsterdam deal includes Airbnb agreeing to send email updates to hosts twice a year reminding them of the city’s requirements for renting their homes. He is also working with the city to develop an online resource for hosts, providing them with relevant information and links to rules that may affect the rental of their homes, and has agreed to summarize these rules prominently on his own site. Web.

Airbnb hosts will also be required to actively declare that they understand the rules and agree to abide by them before they can post their listing.

Finally, Airbnb said it has agreed to work with the city to tackle illegal hotels. He will therefore likely notify hosts if he finds that they are not complying with local city regulations.

The Amsterdam Partnership Agreement will take effect on January 1, 2015. Earlier this year the city approved a new cohabitation policy to allow local residents to rent their homes occasionally and on a short-term basis. This agreement paved the way for today’s partnership agreement with Airbnb.

Comment on the news in a Blog Post, Airbnb’s David Hantman said, “This is great news for our guests, who will benefit from a simplified resort tax process and clearer information on local laws and regulations that may apply to them.

“It’s also a great example of how we’re working with policymakers around the world on progressive rules that strengthen cities and help local residents earn some extra cash to pay for the cost of living.”

Update: An Airbnb spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it is also in talks with the French government to collect and remit the tourist tax there. “Details are being worked out, but we expect an agreement to be in place later in 2015,” he said.

This fall, the UK government also launched a reflection on the sharing economy – triggered in part by the rise of services such as Airbnb, and signaling a high degree of political comfort with the activities of the category.

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