Airbnb will provide tax information to Italian authorities under CJEU ruling

Belgium / Italy: The Court of Justice of the European Union [CJEU] decided that Airbnb must pass on information regarding its rental contracts and share 21% of rental income with the Italian tax authorities.

Airbnb challenged the Leases and Revenues Act, which was passed in 2017, in an Italian court, arguing that such measures were in direct violation of the freedom principle that allows the 27 EU member states to provide services to each other.

Following the legal challenge, the Italian court took the case to the CJEU.

A CJEU statement said: “EU law does not exclude the obligation to collect information or to withhold tax under a national tax system. However, the obligation to appoint a tax representative constitutes a disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide services.

Italian non-governmental organization [NGO] Federalberghi, which promotes tourist accommodation, the promotion of economic and labor institutions and organizations across the country, insinuated that Airbnb ignored its tax rights in Italy, alleging that Airbnb owed domestic revenue up to 1, 5 billion euros. [$1.6 billion] over a period of six years for the retention of information.

In a statement, it said: “Tax evasion and unfair competition harm both traditional tourism businesses and those that properly manage new forms of hospitality.

In response, an Airbnb spokesperson told Reuters the company was already working with the EU to pay the correct amount of host income tax under the agreed reporting framework: “Airbnb has not no tax representative to enforce income tax withholding in Italy, and the CJEU ruling makes it clear that any requirement to appoint one is against EU law. bloc-wide approach to income tax reporting pending the final decision of the Italian court.”

The news comes just over a month after the European Commission adopted a formal proposal for a settlement which would require short-term accommodation booking platforms [including Airbnb,, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor] share with the Commission the identification and activity data of the hosts, in order to “enhance transparency” and “to help public authorities to ensure the balanced development” of a sustainable tourism and short-term rental sector term.

This week, Airbnb published a new position paper in response to the proposal, in which she said she approved of the potential new EU rules.

In a statement, Airbnb said it was already working with policymakers across the EU to establish and enforce “fair and transparent” short-term rental rules. The company added that it believes the EU proposal is “a major step forward that can introduce clear, simple and harmonized rules that unlock the benefits of accommodation for European families and give governments the information they need to suppress speculators and over-tourism”. .

To ensure that the proposal meets the EU objective, Airbnb recommended that a single data sharing portal be set up for platforms at EU level to streamline data sharing, expressed its support for the European Commission to play a more active role in assessing and verifying the proportionality of registration regimes across the bloc, and pushed for the application of proportionate rules under the EU proposals.

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, said: “Accommodation is an economic lifeline for Europeans to cope with the rising cost of living, but complex local rules often exclude families of the financial benefits it offers. The EU is a global leader in digital regulation and these proposals offer hope for a way forward that could open up new economic opportunities for more everyday hosts.

“Airbnb has long supported EU work for new STR rules and we will share our experience of working with member states to develop EU-wide rules that work for everyone,” he said. -he adds.

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