Airbnb-style rentals on gov’t radar

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

The gov­ern­ment is con­tem­plat­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of tax and an op­er­a­tion frame­work on the leas­ing of res­i­dences ad­ver­tised on the In­ter­net in a model known as peerto-peer prop­erty rental in which trans­ac­tions gen­er­ally pass un­der the tax radar.

Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for Tourism Elena Koun­toura re­ferred to the is­sue in the con­text of the an­nual con­fer­ence of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Hel­lenic Tourism En­ter­prises (SETE), not­ing also that the gov­ern­ment will form in­spec­tion teams to com­bat tax eva­sion by il­le­gally op­er­at­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion units across the coun­try.

Im­pos­ing a tax on the leas­ing of prop­er­ties for tourism con­ducted via in­ter­na­tional web­sites such as Airbnb and Wimdu is a dis­cus­sion topic in other coun­tries, too. In Paris, where Airbnb is en­joy­ing strong growth, a months-long ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween the com­pany and the author­i­ties has ended in agree­ment. As a re­sult, since the start of this month, Airbnb has been charg­ing its users with a tourism levy of 83 cents per night spent in prop­er­ties in the French cap­i­tal ad­ver­tised for lease on the web­site. Lo­cal author­i­ties ex­pect rev­enues of 5 mil­lion eu­ros per year from the move.

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