Airbnb, large seizure of 779 million euros due to tax evasion

GDF Milano seized – by order of the investigating judge of Milan – as part of the investigation of the Milan prosecutor’s office for tax crimes, over 779 million euros per Airbnb Ireland Unlimited Company , the owner of the short-term rental platform of the same name. They are under investigation three people who were in administrative positions within the group between 2017 and 2021. This was announced by Milan prosecutor Marcello Viola.

With this investigation, the dispute between the Italian state and the short-term rental company reaches a turning point. While Airbnb argued that it was not entitled to pay a so-called “dry tax” of 21% to the state as a substitute tax, Italy instead sought further interpretations of a 2017 regulation that addressed this very issue. After the initial judgment of the European Court of Justice, and then the recent judgment of the Italian Council of State (from October 24, 2023), the Italian prosecutor’s office was thus able to continue its seizure activity.

The amount of tax evasion is equal to 779,453,912 euros, and it refers to the period 2017-2021. The investigations he conducted GDF Milan tax unitthey continued during 2022 and 2023.

In the prosecutor’s note, we read that “the tax audit revealed that the company did not comply with the obligations introduced by Article 4 of Legislative Decree 50/2017, avoiding reporting and paying, as a withholding agent, withholding tax from an amount equal to the size of the confiscation obtained by the investigating judge, calculated with 21% on short-term rental fees of 3.7 billion relating to the period 2017-2021. from guests of accommodation facilities advertised by the platform. The amounts were subsequently returned to the property owners, without a commission for using the digital platform.”

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Seizure of over 779 million from Airbnb, tax evasion

The crime is therefore from omitted tax return. In theory, the taxes should have been paid by the individual owners, although there is no certainty. For the world of short-term rentals, this is a revolution: starting today, Airbnb will immediately have to pay taxes to the Italian state.

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