Technology

Peer-to-peer platforms face tax payment crackdown

Posted by Ian Tayloron
Peer-to-peer platforms face tax payment crackdown

EU finance ministers will discuss a crackdown on the non-payment of tax by travel and tourism platform businesses such as Airbnb next month.

The European Commission confirmed that a meeting of ministers in Tallinn on September 16 will debate a joint proposal by France and Germany on how to ensure the tax paid by Airbnb and similar businesses matches the volume and value of transactions.

French finance minister Bruno le Maire described the current situation as “unacceptable”, telling the French National Assembly: “These digital platforms make tens of millions of sales and the French treasury gets a few tens of thousands.”

He said “new momentum” was needed, arguing: “All companies need to pay their fair share in tax in all the countries they operate in. That’s not the case today.

“It’s time to change gear. We want the EU to take the lead, and France is ready to put forward some ambitious ideas.

“It is our duty to demand from Airbnb and all digital platforms a fair contribution to the French public treasury.”

It was reported last week that Airbnb paid less than €100,000 in French taxes last year when France is the US giant’s second-biggest market.

Germany and France have agreed on a joint proposal on taxing the digital economy to be put to next month’s meeting.

In a statement, Airbnb said: “We follow the rules and pay all the tax we owe in the places we do business. Our France office provides marketing services and pays all applicable taxes, including VAT.”

The EC demanded Ireland collect €13 billion in back taxes from US tech giant Apple last year.

The city council of Paris plans to introduce compulsory registration for landlords offering short-term rentals from December.

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