According to the provisions of Italian law, the Professional hostswhose income mainly depends on the accommodation business, directly pays the withholding tax equal to the flat rate coupon of 21%, or the owner’s marginal income tax rate.
Legislation in effect since 2017 obliges platforms to operate as blocking agent towards non-professional hosts, apartment and house owners for whom, on the other hand, rental accommodation is not the main source of income and who represent the majority of people who work with Airbnb.
In these cases the company shall withhold 21% of operations Pay the state withholding tax. But since the introduction of this rule, the US group has challenged the Italian tax authorities’ claims and appealed to the TAR.
In Italy, Airbnb does not have a tax representative to act as a withholding agent, and as the group was keen to stress in response to the revenue agency, the Court of Justice of the European Union It was established in December last year that the obligation of a foreign company to appoint a tax representative in our country should be considered a “disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide services”, contrary to European law.
However, the Court decided in the same ruling that Italian law could require platforms to collect information and data about the rentals made, as well as to apply Withholding tax provided for in the national tax system.
Prior to the involvement of the supranational body, the story reached Council of State which held a public hearing on the issue which should be expressed soon. Airbnb has announced that, pending the decision of the highest Italian administrative body, it will continue to follow the provisions of the European regulations and therefore not follow the requests of the Revenue Agency (we talked here about the government’s control of Airbnb in the tourism bill).
The disputed figure of €500m is the highest the Italian tax authorities have ever demanded from an internet company after the €817m fine that was presented in early 2023 to Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp (here we talked about escaping the new Meta social platform). , Threads).
Meanwhile, the Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Guardia di Finanza are also investigating the non-payment of taxes due on short-term rentals, the investigations of which allegedly reconstruct another front directly related to the hosts, who in several cases They will not declare any income Although they are the owners of the homes rented with Airbnb (here we talked about the new service launched by Airbnb).
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