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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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Airbnb meets hosts after telling the tax man about them

The company will supply information to the Revenue Commissioners dating back to May 2014.

Image: Associated Press

Updated 20.45

A PUBLIC MEETING was held tonight at Airbnb headquarters in Ringsend to address any concerns its customers have about their details being handed over to the Revenue Commissioners.

Last week the company informed its users that it is set to supply the Revenue with information on its hosts’ rental income.

The company will be supplying figures on the amount earned by Irish resident hosts on properties they own both here and abroad.

Hosts with properties here who are based outside the country will also have their rental income supplied in regard to Irish properties they own.

Hosts were unhappy with how the meeting went, according to RTÉ.

The broadcaster said there was no tax or legal expert present to give clarity on the situation.

Rental income 

The company is legally obliged to supply the information to the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. It operates under similar terms in relation to reporting income in the United States.

It will be fulfilling its obligation for its annual corporate filing in September for the first time.

shutterstock_201284507 Source: Shutterstock/360b

Information supplied will date back to May 2014 when the company established its base here.

There was a presentation from the Airbnb Ireland team followed by a Q&A session.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie last week, an Airbnb spokesperson has said:

Over the past few months, we have been working with Revenue Commissioners to understand how this requirement applies to Airbnb and our community. Now that we have clarity, we want to let our community know and address any questions they may have.

One Fianna Fáil councillor has raised concerns that cracking down on websites like Airbnb will further fuel the accommodation crisis in Dublin.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Councillor Cormac Devlin said it’s unreasonable to expect someone who has let out their home for a few days a year to pay heavy tax on the small level of earnings.

However he said those using the system to make a substantial income should be liable, as they have an unfair advantage over full time B&B owners.

Experts at Taxback.com have said that although Revenue’s decision to look at Airbnb’s hosts taxable earnings will sting hosts financially, they want to allay people’s fears that they are in trouble with the Revenue for not declaring the income.

Barry Flanagan Tax Manager at Taxback.com explained the filing deadline for the 2014 tax year is not until 31 October 2015, so there is no cause for alarm.

Landlords and Airbnb hosts have plenty of time to report this income via their 2014 tax return. No penalties, interest or late fees will be due on this income if the return is filed and tax paid over before the due date.
Airbnb have given all hosts a very clear “heads-up” that Revenue now know about this income, so we would advise that going forward all hosts to ensure they are fully compliant and that income is reported with tax paid on the profits.

Additional reporting Michael Shiels McNamee and Órla Ryan

Read: Now you can stay on Ramsey Street thanks to Airbnb>

Also: It pays to read the fine print when you Airbnb>

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