The headline in today’s Australian Financial Review – Airbnb supports ATO plan to share users’ income – is somewhat ironic. And misleading. Airbnb will “hand tax information about payments to its users directly to the ATO”. The trade off for its landlords paying tax to the ATO would be that Airbnb continues to circumvent paying its due corporate taxes here in Australia and, critically, there will be no further data sharing with Local or State Government authorities; the identity of those using residential housing to run commercial hotel/serviced apartment operations would remain undisclosed.
Then again, perhaps our ATO might in the future be able to calculate and extract from Airbnb that which is due, based on the earnings of its Australian clients who channel earnings into accounts onshore.
And Airbnb Ireland loves its Aussie landlords, particularly the profits it derives from their residential dwellings. Yesterday it emailed its users:
We’ve heard from many local hosts who say it can be challenging, confusing, and costly to navigate the tax system.
We know our hosts want to pay their fair share and we want to help. We already provide yearly earnings statements and offer useful tax tips. But, we believe more needs to be done to make the tax system better, easier and fairer for hosts.
The Treasury is currently considering a new mandatory data sharing framework for the sharing economy. They have noted any framework should not “stifle economic activity and entrepreneurship” but make it easier for people to meet their tax obligations.
Airbnb in-principle supports a new data sharing framework if it makes it easier for local hosts to pay their taxes. This would allow more locals to enjoy the benefits of home sharing and earn extra income to ease the cost-of-living.
As part of the consultation process, we have urged Treasury to ensure any framework is simple, prospective and applies equally to the entire sharing economy, as well as take into account strict data privacy laws. Importantly, we don’t believe it is fair if historical data is included or only certain sharing economy platforms are targeted.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will keep you updated about a potential new data sharing framework and continue to engage constructively with the Australian Government. If you have any questions, please contact us by email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Airbnb Team
Sent with ♥from
The Watermarque Building, South Lotts Road
Ringsend Dublin 4 VAT 9827384L
The VAT number quoted is a reminder that Airbnb uses Ireland as its taxation base, thereby minimising tax paid to our Federal Government.
Airbnb and other commercial operators continue to list and profit from housing where their operations are a clear breach of Residential Zoning and Federal Building Codes. According to our Land and Environment Court, this “offends and ultimately undermines the State”.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones
People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers