Irish Airbnb warned about Revenue declarations

Advisers Taxback.com says ‘unsuspecting and/or unknowing hosts will face penalties’

Whether someone lets out rooms once or a 100 times, the Revenue can get their data from Airbnb. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Whether someone lets out rooms once or a 100 times, the Revenue can get their data from Airbnb. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Some Airbnb hosts face potential tax penalties because they do not know that they must declare the income to the Revenue, experts warn.

Last year Irish people earned a total of €115 million from letting part or all of their homes to visitors through Airbnb. The accommodation agent lists almost 23,000 people in the Republic.

Advisers Taxback. com says that comparing their figures with those recently released for Airbnb’s Irish business suggest that some of its hosts are not informing the Revenue, despite the accommodation letting company’s best efforts to tell people of their obligations.

Taxback believes that while “professional” hosts are more likely to keep their affairs up to date, those who let their homes or rooms out less frequently are slower at coming forward.

Barry Flanagan, Taxback director, said that evidence led the company to believe that not enough hosts were declaring this income to the Revenue “quite probably” because they did not know that they had to do so.

“This is despite Airbnb themselves highlighting this,” he said. “Our concern is that this level of non-compliance will draw the attention of Revenue, as Airbnb report this income to Revenue annually, and unsuspecting and/or unknowing hosts will be hit with penalties and punishment as a result.”

File returns

Irish people who let accommodation on Airbnb earn an average of €3,500 a year from this. Those who use Taxback to file returns to the Revenue claimed €7,609 in reliefs last year.

Mr Flanagan said that this indicated that they make well above the average and are thus the more “professional” hosts.

However, he warned that whether someone lets out rooms once or a 100 times, the Revenue can get their data from Airbnb.

He pointed out that there were large numbers of costs that hosts could deduct from their Airbnb earnings, including such things as electricity, broadband, gas, fees paid to Airbnb, cleaning and mortgage and rent expenses.