Judge orders seizure of £677m from Airbnb in tax evasion probe

Airbnb faces the prospect of a tax bill of several hundred million euros following an Italian court ruling in an evasion case.

Prosecutors in Milan say a judge authorized the seizure of 779.5 million euros (£677 million) from the short-term property rental platform.

They said it was related to an alleged failure to comply with laws requiring it Airbnb to pay Italian tax authorities 21% of landlords’ rental income in the country.

The claim dates back to a ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2017 that was unsuccessfully appealed by Airbnb earlier this year.

The seizure order, covering the years 2017-2021, targets Airbnb’s Irish unit and also three people who held management roles at the company during that time frame.

AIrbnb has not yet commented.

It had fought the tax crackdown, which required Airbnb and rivals to provide authorities with details of all its rental contracts in Italy, on the grounds that it breached EU principles on freedom to operate across the bloc.

The news could be getting worse for Airbnb as the government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has unveiled plans to further raise rental tax to 26% on all short-term rentals.

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The news of the tax claim came just a week after the company revealed a record quarterly profit of DKK 4.4 billion. USD – helped in part by a one-time tax benefit related to its assets.

The group’s turnover of DKK 3.4 billion. The USD increased by 18% compared to the same period last year.

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