| 23 June 2024, Sunday |

Italy seizes €780 million from Airbnb in tax probe

Italian police confiscated €779.5 million (equivalent to $835.5 million) from the online accommodation platform giant Airbnb on charges of tax evasion.
Prosecutors claimed the company failed to collect the required 21% tax from Italian landlords on their rental income between 2017 and 2021.

The seizure targeted the company’s European headquarters in Ireland and three individuals who held managerial positions during the period in question.

Airbnb said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the action, stating that it has been engaged in discussions with Italian tax authorities since June to resolve the matter.

“We are confident that we have acted in full compliance with the law and intend to exercise our rights with respect to this issue,” it said in a statement to the AFP news agency.

Ongoing legal wrangle over taxes
The company’s previous attempt to challenge the 2017 Italian law through the Court of Justice of the European Union proved unsuccessful.

The court ruled in 2022 that member states could require short-term rental platforms to collect income taxes.

But it also found a requirement to appoint a tax representative, on which that law is based, was contrary to European Union law, Airbnb said.

This latest development highlights the ongoing scrutiny faced by digital platforms regarding their tax obligations.

  • DW