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Denmark cracks down on Airbnb tax evasion

In a world first, Airbnb will report property owners’ incomes directly to the Danish authorities.

Airbnb has agreed for the first time to automatically report homeowners’ incomes to a country’s tax authorities.

The landmark move is designed to make it easier for Denmark to spot homeowners who are evading taxes when renting out their rooms and properties through the site, the BBC reports.

The country wants a “sharing economy” to flourish – but only if taxes are paid, said the tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen.

The deal, which still needs a positive vote in parliament, gives owners a tax-free allowance of up to DKK 40,000 (€5,370) a year. But it also limits the number of days an owner can list a property, to 70 days a year.

Airbnb has around 30,000 renters in Denmark, which attracted more than 900,000 users during 2017. The average Airbnb host in Denmark earned DKK 15,500, renting out for 23 nights a year, according to reports.

“An example to the world”
Patrick Robinson, Airbnb’s head of public policy in Europe, commented that Denmark’s move was “innovative and forward-thinking”.

“The progressive attitude of Denmark is an example to the world and demonstrates how positive results can be achieved when policymakers and Airbnb work together on the shared goals of making cities better places to live, work and visit,” he said.

Other countries are considering following Denmark’s move, with Germany recently asking Airbnb to present all data on members in the country. Airbnb has also agreed to give China the booking and passport details of all people staying at listed properties.

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