Tadeuz Koscinski, Polish finance minister [Photo Credit: gov.pl]

Airbnb to be the first target of digital tax regulations from Poland

Poland: Tadeuz Koscinski, the newly instated Polish finance minister, announced today plans to implement tax on Airbnb operators in Poland.

The latest in plans by European leaders to understand and regulate Airbnb, FT reports that Koscinski seeks to tax not only operators, but the company itself.

“If we’re going to be making sure that anyone who is renting out their flats in the sharing economy pay their fair share of tax, then also the people they’re paying — Airbnb are part of the value chain — they should be paying as well,” said Koscinski in a London interview. The minister advocates a tax payment in order to ensure fair market competition across different types of business.

The EU has seen conflict over digital tax schemes over the past year, with a common EU proposal approach faltering, and attempts by individual countries to introduce tax schemes either petering out or leading to conflict with the united states. Poland’s own proposal is currently awaiting a ruling from the OECD on future international approaches for digital taxation before being put into law.

Airbnb responded by restating its commitment to fair taxation in the countries it does business in, saying that it has already been making VAT payments on fees charged to Polish hosts and guests. This comes after news last week of its agreement to an automatic tax collection system with the Lithuanian capital city, Vilnius, the first such scheme in central and eastern Europe.

Countries across Europe have been searching for ways to regulate the success of Airbnb to better suit their communities. Scotland approved sweeping powers over short term rental platforms this month, while French efforts to legally reclassify Airbnb as a real-estate comp any were shot down by the EU court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Koscinski notes that he seeks to use this plan in order to better understand the company’s impact on the economy. With the American IRS re-formatting its tax education services for gig economy digital sites, the future may hold more governmental interest in pursuing a cut of profitable digital short-term rental solutions.

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