Tax authorities to crack down on Irish Airbnb hosts

Ireland: The Revenue Commissioners is set to crack down on homeowners listing their properties on Airbnb after Airbnb revealed details of tax payments made to its customers from 2014 to 2016.

Tax authorities are writing to 12,000 homeowners as a reminder to ensure they include their rental income on their tax returns and will follow-up with compliance checks if this is not adhered to.

This comes as concerns are growing about the impact short-term lettings are having on the overall rental market in Ireland. High-demand areas in cities such as Dublin have seen hundreds of properties removed from rental stock, with income provided by short-term rentals proving more lucrative to renters.

The Revenue Commissioners said: “A key element of Revenue’s role is proactively assisting taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations and we continually achieve this through a number of initiatives.

“As required under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, Airbnb has provided details of payments made to its customers in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for the provision of short-term accommodation.

“To assist taxpayers in meeting their obligations, Revenue is writing to in the region of 12,000 people, as reminder to include this income on their tax returns. The letters will also provide guidance on the correct tax treatment of this income and give details on how to correct returns already made, where necessary,” it added.

The Revenue Commissioners has published information on its website to help homeowners comply with their tax return obligations and emphasised it would carry out compliance checks.

It said: “It is standard Revenue practice to constantly monitor new and emerging risk. Revenue is alert to the risks posed by online business in all its forms, including the provision of short-term accommodation.

“To maximise compliance among recipients of income from the provision of short-term accommodation, Revenue will also carry out a range of follow-up compliance checks to ensure that returns are filed and are correct.”

Revenue provided by short-term lettings does not qualify for tax relief under the Rent-a-Room scheme.