Gov't talks to Airbnb about taxing owners
by Tasos Telloglou,, 18 September 2016

The issue of taxing the earnings of unofficial holiday accommodation such as homes and apartments in Greece is, along with the taxation of undeclared funds deposited abroad, a key matter in talks between the Finance Ministry and the representatives of the country's creditors.

Kathimerini understands that the ministry has been in contact with at least one of the accommodation sharing platforms: Airbnb, which controls 25 percent of the global market. According to the Inside Airbnb website, in Athens alone, 2,166 houses, apartments or rooms were registered and leased out in the summer of 2015.

The Finance and Tourism ministries are in discussions with Airbnb so that the rental of up to two properties per owner be taxed at the rate for "shadow hospitality," ranging between 15 and 35 percent depending on the income, without any expenditure exemptions, as opposed to the 29 percent rate that currently applies to all business activities with the possibility of having expenses exempted. If more than two properties are leased out by the same owner, the income will be taxed as a business activity.

The creditors have asked for taxation to be neutral (neither more favorable nor hostile) so as to avoid interchanges with other forms of holiday accommodation (i.e. hotels and room rentals).