BUSINESS

Rules laid out for taxation of short-term property lets

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Taxation, Property, Tourism

The Greek state appears to be moving closer to making some money out of the short-term apartment and room rental sector, which has managed to remain under the taxman’s radar since it first started to take off in Greece thanks to international online platforms such as Airbnb, Homestay and others.

The Independent Authority for Public Revenue on Friday announced the signing of a decision determining the process to declare income from short-term leasing, which is taxed at rates ranging from 15 to 45 percent. The exact rate depends on the total amount of revenues each owner makes, with the same brackets as for conventional rentals.

The decision rules that, for 2017, income from short-term rentals will be declared as a sum in a separate section of the tax declaration. However, as of early 2018, property owners will need to enter the Short-Term Residence Property Register (STRPR), which is expected to be set up in the first quarter of next year.

They will also have to submit a Short Stay Declaration per guest/tenant, through which they will provide the STRPR with all the necessary data for the calculation of their annual incomes. The data will include the owner’s registration number, the total price agreed, the name of the online platform, the details of the tenant, the period of the lease (start and end dates), and the method of payment.

The IAPR has begun correspondence with the online platforms with the aim of receiving lettings data on a regular basis and identifying owners who fail to declare this form of income. A few days ago, Airbnb responded to accusations it is not cooperating with the tax authorities, saying that while it wants its hosts to pay their tax dues, it must also adhere to strict privacy rules. The booking platform added that it is sharing information with Greece regarding property rentals and that personal data are only shared after a valid legal application in accordance with national and European legislation on data protection.

Airbnb in effect declared that it will not disclose owners’ tax registration numbers (AFM) to the Greek authorities, although it knows that almost 40 percent of its customers/hosts from Greece have multiple properties listed on Airbn, enabling them to engage in tax-free business activity.

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