home  › Real estate

Airbnb hosts to pay 21% tax starting May 1

by Luigi Lovecchio

A draft law approved by the government on April 11 sets the rules, effective May 1, to regulate residential leases made by online marketplaces including Airbnb for up to 30 days, including additional services such as cleaning and bed and bath linen. The new rules affect only leases contracts among individuals.

Intermediaries will also be involved in the collection of data related to contracts, and they will be subject to a withholding tax of 21% when they pay the rental fee.

In 2105 Airbnb was used by 3.6 million people to travel in Italy. The almost 83,000 owners of accommodations (the hosts) who used Airbnb earned overall €394 million renting their homes. For Airbnb, Italy is the third country in the world for the housing offer, after the United States and France.

The introduction of sub-lease terms is new because this is not part of property income but is different, and should be excluded from the withholding tax.

Intermediaries, also online, who enable parties to lease or rent houses must submit to the Italian Revenue Agency all data related to the contracts. In the case of lacking or untruthful data, they face a fine of between €250 and €2,500, which can be halved when the delay does not exceed 15 days.

The deadline to present the data will be decided by the Italian Revenue Agency. The intermediaries, if they are involved in the payment of the lease, must withhold 21% from the amount and pay it to the Italian Revenue Agency by the 16th day of the next month. Intermediaries also release the single certification of the returns subject to the withholding tax.

In general, the tax applies to the taxable income, even when this has not yet been paid, as it usually happens with property income.

In the case of a short-term lease, however, no significant changes are expected, because payments are usually upfront. The new regulation will be adopted by the revenue agency in a decree-law by 90 days. Finally, the agency is expected to sign agreements with the online licensed intermediaries in order to monitor them.