The Ministry of Finance has decided to use all available means to limit the phenomenon and at the same time, if this is required, to strengthen the institutional arsenal with new legislative intervention.
Ways to limit as much as possible the concealment of income obtained through long-term rentals – Airbnb type – are being sought in the Ministry of Finance, with the aim, on the one hand, to limit the tax evasion that has “flourished” in recent years in this particular sector, and on the other hand, to erect a security wall against illegal competition that plagues the tourism industry and at the same time causes heaps of protests.
In the Ministry of Finance they have decided to use all available means in order to limit the phenomenon and at the same time, if this is required, to strengthen the institutional arsenal with new legislative intervention.
Leaf and feather
At present, what has been decided is to make all transactions made through short-term leases a feather and a feather. The AADE is already “running” a series of electronic checks, while a large number of cross-checks are made on tax returns, information from the Airbnb and Booking.com platforms, as well as on credit cards and bank accounts, with one and only goal: to reveal hidden incomes.
It is an open secret, moreover, that either some of the short-term rentals are underpriced or not priced at all, creating yet another hotbed of “black money”. At the same time, real estate owners who rent their properties through listings on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) are also targeted.
The beginning of the checks will be done by AADE, with the owners and managers of Airbnb-style properties who have not declared the Property Registry Number (AMA) on the online short-term rental platforms where the properties are booked or have declared incorrect information about their properties .
This will be followed immediately by a tax audit of the income declared by the owners of short-term rental properties. The AADE will cross-check the data sent by the online short-term rental platforms with the incomes shown by the taxpayers in the tax returns, specifically in the E2 form.
Heavy fines are coming
In the cases where it is established that the properties have either not been declared in the “Short-term Accommodation Property Register” or have been posted on digital platforms without a clear indication of the Short-term Accommodation Property Registry Number (AMA) or the Special Operation Symbol (ESL) or the Unique Notification Number (UNIN). ), then they are sent to the D.O.Y. details of properties and managers. For tax delinquents, the IRS will “seize a suit” with extra taxes and fines of up to 5,000 euros.
With the notices that AADE will send, it will request the immediate compliance of taxpayers. Those who do not make the necessary corrections, either by declaring the AMA or by correcting any errors and omissions in their property details, in addition to being fined €5,000, will see their property deleted from the digital platforms they have posted and exploited their properties.
While the AADE is planning tax audits for those who operate Airbnb-type properties, the POMIDA together with the Association of Short-term Rental Companies of Greece sent a letter to the prime minister and the relevant ministers, in which they note that the measures being promoted for legislation against short-term rentals lead not to regulation, but to a complete financial “strangling” of property owners, managers of employees and their families as well as suppliers, businessmen, shopkeepers and the local communities of our country.
Property owners and representatives of short-term property leases are asking “for a dialogue to take place before it is too late, for a regulation that will not unilaterally aim at the interests of hoteliers but at the general interest of the country and its society, so that we all come out as winners, and first of all all the tourism of our country”.
According to POMIDA:
- The restrictions on overnight stays will “hit” the country’s tourism product and push the successful ones into the underground economy and tax evasion.
- The right of municipalities to set a maximum percentage of short-term rental homes could only make sense if vacant homes were also taken into account.
- The right of general meetings of apartment buildings to decide whether to allow short-term rentals, when it is not prohibited by regulation, will literally turn the meetings into “boxing rings”.
- Any imposition of VAT will “hit” the product.
- Municipal taxes in a clear legal regime could be fair, after discussing their type and amount.
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