Airbnb hit with £1.8m tax bill after probe

Airbnb UK was issued an extra tax bill of £1.8m last year following an investigation into the firm, according to company accounts seen by Reuters.

The UK arm of the company said the extra bill was paid following an HMRC tax probe. 

According to accounts reviewed by Reuters, the revised assessment comes after two years of contact with HMRC about the group’s tax arrangements.

In addition, its filings also showed that Airbnb UK paid £1.1m in tax on its profits in the year to 31 December 2019, against the £146,000 paid in 2018, though profits “also rose sharply” over the year, rising from £455,000 to £5.6m. 

In its latest filings, Airbnb said: “We are committed to working in partnership with governments… and we will continue to work collaboratively with HMRC.”

According to Reuters, the group added that it would work alongside HMRC and share data on the earnings of hosts for its platform covering 2017/18 and 2018/19.

HMRC had previously said in a statement regarding data sharing: “We have taken steps in HMRC to consider sectors, such as short-term property letting, where we may not be collecting the full amount of tax owed. 

“We appreciate this is a rapidly evolving sector and we are working in partnership with companies, such as Airbnb, to address the tax consequences of these changes with a commitment to creating a level playing field for all.”

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