Withholding Tax For Online Portals
New regulations, clarification on the existing regime and a new tax withholding obligation for short-term lets, and especially for rental contracts through real estate agencies and online portals (Airbnb and the like) were introduced in 2017 aimed at stemming the problem of tax evasion in the tourist property rental sector.
However the new rules have met with resistence from international operators.
Update (October 2019)
Airbnb has written to its hosts to say that the Italian Council of State has decided to refer to the European Court of Justice, the issues raised in Airbnb’s appeal against the ruling of the Lazio Administrative Court (TAR del Lazio) upholding the legality of Article 4 of Decree-Law No 50/2017 Decree Law 50/2017, introducing the “Airbnb tax”. The Council of State is consultative body for matters of administrative law and ensures the legality of public administration.
The Council of State in its Ordinance (no. 6219 of 18 September 2019) has “suspended” the Airbnb tax and it will be up the European Court to decide whether or not the obligation to apply the 21% withholding tax by the agent/online portal is legitimate or not.
Update November 2020
The amount of payments on account of the current year lability have been adjusted – for most taxpayers this will mean paying two tranches of 50% in 2020 rather than the old 60/40 split. More information here.