When we started our B&B here in Andalusia we were forced to comply with quite some rules and regulations. In the same time we noticed over the years that there quite some colleagues that ran a comparable business under the radar of the (also fiscal) authorities. This created the feeling of frustration about a not completely level playing field in the hospitality business. I wrote about this before when stricter regulations where announced for those who rent of their houses.
Now Spain’s Tax Agency is targeting the owners of apartments who placed rental ads last year – including those on specialized websites such as Airbnb – in a crackdown on unreported income.
With the 2015 income tax drive now officially underway, taxpayers who use the new online tax filing program, Renta Web, may find the following message on their computer screen: “According to data in the Tax Agency’s power, you have placed property rental ads in various media, including the internet.” The note is a reminder that any income from such rentals must be declared, in the same way as income from foreign pension schemes or other foreign assets.
The agency’s management has not explained how the Tax Agency has obtained rental data, noting only that popular real estate websites such as Idealista or Airbnb are not providing information to the authorities.This is not the first time Spain’s taxman has gone after undeclared income from property rental. In 2012, it conducted checks on homes that had been declared as empty, with many showing normal or even high water and electricity consumption.
Nearly half of all home rentals in Spain, some 1.3 million properties, are not declared to the tax authorities. Of these, the vast majority are rented out to third parties, while some 370.000 are provided free or for a low rent to a relative.
In my undoubtedly coloured view it is good for Spain, as it will receive more tax revenues, for the hospitality business as the playing field will get more level and for those who like to rent a place as their counterparties will become more professional.