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Airbnb and Co. income: notification obligation decided ›jojo Reviews

The German Bundestag has decided on notification requirements for digital platforms and has now implemented what became clear almost exactly a month ago. Income generated on digital platforms such as Airbnb, Uber or the relevant advertising portals must now be reported to the tax authorities.

Operators must provide information

However, this does not apply to the lessor of the second home, to the seller of the still surprisingly new-looking stamps or to the driver of the transport company, but to the operators of the digital platforms. According to the argument, these have so far been operating in areas where there has been almost no tax transparency. This accusation is perhaps even clearer for foreign providers.

It was perceived as problematic that many of the people active on the relevant platforms would not pass on or only partially pass on their earned income to the local tax authorities. Then when they did their own research, the platform operators were often not very cooperative and often did not even respond to requests for information.

No unanimity

The duty to report, which has now been decided with the votes of the government, should ensure that this will change in the future.

The plan is to share the data from the digital platforms with the Member States of the European Union to ensure a more tax-fair digital economy across the EU. The Bundestag’s documentation states:

[…] Therefore, the operators of digital platforms should now be obliged to report information to the Federal Central Tax Administration that allows the identification of the providers active on the platforms and the tax assessment of the transactions they carry out. Providers from Germany and other EU Member States are subject to registration. An automatic exchange of information between the responsible authorities in the EU Member States is also planned. The law also provides for changes to the conduct of external tax audits. These external audits need to be done faster and faster.

The speeches on the agenda item and the subsequent vote can be seen in the Bundestag recording.


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Written by Kim Anderson

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