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Airbnb hosts in Greece to pay 3% levy

Property owners in Greece that rent out their homes to short-term visitors through known websites such as Airbnb will be charged with a three percent levy for each transaction, Greek daily Vima reported on Monday.

According to Vima, the Greek Finance Ministry is aiming to put an end to the “underground economy” created by short-term home rentals that is said to equal to an annual revenue loss of at least 270 million euros for the state.

Vima said that the Finance Ministry is currently preparing a bill to be tabled in parliament in early September, according to which a three percent levy will be charged to owners renting private properties for the short-term to tourists via known websites or collecting rent through deposits made via a global financial platform in bank accounts abroad.

The three percent levy will be charged to every rental-transaction made between the owner of the property and guests.

Furthermore, the amount of money collected from such rentals must be included when taxes are filed in Greece. Income collected from such rentals will be taxed at the same rates that are imposed on income from long term rentals.

According to Vima, the bill also provides for the creation of a special registry which will include all owners that rent out their properties this way.

Those who do not declare that they have a property that is leased through websites will be obliged to pay a fine. The Finance Ministry is said to have already reached an agreement with major sites / platforms and will be informed on all transactions, whether money is deposited in Greece or in a foreign bank.

The Finance Ministry will also be able to look into transactions made prior to the voting of the bill. Those who are found to have not registered the properties they rent will be charged with an administrative fine.