Force Airbnb to pay taxes

Opposition assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh is demanding competition regulators should stop online companies like Airbnb from dodging their tax obligations. It should also apply to those using Airbnb’s services to market their properties.

Mr Leigh raised concerns about the lack of regulation around the “sharing economy”, which included services such as Uber and Airbnb.

“The sharing economy needs to be better regulated,” he said. “I certainly don’t believe that the sharing economy should expand because it’s avoiding taxes. It ought to expand on offering a better product to Australians.”

AN70-4-news-Opposition assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh 300x225He said these companies did not face the same tax and legal requirements that the hotel industry did. This was a concern, given their rapid growth.

“There’s an extraordinary number of Australians that have used Airbnb,” he said. “There’s 9 million empty bedrooms in Australia at the moment. That’s a huge number of spare bedrooms for people looking to make ends meet on the mortgage… [regulators] simply need to say that if people are making income that ought to be reportable in tax returns.”

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