Airbnb has found itself on the receiving end of severe criticism regarding its impact on the social and economic conditions of the places it operates in. After all, the company has been putting quite a lot of power in the hands of the common citizens and has been enabling them to rent out spaces for money from tourists looking for shelter during their stay. From one perspective this is great, however, there has also been stipulations that the company has been toeing the law.
Today, Airbnb lashed out at its critics, bringing their attention to the fact that it has partnered up with a slew of governments the world over while bringing its services to the masses, and as such, whatever it was doing was well within the cognizance of the authorities.
Over the last three years, we’ve partnered with hundreds of governments around the globe to make it easier for our hosts and guests to pay their fair share of hotel and tourist taxes. With millions of Americans preparing to file their taxes before the April 18 deadline, we wanted to provide an update on our efforts here in the US and around the world to help our community pay our share.
Although in all fairness, the company has also faced criticism from officials in cities like Paris and Barcelona, who have blamed it for encouraging citizens to turn their own homes into vacation resorts.
Airbnb also lashed out at reports that said that the company had reached secret arrangements with local governments in various cities in order to enable Airbnb hosts to save on taxes. The company said that by May 1 it will have collected over $240 million in hotel and tourist taxes across the globe. The company also said that it was working with governments and hosts to ensure that the process of tax submission was as streamlined as possible.
Airbnb argues that by collecting and remitting taxes — both those incurred by the tourists as well as the hosts — it will be able to streamline processes and reduce the burden for all the parties involved, be it the government, be it the tourists or even the hosts. The company is planning to continue expanding this program.
By May 1, 2017, more than half of our listings in the U.S. will be in communities where we collect and remit taxes.