Some 20,000 properties up for short-term rental that were not filed on the government online registry as well as 130 operators failing declare taxes from Airbnb services were clinched by Greek authorities last week.
Using a web scraping system, inspectors from Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) uncovered the violators who had failed to register on the AADE platform which is mandatory and carries fines of up to 5,000 euros.
Greek Secretary General for Public Revenue Giorgos Pitsilis said he would be notifying Airbnb of the violations, and AADE would soon be carrying out a similar investigation into other home sharing platforms.
According to tax officials, there are currently more than 70,000 properties used for short term rental registered on the AADE platform.
Besides the web scrapping method, Greek tax authorities will be examining payments via wire transfer, credit cards etc deposited in accounts held by operators with Greek tax numbers. Those found to have hidden incomes will be required to pay the fines.
In relevant news, some 20 Koukaki residents held a march in the Acropolis neighborhood of Koukaki last week protesting against the rising prices for long term rentals, which they claim is a result of increased and unregulated Airbnb activity in the area.
Indicatively, home sale prices in Koukaki have risen by 93 percent and rents by 58.5 percent from 2016 to 2018, a result of the Airbnb boom, making the hip Athens neighborhood an investor favorite and reducing chances of finding homes to rent long term in the area as reported by GTP Headlines in May.
According to media reports and to social media references, the marchers came in conflict with police officers which led to injuries. “It’s absolutely unacceptable to be forced to pay 500 euros for 30m2 in the neighborhood we grew up in,” said one demonstrator.