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Travel & Tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

Greece Mulls New Measures to Clamp Down on Illegal Home Sharing

The Greek tourism and economy ministries are preparing to introduce stringent measures for undeclared home sharing activity aiming to address tax evasion and boost state coffers by at least 60 million euros in lost revenue.

According to media reports, measures to be implemented in 2020 will include banning hosts from home sharing sites if they fail to declare their properties and if they do not have a registry number. Tourism ministry officials have proposed the inclusion of hosts’ tax number (AFM) on all listings.

Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and Economy Minister Christos Staikouras are expected to meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Secretary General of Public Revenue (AADE) Giorgos Pitsilis in the coming week to finalize the legal framework covering the short term rental market.

More specifically, owners promoting their properties on home sharing sites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and HomeAway may have to face added taxes in the coming year.

Proposals tabled include requiring hosts to collect e-receipts covering 30 percent of their income; there will be no tax reliefs for their incomes, which will be taxed at a 45 percent rate; hosts who fail to register with AADE and get a registry number will instantly be banned from home sharing sites; a new property levy is being examined; and owners may be entitled to receiving tax breaks for renovation works.

Other ideas tabled include stricter security requirements as well as compulsory property and visitor insurance which will cover both owner and guest according to international standards.

Indicatively, according to the Greek Property Managers Association (PASIDA) of the approximately 90,000 listed properties on Airbnb, 30,000 do not have an AADE registry number which is mandatory. All owners renting out properties on home sharing platforms in Greece are required by Greek law to declare earned incomes from short-term lease on their tax forms.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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