As discussed in Part 3, Nice is now demanding its portion of the holiday rental enterprise through taxes, which can only improve Nice for locals and tourists alike.
Sites like Home Away and Trip Advisor have offered substantial web portals and seen their advertising and customer bases grow steadily ever since. Airbnb are quickly becoming a household name for the student or low earner looking for owner advertised digs when abroad. The question is, can they go the distance if hosts now have to enter the world of regulations and taxes?
Hosts need a business licence and permit from the city of San Francisco to rent their apartments, or apartment rather, as there is a maximum of one apartment listing per host. Airbnb’s Nick Papas said that ‘every city is different, and we are working with leaders around the world on rules that work for them’.
What are the rules that are going to work for Airbnb in Nice? Similar to those already set out in the Loi Alur, with an emphasis on permission being given to properties that can show tax returns, who work with legal collaborators (cleaners, agencies etc.), and are properly collecting the taxe de sejour.
Let’s turn to TVA (French Value Added Tax). It is a very clear and established European Law, where any services relating to land are supplied (including the activities of estate agents and the provision of holiday accommodation), then the place of supply for TVA is where the land is based. So an owner renting out their home in the French Riviera needs to pay the TVA to France.
Its known that the fiscal authorities scour web portals for properties where the property owner is not paying tax or TVA isn’t being paid on any commission taken. If the business is taking commission in any way – they are liable to TVA in France.
In France, the city of Paris has already stated that many of the apartments offered on Airbnb and similar sites are in contravention of French law. The French Ministry of Finance has condemned this kind of revenue stating:
‘France has nothing to gain from developing this kind of renting… no sojourn tax, no VAT, non-taxed revenue and no provision for income tax’ (see full interview with EurActiv France)
This is a brave new world for web portals advertising properties in France, and we expect many changes afoot. For Pebbles and our owners, who’ve always paid the appropriate taxes and follow all regulations imposed upon us, it can only be a favourable outcome; the underground presence is sure to lessen in coming years. With the additional revenue that will be generated by the additional taxes, especially the tourist tax which goes into the local coffers, then this will benefit Nice for tourists, locals and investors.