Taxation Evaluating Asking The U.S. For Information On Airbnb Hosts in Costa Rica

Airbnb says it has more than 7,700 hosts in Costa Rica and in the past 12 months some 260,000 visitors have used Airbnb in Costa Rica

Although Airbnb has offered to collect the sales tax for transactions made on rentals in Costa Rica through its platform, the Costa Rica tax man is evaluating asking the United States for information on American citizens who are hosts in the country.

The Dirección General de Tributación Directa del Ministerio de Hacienda (Directorate General for Taxation) says it will to explore all alternatives in case it cannot reach an agreement with the company for information of its hosts in Costa Rica.

The Director of Taxation, Carlos Vargas, explained that his department requires people who rent property in the country to register as taxpayers, to be able to charge them the payment of taxes, both sales tax and income tax.

Vargas added that any request made to the U.S. authorities is possible through the application of the international agreements of exchange of information that it has in force with other tax administrations.

For now, Vargas only mentioned making the request to U.S. authorities.

In August 2016, Shawn Sullivan, Airbnb’s Director of Public Policy for Central America and the Caribbean, proposed the collection and remittance of the sales tax on all transactions carried out in the country through its digital platform.

Sullivan said, at that time, the request made by Taxation was for the company to provide information on all of its hosts in Costa Rica.

However, Sullivan emphasized that this is not possible because of policies of protection of personal data which the company must comply with its users, both for landlords and for guests.

The Director of Taxation stressed that the protection of personal data to which the company refers to does not apply for tax purposes.

Sullivan said that he has not communicated or met with representatives of the Government of Costa Rica in search of a tax…

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