‘Search robots’ to track down undeclared Airbnb revenue in Greece

Greek authorities are proceeding with pre-announced cross-inspections in efforts to identify tax-evading property owners leasing for accommodation purposes while announcing plans to move ahead with the use of “search robots”.

Search robots operate like web browsers, accessing web pages and using links to locate and link to other sites. According to Greek financial daily Naftemporiki, Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) has decided to follow the model using search robots (bots) implemented in Portugal to track down taxpayers who have failed to join the AADE’s e-registry and list their property as well as resultant income.

Indicatively, according to recent data for Athens, there are over 5,127 listings of properties for short-term rental in a single online platform going for an average of 52 euro per day with occupancy rates at about 73 percent.

With the implementation of search robots, Greek tax authorities will be able to detect operators who haven’t listed their properties on the country’s short-term rental registry or those who have, but have not declared income.

Hosts not complying will face penalties of up to 5,000 euros.

The AADE has repeatedly said that it is working with “digital platforms operating in the sharing economy (Airbnb, Booking.com and HomeAway) with a view to concluding cooperation protocols and welcoming cooperation initiatives, and with other sharing economy platforms”.

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