According to Reuters, Airbnb stated that the company will share data with HMRC regarding the earnings of landlords using their platform in the UK in the years 2017/18 and 2018/19.
The data provided by Airbnb will enable HMRC to target UK hosts who have not declared their lettings income for 2017/18 and 2018/19. There are around 223,000 active Airbnb hosts in the UK.
The Airbnb UK accounts also show that the company have paid an additional £1.8m in tax, following an investigation by HMRC.
The deadline for making an enquiry into a self-assessment tax return for 2018/19 is 31 January 2021. However, HMRC are entitled to go back up to 20 years for enquiry.
UK hosts letting a second or third home that generates over £1,000 (the trading allowance) in income in a tax year are entitled to file a tax return. The trading allowance was introduced in the 2017/18 tax year onwards and in this case, applies to letting income that does not fall within the rent-a-room relief allowance of £7,500.
If the landlord has already submitted a tax return, it should be amended as soon as possible. The 2018/19 tax return can be amended by 31 January 2021.
If the omitted property income or gains relates to tax years prior to 2018/19, the taxpayer should disclose under HMRC’s let property campaign.
The let property campaign is open to landlords who let residential property in the UK. Using the let property campaign will mean the penalty charges will be lower than that if HMRC contacts the taxpayer directly. If full disclosure and tax payment is made before being contacted by HMRC, the penalty can be reduced to nil.
If the let property is overseas, landlords should use the worldwide disclosure facility.