IRD to crack down on online property rentals
Property owners in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) who rent their properties through entities such as Airbnb and Expedia are escaping the tax net and have an unfair advantage in the hotel and tourism sector.
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has therefore been charged with the responsibility of righting this wrong, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said.
Speaking last week at Cabinet Room, the finance minister noted that persons build homes and villas and rent them on the Internet for one night or long stays
and do not pay taxes of any sort.
“It is an unfair advantage and it is an unfair imposition on the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines to conduct these types of businesses and not pay taxes,” the Minister said.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism is working with Airbnb, Expedia and the other places where these properties are listed “to get better data about how they are rented so that [Government] can also collect taxes from them.”
The Minister said this issue was raised by hoteliers during discussions relating to the $8 per night tax which has been levied on hotel, guesthouse and short-term apartment stays.
This levy is aimed at boosting the country’s disaster contingencies fund. The fund was set up in 2017 to supplement relief efforts when disasters occur.