Undercover tax inspectors hit Airbnb rentals

Undercover tax inspectors hit Airbnb rentals

With Greece's tourism season in full swing and many homes offered for short term rental full, the tax office has sent out a team of undercover inspectors to pose as visitors and catch property owners forgetting to declare income.

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Greece is missing out on revenues of up to 450 million euros per year, according to some estimates, due to property owners not declaring what they earn from homes put on platforms such as Airbnb.

By focusing on areas where short term rentals are popular, such as inner city Athens and islands like Mykonos and Crete, tax inspectors are booking and paying for accomodation just like any regular customer would. They then wait to see whether the property owners declare the income and call them up for an audit if they fail to show the income, Finance Ministry officials say.

According to Greek law, tax on this income starts at 15 percent and goes up to 45 percent. Not declaring it can earn property earners a fine of 5,000 euros.