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Parliamentary question - P-007581/2017Parliamentary question

Airbnb and the facilitation of tax avoidance via pre-paid cards

Question for written answer P-007581-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Eva Joly (Verts/ALE)

An investigation by Radio France revealed the existence of a financial package proposed by Airbnb that allows persons renting their property through this platform to hide income from the national tax authorities.

Under an agreement with Airbnb, the company Payoneer issues reloadable MasterCard credit cards from Gibraltar, into which the hosts’ fees are paid directly by Airbnb from the United Kingdom. This income can then be used anonymously without scrutiny by the tax authorities. Even if Airbnb finally pledged not to make use of the Payoneer prepaid card on the French market, the use of such mechanisms remains possible and problematic.

Given that this kind of prepaid card is not covered by information exchange obligations for the purposes of taxation, does the Commission intend to close this loophole as part of the ongoing revision of the directive 2011/16/EU or by any other means?

Are the tax practices of Airbnb and the payment mechanism via Payoneer covered by the ongoing investigation into illegal state aid in Gibraltar launched by the Commission?

Since an EU initiative is expected on the taxation of digital companies, does the Commission intend to require digital platforms to automatically transmit to the competent tax authorities any data on revenues transferred?