BFM BUSINESS INFO. The seasonal rental platform still pays very little corporate tax in France. This will not fail to fuel the debates on the GAFA tax implemented in France and the reform of the taxation of digital giants within the OECD.
The years pass and the corporate taxes paid by the digital giants remain as starving as ever. Airbnb France thus published its accounts for 2020 on Tuesday, accounts that BFM Business was able to consult. And the French subsidiary of the digital giant shows only 204,662 euros paid last year for income tax, an increase of 6% compared to 2019 when this amount was 193,398 euros.
At the same time, the group’s French subsidiary recorded a turnover of only 16.02 million euros in 2020, i.e. +26% compared to 2019 (12.75 million euros). The net result for its part stands at 546,791 euros, against 457,765 euros the previous year (ie +19% over one year).
A simple service provider
It must be said that Airbnb France acts as a simple service provider for the European parent company, which is based in Ireland. Concretely, Airbnb France provides “promotion and marketing services to promote the Airbnb platform in France”, specify the accounts. Airbnb Ireland recovers all commissions on rents and services paid in France. And he pays a simple marketing service to Airbnb France. It should be noted that this editing is perfectly legal, even if it may seem shocking.
Because there is a very clear decorrelation between the turnover declared in France and the turnover actually generated by the platform. In the same year 2020, Airbnb posted, for example, $ 3.6 billion in revenue worldwide, according to its latest annual results. It should be noted that, given the losses linked to the coronavirus crisis, the group had not paid any tax at the global level in 2020. But the year before, in 2019, the group had paid overall more than 260 million dollars in taxes and duties. That year, the taxes on profits paid by Airbnb France therefore weighed roughly less than 0.1% of all taxes and duties paid worldwide by Airbnb.
Paris in the top 10 cities for Airbnb
Airbnb does not publish precise details on the weight of its real activity in France. But we know that the Europe, Africa and Middle East (EMEA) zone weighed 30% of its revenues in 2020, according to the financial documents of the group, listed on the stock market since last December. And we know that out of this amount, the income generated in Paris and in the rest of France is significant. The French capital is also part of the top 10 cities in the world for Airbnb, as explained in the document sent to the American stock market policeman, the SEC, when he arrived on Wall Street.
“We comply with tax rules and pay all taxes due in the countries where we operate. Airbnb’s French office provides marketing services, and pays all applicable taxes, including VAT. Airbnb also pays of the French tax on digital services”, explains to BFM Business Airbnb.
The seasonal rental platform also insists on the implementation of the automatic collection of the tourist tax and its transfer to the cities. “For the year 2019 alone, we have thus collected and remitted to French municipalities more than 72 million euros in tourist tax”, insists Airbnb. In addition, the group has automatically transmitted user income to the French tax authorities since 2020.
Ongoing negotiations on a GAFA tax in the OECD
To compensate for tax arrangements such as the one put in place by Airbnb, the French government has in fact implemented a tax on digital services. Airbnb does not communicate for the moment the amount of GAFA tax paid to the tax authorities but confirms to BFM Business having paid it in 2019 and 2020.
About twenty companies contribute to this GAFA tax and it brought in the State 375 million euros last year, according to the latest activity report from the DGFip. This is not without annoying the US government in Washington, while negotiations are still underway for a global reform of the taxation of digital companies in OECD countries. The finalization of an agreement is expected for October.