Online property portals obliged to inform upon landlords and lets

The Spanish tax authority Hacienda will require all online property rental portals to provide exact details upon landlords and income as from July 2018.

The measure, announced in the strategic Tax Plan for 2018, will force companies such as AirBnB, Homeaway, Wumdu or Niumba, amongst others, to hand over to tax inspectors the personal details of landlords and how much income they are earning. Even lets that have no declared price will have to be handed over.

This move comes shortly after Hacienda announced plans to order online marketplaces such as Ebay or to hand over details of online sellers so that the tax authority can crosslink profits made from online sales with personal income tax declarations.

All companies and individuals that act as intermediaries between landlords and renters will be obliged to sign up to the code of practice.

Hacienda will initially concentrate their efforts upon online platforms, but have not ruled out extending the new regime to offline agencies in the future.

The information which Hacienda is demanding is divided into two sections, upon the landlord and the renter:

  • The owner of the property must be identified, along with the cadastral reference of the home, which will allow Hacienda to cross-link the property owner with regional tourism registers.
  • The renters must be identified, along with the number of days they used the property and the price that they paid or negotiated.

Since 2015 Hacienda has been warning tax payers that if they let out their property they must pay tax on the income. It was in this year that Hacienda identified the tourism rental market as one of its principle battlegrounds in the fight against tax evasion.

According to government figures, last year 21,500 tax payers were issued with a warning that Hacienda had discovered they were illegally letting out their properties and given a chance to regularise their tax situation before being investigated.

From next year it is expected that this warning period will end and Hacienda will move to directly fine landlords who have not declared upon their income.

Short-term landlords are obliged to identify their tenants with the Guardia Civil and keep their personal ID. They must also comply with regional tourism laws regulating the letting out of property to tourists. Click here for our free guide on how to register your Andalusian property for short term lets.

If you have or are planning to let out your property, it is no longer worth taking the risk of not registering with the authorities. Cervantes Alarcon Consulting can register your property and set you up to start declaring the income. We do not act as letting agents – we are accountants and tourism specialists who get you up and running as smoothly as possible, and ensure your venture continues to function efficiently.

Contact us for more details.

Maria Luisa

María Luisa Cervantes is a chartered accountant who graduated from the University of Granada in 2002. Founder of Cervantes Alarcón Consulting, she is an experienced accountant and financial advisor who is a member of the Almería guild of economists. With more than 15 years of experience in business administration and international trade, she is also a subject matter expert in the UK - Spanish bilateral agreements which cover the rights of expats to live, work and retire in Spain.