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HMRC could potentially take legal action against Airbnb

Airbnb has been warned that it could face legal proceedings after being contacted by HMRC over "tax laws or regulations impacting the company's business".

The company, which is also subject to tax inquiries and proceedings concerning its operations and intra-company transactions, has two UK entities - Airbnb UK, which markets and supports the business, and Airbnb Payments UK, which processes payments between Airbnb hosts and guests outside the US, China and India.

Last year, Airbnb UK paid tax of £146,059 on profits of £455,076 and a £14.2m turnover.

The company’s payments arm had a total turnover of £273.2m, but it only made a £1.2m profit and paid tax of £234,788.

A spokesperson for Airbnb UK commented: “We follow the rules and pay all the tax we owe in the places we do business. That is true as rules apply today and will remain true for whatever rules apply in future.

“The Airbnb model is unique and boosted the UK economy by £4.2bn last year alone. The vast majority of money generated on our platform stays with hosts and local communities, which makes Airbnb fundamentally different to companies that take large sums of money out of the places they do business. 

“As with many other companies, these are routine checks and we are working closely with HMRC.”

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