In an interview granted to national newspaper La Nación, Shawn Sullivan, director or public policies of AirBnB for Central America confirmed that the company is more than willing to pay taxes in Costa Rica, in fact they presented the proposal to the Tax Authorities back in August 2016 but they have not yet received a response.
¨The Government is losing money every day that goes by, and does not accept our offer, which consists in paying the same percentage tax that formal hotels charge their clients¨.
¨The problem the government has, and it happens in many other places, is that they want to have information on the clients offering/using the service, we understand that´s important for security reasons, but we are an American company regulated by North American laws and we cannot give out that information unless it is requested by the police or authorities in a very specific case. The solution we are offering is the possibility of auditing our reports so they can verify that the amount collected in taxes is the same as the amount paid in taxes¨ explained Sullivan.
In 2016, 228 thousand tourists stayed in rented houses and apartments in Costa Rica using the AirBnB system.
Hoteliers in Costa Rica have stated in the past that AirBnB should also be paying income tax, and AirBnB considers they are not subject to paying this tax since they are only a digital platform.
AirBnB continues to show growth year after year at a rate of approximately 10%-15% . AirBnB charges a 3% commission as a platform service.
According to Sullivan, Costa Rica is the most important destination in Central America for AirBnB, followed by Panama and Guatemala.