Italy’s Finance Police has made it clear over the years that they will always get their money if you want to do business there. Unfortunately, three people who worked for Airbnb didn’t take that seriously and are now under investigation for failing to pay taxes on €3.7 billion in income earned in Italy. Had they paid the 21%, the company wouldn’t have had €779 million ($835 million) seized.
Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty expressed rage at the November 6th announcement. “We are surprised and disappointed at the action announced by the Italian public prosecutor on Monday. We are confident that we have acted in full compliance with the law and intend to exercise our rights with respect to this issue.”
While Italy and other European nations have historically been flexible with the situation, the 2019 probe into Netflix for their actions in intentionally failing to file a tax return. These actions have cost these nations trillions of taxes over the years, and they have had enough of it. Shockingly, even liberal darlings Meta have been on the hook with Milan prosecutors too.
With over €870 million in unpaid value-added taxes as of last February, they are holding up a massive chunk of money for Italy. It’s also the principle of the matter. When Airbnb and Meta officials and C-suite level employees aren’t losing out on bonuses or perks for the year, it’s hard to have any sympathy for them being asked to pay their taxes. Especially when they have employees who purposefully ignore the law.
Good on them to hold these liberal companies to the standard. Here in the US, they’d just pay a Democrat to get them off the hook.