Mexico will collect taxes from the Airbnb
Those in charge of national tourism have announced several initiatives to encourage travel within the country and also a series of proposals so that the population of limited resources can travel free to popular destinations on the Mexican map such as beaches or large cities.
Within the shown by the secretary, Miguel Torruco is also a controversial decision. The government obradorista enlists taxes for the service Airbnb, a famous application that stimulates the lodging in houses or rooms of citizens of several nations of the world. In a country like this, the service has been tremendously popular, so traditional hotel services had already complained that the service does not pay taxes.
Torruco said that tax will be charged for hosting this platform, something that Airbnb users fear may increase costs. Figures from El Financiero indicate that this alternative hosting application added more than 26,000 million pesos in 2018. With this, we can speak of a titanic company that undoubtedly sucks resources from the traditional hotel industry.
But the tourist secretary has set a certain preference when announcing this tax. He assured that this mandatory tax will be charged to "avoid the extra-hotel offer", which shows his position in favour of the hotel sector (without considering the imminent importance of these alternative services and their impact on Mexican users). The truth is that companies like Facebook or Google, in addition to Airbnb, do not pay a single peso of tax in the country (something to which they should be legally bound).
Airbnb was called "an unfair way" to promote hotel services, so this tax would have to order the way in which they have operated freely in the country without being accountable to the Mexican tax system. Nations such as Argentina, the United States and others are already forcing Airbnb to pay its taxes. But Torruco made it clear that they seek to prevent this service from being consumed, by comparing it with other offers.
The truth is that it was not clear how much they will have to pay the SAT, but it is inevitable that taxes are a reality. The same has been suggested for companies such as Uber, Cabify and others that are gaining popularity among Mexicans. A few months ago, a morenista deputy presented that he is working on an initiative for Netflix to pay taxes in the country, something that he already does in certain nations of the European Union. But users fear that these taxes impact the final charges of each service.
Airbnb has not positioned itself in this regard, but this tax can hit squarely on its juicy annual profits. Mexico has quickly become a consumer country of these alternative platforms: they are the most addicted to Netflix, they consume Uber before traditional taxis and they stay on Airbnb with much more preferable than the common hotels.
This tax could be the first step of the Mexican government to force these foreign companies to comply with tax obligations, like any national company.