Airbnb Ireland UC (Airbnb) has announced that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has asked the firm for information about transactions done by the homestays in Kenya.
Airbnb Ireland is the data controller of the personal data of all users of Airbnb in Kenya.
According to a statement by the Irish company, KRA wants them to share a limited amount of data about historical transactions that happened on the Airbnb platform from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022.
“KRA has issued an exchange of information request to the Irish Tax Authority (Irish Revenue) seeking certain information on Kenya hosts, and Irish Revenue has formally requested Airbnb to share this information, which we are legally obliged to do,” read the statement in part.
“Irish Revenue will now be communicating to each Kenyan user, whose data is being shared, that their data is being sent to KRA under an exchange of information request,” added Airbnb.
“Your earnings on Airbnb are subject to Kenyan tax regulations. If you need to file a tax return, remember that you have a legal obligation to accurately report your earnings on Airbnb to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).”
Airbnb also said that the data will reveal the Kenyan hosts who rented out their houses through the platform and how much they earned from their customers who stayed in the homestays for their chosen period.
Airbnb hosts risk fines for not paying tourism levy
In October, the Tourism Fund, a state corporation that collects and manages the tourism levy, warned Airbnb hosts to register and pay the levy or face penalties.
The levy is a 2.0 per cent fee charged to all facilities that offer accommodation services to tourists or visitors in Kenya. The Fund said that out of 40,000 Airbnbs operating in Kenya, only 400 have registered with the government and complied with the levy.
The tourism levy is used to fund various tourism-related initiatives, such as marketing, training, research, infrastructure development, and quality assurance. The levy is collected by the government or local authorities and remitted to the fund by registered businesses in the tourism sector.