Airbnb’s UK Tax Strategy
Airbnb (“the Group”) complies with tax laws and practices in all of the territories in which we operate, including the UK. Compliance for us means paying the correct amount of tax at the right time and involves disclosing all relevant facts and circumstances to the tax authorities and claiming reliefs and incentives, in the manner intended, where available.
Airbnb is committed to partnering with governments in the jurisdictions our hosts and guests call home to ensure the fair collection of taxes.
We also manage our own global tax obligations (including, corporate income tax, VAT, GST, sales and use taxes, and other taxes) in accordance with the rules of the jurisdictions and countries in which we operate.
Approach to tax risk management and governance arrangements
This UK tax strategy is approved and owned by the Tax Team which is overseen by senior executives including the Global Head of Tax.
The senior executive team including Airbnb’s Global Head of Tax takes the lead in establishing a strong tax risk management culture and is responsible for the Group’s tax affairs and oversight of tax risk which, in turn, is overseen by the Board. The tax risk and governance arrangements ensure that all significant tax related decisions are subject to review and approval by appropriately qualified and experienced staff, that all tax obligations are met and external advice is sought where necessary.
Commitment to compliance
We comply with tax law and practice in all of the territories in which we operate.
Our purpose is to create value on a sustainable basis by supporting our businesses in ensuring their commercial activities are organized, utilizing available reliefs, and ensuring compliance with all tax law and practice in all the territories in which we operate. In doing so, we take into account the interest of our stakeholders, and ensure effective interaction with tax authorities and transparency in relation to our tax affairs. Our tax compliance obligations are subject to a robust risk control framework that protects the Group from financial, operational and reputational risk.
In the UK, for example, we have set up a Responsible Hosting page, where hosts are informed about local rules and regulations including the tax consequences of their hosting income.
Attitude toward tax planning
Our attitude towards tax planning in the UK is governed by Airbnb’s Tax principles which are:
- Airbnb abides by all laws globally and pays the taxes for which we are liable.
- Airbnb carefully considers tax implications of its business activities and manages its tax obligations as part of normal business operations.
- Airbnb does not enter into artificial or abusive arrangements in order to reduce our liability to UK taxes. Our tax positions and reporting reflect the business activities undertaken in the UK.
- Airbnb is committed to ensuring that we pay the correct amount of tax in each country in which we operate.
Level of tax risk accepted
Given the scale of our business and volume of tax obligations, risks will inevitably arise from time to time in relation to the interpretation of tax law and nature of our compliance arrangements. We proactively seek to identify, evaluate, manage and monitor tax risks to ensure they remain in line with the Group’s risk management principles.
The Group takes the view that tax risk can be financial, reputational and operational in nature. We see tax compliance as key to managing tax risk and adopt a low risk appetite to tax risk.
Approach to dealing with tax authorities
We engage with tax authorities, including HMRC, with honesty, integrity, respect and fairness and in a spirit of co-operative compliance.
Our aim is to have professional and constructive relationships and maintain transparent disclosure in our relationship with tax authorities, recognising that early resolution of risks is in everyone’s best interests. We make our tax returns as clear as possible and we try to raise important issues proactively so that tax authorities can focus their resources effectively. From time to time, we may engage with tax authorities in advance of undertaking transactions to confirm the correct application of tax law.
The Group values having good relations with tax authorities and is committed to transparency and working cooperatively with tax authorities. The Group seeks to achieve this aim through:
- The submission of all tax returns on a timely basis, including sufficient detail to enable HMRC and other tax authorities to form an accurate view of the affairs of the company filing the return;
- Ensuring all tax filing positions are supported with appropriate documentary evidence including adequate supporting audit trails and sign-off processes;
- The accurate computation and payment of taxes due;
- Maintaining tax accounting arrangements which are robust and accurate and comply with the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) provisions in the UK; and
- Ensuring that the relevant compliance teams who are involved in the monitoring of the tax processes are both adequately resourced, supported and that key personnel are retained in order to manage tax compliance issues on a timely basis.
This tax strategy document is published in compliance with section 161 and section 19(2) of schedule 19 Finance Act 2016.