Taxing Sharing: France's latest digital economy tax targets Airbnb, Blablacar & others

Taxing Sharing: France's latest digital economy tax targets Airbnb, Blablacar & others

Making a bit of money renting your room out on weekends? Filling the extra seats of your car to cover gas costs when you go visit your parents? The French government might start getting their share of the pie, as France’s Senate proposed this week. For people making more than 5,000€ per year off of sites like Blablacar, Airbnb, Drivy or even Craigslist & LeBonCoin, the French government wants to set up an automatic system whereby revenue generated by users would be tracked and eventually taxed.According to the French Senator Albéric de Montgolfier, who worked on a report published Thursday, the tax may only touch 10% of users on platforms like Drivy & Blablacar, where revenue’s are either too small per trip or too infrequent given the number of users today; however, with Airbnb’s average annual revenue for hosts coming in at 3,600€, and Paris being one of Airbnb’s biggest international cities, this would be yet another nail in the Airbnb coffin, after the new ‘tourist tax’ which came out earlier this month.
Time will tell how this system takes form, and what kind of implications it has for the Sharing Economy in France; however, this might pop the bubble that is the Sharing Economy in Paris. I wrote only last week that you can’t say “Sharing Economy” without talking about France, because of all the local players who are global leaders, as well as the success of International players in Paris with respect to the rest of the global market – the Sharing Economy works well in France. Right now, the Senate seems to be looking to 1) add new complications in the technical infrastructure of how these sites operate, and 2) looking to tax revenue from people who are often than not paying off some other cost (apartment, car, etc.) with said money.
This is what happens when you raise $200 Million, Blablacar – the government comes looking for their cut.