There’s an old Frank Sinatra song that says “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”. As a Chartered Accountant, I like to change this up a bit and turn it into “if they do it there, they can do it here”. Something they’re currently doing over there (Denmark, in this case) and which I strongly suspect will soon start happening here, is Airbnb giving the IRD full details of your Airbnb earnings.
The platforms are already in place here and the banks have been doing it for ‘yonks’. Banks readily give the IRD full details of your interest and RWT deductions without you even knowing it. Typically the information sharing goes the other way with the IRD having the ability to give your details to some government agencies including Statistics New Zealand. On top of this, there’s been an incredible amount of activity in the area of overseas reporting obligations lately which is basically a way of sharing your information between countries. America is particularly hot on this right now with the Common Reporting Standard coming into effect and although this may seem like something that couldn’t possibly effect you, you may well get caught if you’re an unsuspecting beneficiary of a family trust (even a discretionary one).
Thankfully, the IRD gives relatively clear direction on how to return your Airbnb income so it shouldn’t hurt too much unless you’ve somehow fallen into something incredibly complex like the GST regime or if you need to ‘fess up’ to the IRD through the Voluntary Disclosure process.
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