Thursday, April 19, 2018

Airbnb and to be Taxed in Morocco

According to the US site Bloomberg, Airbnb and will be taxed in Morocco from 2019. It is seen as a victory for Moroccan hoteliers and travel agencies, and will result in a possible price increase for users of both booking platforms

The new tax, effective in 2019, is expected to delight professionals in the Moroccan tourism sector who have been denouncing the lack of tax fairness for several months.

According to Medhi Taleb, central director in charge of regulation, quality and development at the Ministry of Tourism, quoted in the article of our colleagues, "undercover inspectors will work in collaboration with officials of the Ministry of Tourism as well as responsible for the tax authorities to ensure the application of this measure".

According to the same source, the authorities will also help Moroccan online travel platforms to offer attractive offers to strengthen their presence on international sites such as Booking.

A tax that has proven itself in Europe

With the implementation of this new measure, Morocco will join the list of countries that apply taxes to such platforms. A list that already includes France, Spain, Germany or the United States.

In large cities in France for example, where the number of nights is limited to 120, professionals who provide a booking service or rental of accommodation online are subject to the tourist tax. For the year 2017, Airbnb will for example pay €13.5 million to local authorities in France.

On December 8, the French National Assembly decided that from January 1, 2019, municipalities may increase the tourist tax on this type of accommodation.

Such a tax should, eventually, bring money back to the Moroccan state, as 60% of the 10 million tourists who arrive in Morocco plan their trips on the Internet.

But, as in France, the collection of this tax will inevitably have repercussions on the users. The site of Airbnb states: " In the cities or regions where Airbnb has agreements with local authorities, Airbnb calculates the applicable local taxes and removes them from travellers at the time of Airbnb then pays the collected taxes to the relevant tax authorities on behalf of the hosts ".

The tax is welcomed by hoteliers and travel agencies in Morocco who have denounced the present situation as unfair competition. For Samir Kheldouni, CEO of Chorus Consulting, specialising in supporting tourism investors, this tax is a victory.

" Airbnb is an indispensable tourist actor in Morocco, but it is perfectly normal that it be taxed in the same way as the conventional hotel business.This situation of unfair competition was no longer acceptable, " he says.


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