Victoria’s Airbnb landlords shared in a whopping $383.6 million in bookings across 2018.
New figures released by the short-term stay platform reveal the state’s more than 41,000 listings — which include people renting out a single bedroom in their own home — made an average $7600 across the past year.
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It comes after a Treasury paper released this week called for the nation’s share economy — from Airbnb to Uber drivers — to be subject to a new tax reporting regime.
Airbnb Australia country manager Sam McDonagh equated the earnings with an effective pay rise for those using it.
“That’s $380 million more in income to pay the bills, to pay the mortgage or to pay for the family holiday,” Mr McDonagh said.
“The typical Airbnb host in Victoria earned an extra $7600 a year and $140 a week in income, the equivalent of a 9 per cent pay rise.”
The Treasury paper, released on Wednesday, suggested platforms such as Airbnb should follow suit with banks and report income data to the Australian Taxation Office.
An ATO spokesman said since 2018, the government had been data-matching online rental platform listings against previous rental information and financial institutions’ data as a next-best method of catching tax dodgers.
“We are aware that some taxpayers who rent out their property fail to report all their income or claim deductions that they are not entitled to,” the spokesman said.
At present, up to 97 cents in the dollar collected by Airbnb operators goes into their pocket, though they are responsible for ensuring tax is paid correctly.
“Airbnb will consider the paper and looks forward to working with Treasury throughout the consultation process,” an Airbnb spokesman said.
Further figures from Airbnb show 2.1 million people booked accommodation in Victoria via the platform, with the average listing rented for 37 days in the year.
Tourism Accommodation Australia Victorian general manager Dougal Hollis said Melbourne was about to see a surge in new hotel rooms, with 4500 under construction set to add an extra 20 per cent to the roughly 22,500 already operating in the CBD.
Another 3000 have been proposed.