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Airbnb Agrees to Give N.Y. Host Information in Tax Probe


BusinessWeek reported today on the agreement reached between Airbnb and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Christie Smythe reached out to Brian Solis for his take on the deal. Following is a synopsis including Brian’s thoughts on the subject…

Airbnb Inc., the short-term home rental service for travelers, agreed to comply with a New York state probe of it and hosts who may be violating state occupancy and tax regulations.

The San Francisco-based company, which charges a transaction fee to list a couch, bedroom or house available for short-term rental, will hand over information about its New York hosts on an anonymous basis, according to the accord. It agreed to furnish identifying details later for people deemed to be subjects of the probe.

The agreement will allow Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office to move forward with an investigation of what he describes as illegal hotels, accommodations that violate a state law generally prohibiting spot rentals of entire homes. People who rent out rooms rather than entire dwellings aren’t a target of the probe, Schneiderman said in a phone interview.

“It buys New York a year to examine Airbnb data and find patterns for egregious law breaking,” said Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a San Mateo, California-based research firm focused on disruptive technology. Airbnb gets a year “to use New York as benchmark on how to improve its regulatory compliance, improve service for legitimate renters and better lobby on how to change the law.”

Click here to read the full article.

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