Airbnb Wants to Pay Taxes in Costa Rica

The company's proposal states that in just two months it could start making tax payments, putting to the test the responsiveness of bureaucracy against the speed of the real economy.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Airbnb, one of the leading global companies that is taking advantage of the momentum that the technological revolution has provided to the collaborative economy, has now created a housing supply available for seasonal rental in Costa Rica which is equivalent to 18% of the supply of hotels. 

In an interview with, public policy director for Central Airbnb explained that the proposal is limited to the collection and transfer of sales tax, not income tax, because "... it is the responsibility of each host to file a tax return."

See: "11% of Tourists Prefer Houses to Hotels"

"... Currently, the hosts, who are the users for Airbnb, receive 97% of the total cost of the fee they charge, while the platform charges a 3% fee.  For now, public finances are not receiving income from the operation of this hosting system."

See: "Hotels are Losing War On Holiday Rentals". reports that "...If the government accepts the proposal, Airbnb will charge its users tax through the internet platform and allow the government to audit transactions to ensure the reliability of its statements. The change would take one or two months at the latest, according to the director of Airbnb."

The entrepreneurs in the national tourism sector, who have expressed their opposition to the lack of regulation of Airbnb, presented a proposal for hosts to pay 5% of their income to fund national parks.

More on this topic

Airbnb, Taxes and Tourism

February 2018

The company would be willing to charge the lodging tax in Panama if the restrictions on the rental of real estate for tourism purposes were eliminated, and if the data on property owners was protected.

These are the conditions that representatives of the property rental platform proposed to the Panamanian government to begin negotiating the possible collection of the 10% lodging tax, also paid by hotels, in order to formalize their operation in the country.

Airbnb Grows Sharply in Costa Rica

September 2017

As of July this year, 8 thousand people were registered on the web platform along with 14 thousand rooms available for rent in Costa Rica.

While authorities continue their efforts to consolidate the business by offering to the Ministry of Finance to charge sales tax for transactions made in Costa Rica, the number of Costa Rican rooms and residences available on the website continues to increase, as well as than the number of users within the country.

Airbnb to Pay Taxes in Panama

July 2017

The company has proposed to the government that a tax collection scheme be implemented for property owners that rent out rooms to tourists using its web platform.

Airbnb's idea is to establish a system similar to the one recently implemented in Puerto Rico, where the company signed an agreement with the government to collect taxes on rentals from homeowners. 

Hotels are Losing War On Holiday Rentals

October 2016

In Costa Rica the total amount of accommodation available for rent through the web platform Airbnb is now equivalent to 18% of the hotels in the country.

The figure has been confirmed by the union of hoteliers, who say there is now a total of 11,000 homes offering accommodation for tourism through Airbnb. On top of this data there are also residences rented to tourists through other platforms such as Homeaway or VRBO.

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