Booking.com is suspected of tax fraud in Italy. According to the Public Prosecutors Office in Genoa, the booking platform did not pay €153 million in VAT between 2013 and 2019.
The suspected fraud came to light in 2018 during an investigation by the Italian tax investigation department of bed-and-breakfast owners in the Genoa area. This showed that the company was abusing VAT regulations. The result was that no VAT was paid at all, neither in Italy nor in the Netherlands, where the head office is located.
On further investigation, it turned out to be almost 900,000 transactions, with a total value of 700 million euros, writes the Italian news agency Ansa.
Booking.com informs DeccEit that the owners of properties are responsible for assessing and determining local VAT and paying it to their government.
It confirms that there is an investigation in progress and says that it will discuss the matter with the Italian tax authorities.
Repayment of wage support
Last month, the company went into disarray in the Netherlands, because it wanted to pay out €28 million in bonuses to three top directors. The House of Representatives was furious about the fact that the company had received EUR 65 million in wage support because of the coronapandemic.
Last week, the company announced that the 65 million will be repaid. “We have closely followed the debate in Dutch society over the past few days, take this very seriously, and have an eye for the sensitivity of this subject,” the company said.