Montreal man owes $62K in unpaid taxes for Airbnb rentals
Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:25PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 23, 2016 7:05PM EDT
Over four years, Dany Papineau claims he's made more than $200,000 renting properties with Airbnb.
"It changed my life so much, that I started telling everyone about Airbnb," Papineau told CTV Montreal.
The Montrealer, who has been dubbed "Quebec's King of Airbnb," even went as far as launching a website offering a crash course on how to profit from the home-sharing service.
"Everything I put in my course is stuff that I had lots of challenges with, so I thought, 'I'm going to give the recipe to the people," he said.
But as it turned out, it may have been a recipe for disaster. Papineau owes Revenue Quebec $62,000 in unpaid goods and services taxes, sales taxes and hotel taxes for hundreds of Airbnb rentals.
The charges are part of Quebec's crackdown on the increasingly popular website.
In December, the province passed Bill 67, which requires users of home-sharing services to obtain a classification certificate from the Ministry of Tourism and charge a lodging tax of 3.5 per cent, like hotels. It also increased the number of inspectors to enforce the new legislation.
Quebec's Minister of Tourism, Julie Boulet, says that Airbnb users like Papineau are cheating the system and should be held accountable.
But Papineau says Airbnb collects the payments, so it should foot the tax bill.
He wants the province and the City of Montreal to create regulations similar to other cities around the world where Airbnb is responsible for collecting a tourist tax that is passed on to local authorities.
"(Paris has) collected €1.3 million ($1.9 million) in three months on the platform. Paris understands," said Papineau.
"The government needs to wake up, sit down with them and put their rules on the table."
Papineau calls himself a pioneer and is now fighting his tax bill in court.
With a report from CTV Montreal Annie Demelt