“We believe that we comply with current Italian VAT laws and we can confirm that we have joined a Mutual satisfaction agreement with the Agency of Revenue for the period 2013-2021“. So the Booking.com company he commented in a note the agreement reached with the Italian tax authorities to close this Tax dispute due to failure to submit sales tax returns from 2013 to 2021.
The online booking site paid 94 million euros to the state treasury.
The tax evasion was uncovered by the Chiavari financial police under the coordination of the Genoa public prosecutor’s office. The investigation revealed that Booking.com charged the online brokerage services to all “promoting” hoteliers/room owners without collecting the corresponding VAT and applying to all Italian customers the so-called reverse charge procedure, thereby imposing VAT on each customer The service is not owed by the supplier, but by the customer (in this case the hotelier or “room for rent”), but only if he is the holder of the corresponding VAT identification number.
The Yellow Flames discovered that Booking was using the reverse change system also towards advertisers without a VAT identification number: Booking failed to issue invoices with Italian VAT and to submit the annual VAT return for the years 2013 to 2021.
The Genoa public prosecutor’s investigation also developed thanks to the documents provided by the Dutch judicial authority, following a coordination meeting in October 2022 at Eurojust headquarters. Booking on the tax plan for 2022 has filed the VAT return in Italy for a tax of over 19 million euros, in accordance with the agency’s requirements. In addition, an organizational model has been introduced that complies with the Italian tax system, according to which Booking charges VAT if the hotel customer does not provide a VAT number or if he provides the company with a VAT number that is not valid for the EU 22% on of the invoice and completes the declaration and pays the tax in Italy for all transactions with private individuals who do not have a VAT number.