Form 179 only has to be filed by those who actually act as intermediaries in the supply of leased vacation properties
Directorate General for Taxes. Ruling V3083-18, of November 28, 2018
Since 2018 any individuals and entities acting as intermediaries between the suppliers and recipients of properties for tourism use have been required to file form 179, “Quarterly information return on the supply of properties for tourism use”. The intermediaries include collaborative platforms. The only exception to the quarterly filing obligation is that the first return must be filed in January 2019, in relation to the transactions performed in 2018.
This ruling request concerned the case of an owner who leased a property to a property manager in exchange for a monthly charge for it to be subleased later to tourists. This subleasing to tourists was done with the manager’s resources at his own risk and at a price determined by the manager, without the owner’s participation or knowledge.
In relation to this case, the DGT clarified, firstly, that:
The definition of “intermediary”, in the absence of statutory provisions, is that obtained from the case law of the Supreme Court (civil chamber). Specifically, an intermediary is someone who brings their customer into contact with another person for both to conclude a contract, in exchange for a price that is only received if the promoted contract is concluded.
According to this definition, form 179 must be filed by an intermediary receiving remuneration for achieving a result consisting in an actual contract taking place between supplier and recipient of a property for tourism use.
In the specific case examined:
The manager, as owner of a simple sublease right (by paying to the owner a fixed sum regardless of whether or not the manager places the property with tourists), becomes supplier of the properties for tourism use, and therefore may not be deemed an intermediary. As a result, the manager falls outside the scope of the information obligation. This conclusion is not altered if the manager subleases the property through an online platform on which it searches for tourists to whom to sublease the property.
If the online platform receives its remuneration for actually entering into the supply of properties for tourism use between the manager and the tourists, it will be considered to act as intermediary and must file form 179. This will not apply if the platform simply carries out digital accommodation tasks to advertise properties for tourism use without acting as intermediary between supplier and recipient.
The manager, as supplier of properties for tourism use, even if it is not required to file form 179, will be required to:
a. Keep a copy of the identification documents of the beneficiaries of the right to use the property.
b. Provide the person required to file the form with the particulars of the property and of the manager itself.