A bulletin from the front line of short term tourist rental contracts. Keen readers will recall the new law introduced earlier this year, requiring agents and intermediaries to deduct 21% from rental sums received in relation to short-term bookings of properties in Italy. The sums were to be paid directly to the Agenzia as a payment on account of the tax due from the owner – where the owner used the cedolare secca system the early payment would represent all the tax due; where the income was to be taxed under the marginal rates there would be a difference to be settled. As reported, Airbnb was not impressed by the idea of being required to act as unpaid tax collector on behalf of the Italian State and launched two major actions: the first was an appeal to the regional tax tribunal (TAR). More recently they have also launched an action on the basis of Anti Trust, claiming that the law is anti-competitive. Both actions refer to the law as a violation of the right to provide services and claim that Airbnb is unfairly penalised in comparison to other sector operators. This last on the basis that Airbnb’s biggest rival, Booking. com, is unaffected as they do not collect monies on behalf of the owners. Both decisions are expected on 15th October, the day before the first round of the 21% tax withholdings is due: we will keep you informed.