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Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Sharing: It's Taxing

26 February 2016

Letting out your spare room?  Guess who’s sleeping in your bed.  Yes, the man from the tax office, taking his half a dollar.

Back in August, stories started circulating that tax authorities were considering a major crackdown on things like room letting and garden tool hire.  Some people never learn though.

Our old friend, the shy, retiring, introverted rap singer, 50 Cent, has got himself a little piece of the sharing economy action, but he obviously missed that edition of the Telegraph.  Maybe that’s why the bankruptcy judge who heard his case last year, has called him back to court to explain why he flashed a selfie of himself in what appeared to be a cauldron full of cash.  Well, they say if you’ve got it, flaunt it.  Maybe that means brains, not cash.

We’re not ones for moralising at Springfords, so we’ll just ask the obvious question: where did the cash come from?

Well, it seems that Mr Cent may have found a way to avoid a spot of bankruptcy with a little bit of share and share alike.  You know the sort of thing:  hire out your hedge trimmer.  Capitalise on commuters, pennies for parking on your driveway.  Cash in on your spare room - or in 50 Cent’s case - cash in on your spare spare spare spare spare room.

All getting to be a bit businesslike for a rapper all wrapped up in a world of bankruptcy law?  No problem.  Just make it an informal thing. An occasional overnight for occasional overnighters. All as easy as banging out your hip hop break beats on a biscuit tin.  Post your bed for the night on airbnb.com, flipkey.com, Roomorama.com or many more.

Hopefully you’ll make a profit.  Hopefully you’ll not be a dumb rapper, and pose for pictures with the proceeds, while undergoing a bankruptcy hearing.  That wouldn’t please the judge, nor might it please your sharing site of choice either.

One overnight site has been turfing would-be sharers out of bed, as it were, for reasons that they may not be willing to share.  The BBC recently reported that Airbnb was dumping hosts on a whim or whims, we don’t know which.

It may or may not have anything to do with the Australian family who booked into a private property advertised on one of those inflatable websites.  They got even more action than they expected from the lively, city centre location.  The police raided the property shortly after they arrived, uncovering a drug lab in full swing.  Well, these Antipodeans are quite tolerant, but you wonder what sort of drug-addled idiot sets up a meth lab in the back room and then, breaking really really bad indeed, advertises the front room for guests.

Anyway, enough about 50 Cent and his tenuous grasp on the economic implications of selfies of your stash.

We already said we don’t moralise, so we’ll jump to the pragmatic side of things.  In the world of share and internet share alike, the sands shift faster than the drugs squad on high alert. 
It always makes sense to make the most of your assets.  Remember though, whether you’re renting out your ride, or cooking up a supper club – there’s still tax implications to consider.  No matter if you freelance or sign up to a multi-national website, it’s still income and outgoings - so don’t forget to share your plans with us. 

We’ll do our best to see you don’t end up like a ruinous rapper, cussing your way through a rhyming couplet.  We’ll share our experience, and send you off singing a hap-hap-happy song - and that’s a wrap.


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springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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