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Airbnb, Others Pay Out Billions Beneath IRS’s Radar, Study Finds

  • Peer-to-peer firms generate estimated $15 billion in revenues
  • U.S. already loses about $194 billion from underreporting

The IRS has been so slow to adapt to the rapidly emerging peer-to-peer economy that billions of dollars in taxable income a year are probably going unreported every year, according to a study being delivered to Congress this week.

More than 2.5 million Americans earned income via on-demand platforms like Airbnb Inc., Etsy Inc. and Lyft Inc. in 2014, and the companies generated an estimated $15 billion in revenues. But the companies don’t withhold taxes on the income they pay to people who provide services or sell items via their platforms.