Airbnb: Cuban design, Cuban disclosure

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“Our new Sydney office captures what we value as a company: creativity, travel, and thoughtful design,” said Airbnb Australia country manager Sam McDonagh in a media blitz last year.

The same could be said of Airbnb’s tax avoidance: creative, thoughtfully-designed and prone to travel.

Though this multinational company is so furtive that it is impossible to see how its tax obligations in Australia are travelling, or where they are travelling, as Airbnb doesn’t appear to lodge financial statements.

When asked in May where its financial statements were, and whether they had an exemption from the corporate regulator from filing, they merely ignored the questions.

When it comes to spruiking their groovy new digs in Surry Hills, Airbnb and its PR people are everywhere with their glossy pics of the new HQ and its hip design. But when it comes to a simple question about where their financial statements are, Airbnb and its PR firm, N2N Communications, duck for cover.

We asked the folk at N2N what N2N stood for. They didn’t know. Apparently it doesn’t stand for anything, which is hardly atypical of PR companies but we will keep at them anyway in our quest for a straight answer to a simple question.

“From the wilds of a Swedish archipelago to the quirky flair of a Cuban casa, the staff at Airbnb can travel the world in just a few metres thanks to the unique design of their new Sydney HQ,” said one syrupy news story last year.

When it comes to financial disclosures too, Airbnb adheres to Cuban standards.

Communications: the art of not communicating