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George Osborne gives Airbnb users a break

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George Osborne has unveiled new measures to help 'micro-entrepreneurs' as part of this year's budget, and Airbnb users have reason to celebrate.

While fans of sugary drinks are likely despairing over the new sugar tax, users of Airbnb have been thrown a lifeline in the form of a tax-free allowance.

Airbnb hosts can now earn an extra £1,000 tax-free income by sharing their homes through the site.

The California-based company welcomed the news in a blog post: "This is good news for the growing number of Airbnb hosts in the UK who are sharing their homes, earning a little extra money to pay the bills and bringing new economic benefits to their communities.

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"We applaud the government for supporting hosts and progressive business models across the country; their leadership on this important issue is an example to the world."

The measure is part of Mr Osborne's efforts to help small businesses compete with larger organisations in the digital age.

Speaking at the annual budget statement, the Chancellor said: "We’re going to help the new world of micro-entrepreneurs who sell services online or rent out their homes through the internet.

"There will be no forms to fill in, no tax to pay – it’s a tax break for the digital age and at least half a million people will benefit."

Airbnb says the UK sharing economy is currently worth £500 million and is expected to increase to £9 billion by 2025.

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