It was only a matter of time before the Australian Taxation Office caught up with Uber (or more accurately, its drivers). With the department now demanding GST be applied to the ride-sharing service’s fares, Uber has acquiesced somewhat by upping the price on its UberX trips by 10 per cent.
As The Age’s Jacob Saulwick writes, Uber believes upping the price of UberX is the best way to stop “driver partners and riders” from being “singled out”.
A statement from the company makes it clear drivers should be paying “their appropriate share of tax”, but has taken issue with the application of GST. As such, it’s “challenging the ATO’s position in the Federal Court of Australia”. That said, Uber’s Sydney blog recently posted GST guidance for drivers, put together with the aid of H&R Block.
The article also has word from David Rohrsheim, GM of Uber’s local presence, though it was addressed to riders rather than drivers:
“This is not a tax on Uber, but rather an additional tax on the thousands of everyday Australians who earn a flexible income by sharing rides on the Uber platform,” [said Rohrsheim] in an email to customers.
“It also means that drivers who share just a few rides each month may encounter unnecessary red tape, such as the filing of quarterly business activity statements with the ATO.”
So far, it seems only UberX is affected, but who knows how it’ll evolve once Uber’s legal forays are resolved.