Taxing Uber taxis: The government new plan to muscle out ride sharing 38



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They’re around 40% cheaper than cabs, but that’s not the only reason why the government wants them gone.

They’re under increasing pressure from taxi operators to shut down the covert ride share app, as it’s affecting sales, not to mention some taxi drivers have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a taxi licence, whilst almost anyone can become an Uber driver.

But as more and more Australians become drivers and riders, it was clear that government intervention was needed. Now, Uber must pay GST – making all rides 10 per cent more expensive, effective from yesterday.

Last week the ATO ruled that UberX drivers must pay GST, but the ride-sharing app has other ideas, releasing a statement to their riders yesterday.

Sent from ‘David’, the General Manager of Uber’s Australian operation, the long email said that now Uber drivers are expected to pay tax despite truck drivers, bike couriers, and Airbnb hosts, not collecting GST until they reach $75,000 in turnover a year.

“To be very clear, Uber believes that all of its driver partners should pay their appropriate share of tax. However, we believe driver partners and riders are being unfairly singled out, and so Uber is challenging the ATO’s position in the Federal Court of Australia.

“In the meantime, given the additional costs that might be incurred by driver partners as a result of the ATO’s guidance, uberX prices are increasing today by approximately 10% in each Australian city where uberX is available.

“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. 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.
“We feel that the position taken by the ATO jeopardises this flexible income, harms job creation, and is guidance that should not have been issued while a comprehensive federal government tax review is underway.
“Remember, even with these changes, the efficiencies of ridesharing mean that uberX still remains on average 25-35% cheaper than a taxi across Australia”.
All this is on top of the fines that state governments are issuing, the undercover operations in place to stop Uber drivers.
It remains to be seen if Uber will in fact shut up shop for good in Australia, but we have a feeling they’re around for the long term.
Tell us, do you think that Uber should be left alone as it’s good for riders and drivers? Or should it abide by the taxi laws?

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  1. No I havent used one and I am sick and tired of the government muscleing in on our personal choices. On one hand they are encouraging small business and on the other they are limiting them.

  2. yes shut them down don’t be fooled as soon as they think they have all the business their prices will take a huge hike up. people will be begging for a legal taxi.

  3. Uber is owned by Corporate America every time you use one of these drivers who get paid peanuts you’re making banking giants richer please do the research for proof

  4. the person who wrote the article has no idea what he is talking about and neither do some people commenting…the prices are not going up …they are in fact going down as the have in the USA…and Uber takes 20% of the takings …then they pay expenses out of that… if they were only in Australia they would go broke…but they are world wide so have a huge turnover…

  5. Uber,, is not good as the last comment said uber take 20 percent,, and what about the taxi licience,s and cost

  6. Taxis have to pay GST on their whole earnings so why shouldn’t the Uber drivers? Has anyone any idea how little taxi drivers earn? My late ex husband ran a taxi for years and believe me it is not a high paying job.

  7. What is not fair is the unwelcome competition for the poor old cabbie who not only has to deal with government legislation, but has to service the bank loan on his licence which has cost him a fortune, having a well maintained up to date car and still has to give his driver a decent income because he cannot drive for 24 hours a day, but the cab has to run 24 hours a day to make it pay. Uber taxis are not providing income for the unempoyed – I would wager that most Uber drivers would still be taking the dole – all these bastards are doing is screwing with Legal drivers lives – get rid of them before they completely wreck our industry!

    2 REPLY
    • If I could ever get a taxi driver who could speak English and knew his way round the city and could drive safely I would hire one, however, I have not ever come across one in the last twenty years!!!!!!

      1 REPLY
      • Not only the problem of poor English, but also some then use this as an excuse to ‘take you for a ride’. A number of times, drivers with poor English skills have also taken me on a much longer route than necessary, even going past the place I am going to seemingly deliberately, so that they have to go around again. This is despite GPS. I think that if they pick up a fare from the airport, they just try and get away with it, as some people would not know the city.

    • I mist admit every time I got a cab in Sydney in the last couple of years they tended to be Indian, but could speak english.

  8. Uber is not the best idea in the world but neither is the good old taxicab, the prices are prohibitive like all things the govt dip their hands into the man on the street can no longer afford it

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