Australia levies 10% GST on Uber taxi drivers

Wed 20th May 2015

The Australian Tax Office has ruled that Uber drivers are classified as a taxi service, and therefore liable to Goods & Services Tax. This will require any driver earning any income for ride sharing to tax register, and charge 10% Australian GST on their rides.  They will report and pay the tax through filings with the ATO.

The ruling issued by the ATO was part of a wide ranging briefing on the ‘sharing economy’.  It will also extend the GST net to other peer-to-peer services like room renting.  Providers of such services will have to register for GST once their annual turnover exceeds AUS$ 75,000, which is the general threshold.  Ride-sharing will require immediate GST registration.

Uber has announced that it will challenge the ruling, which will affect almost 10,000 drivers. The tax rise in theory should be added on top of the drivers fee; however they may chose to absorb some or all of the charge to remain competitive. Uber drivers can still legitimately avoid some of the public liability insurance obligations of publically registered taxi drivers.

Uber charges them a 20% fee for their referral service.