Home » Business essentials » Tax updates » You can call it UBER, ride-sharing or ride- sourcing but the ATO deems it taxi travel and it is on their radar

You can call it UBER, ride-sharing or ride- sourcing but the ATO deems it taxi travel and it is on their radar

The ATO has announced that it will be undertaking ride-sourcing data matching programs.

What does it mean for you?

In short, the ATO will receive information from your bank to check that you declare all the income and/ or GST.

It is estimated that up to 74,000 individuals (‘ride sourcing drivers’) offer, or have offered, this service.

The ATO will request details of all payments made to ride sourcing providers from accounts held by a ride sourcing facilitator’s financial institution for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years, and match the data provided against their records.

This will identify ride sourcing drivers that may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgement and/or payment obligations.

Where the ATO is unable to match a driver’s details against ATO records, it will obtain further information from the financial institution where the driver’s account is held.

You can obtain more information in ATO data matching protocol.

What do you need to do?

The ATO deems ride-sourcing services to be “taxi travel” for the purposes of the GST law. This is because a car is made available for public hire and is used to transport passengers for a fee.

This means that no matter your turnover, you need to:

  • have an ABN
  • be registered for GST
  • pay GST on the full fare received from passengers
  • lodge activity statements
  • include income from ride sourcing in your income tax return
  • keep record of your deductions to reduce the income above

While the above has been disputed over the last couple of years, on 17 February 2017 the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision that ride-sourcing is in fact taxi travel. The Court’s judgment (Uber B.V. v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCA 110) is available on the Federal Court of Australia’s websiteExternal Link.

More information can also be found on the ATO website ATO website

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