Uber has filed a Federal Court challenge against the Australian Taxation Office claiming its UberX ridesharing drivers are being “unjustly” slammed with excess GST obligations.
The company lodged an application with the Federal Court accusing the ATO of unfairly targeting UberX drivers.
In a statement, the US car sharing app said: “To be very clear, we believe all our driver-partners should pay their appropriate share of tax and meet their tax obligations,
“However, we feel they have been unjustly singled out by the ATO for different tax treatment than truck drivers, bike messengers, Airbnb hosts or any other participant of the sharing economy.
“Over fifty jurisdictions around the world have recognised ride-sharing as a new model requiring updated regulations that reflect its unique attributes.
“The guidance by the ATO has tried to fit a new technology model from today into a 1990s regulatory framework that was written long before this technology ever existed.”
The Australian Taxi Industry Association (ATIA) chief executive Blair Davies said Uber’s actions are “yet another example of multi-billion-dollar companies wanting to make money in Australia but not pay local taxes.
“The ATO’s decision to make ride-hailing drivers register for GST simply treats them exactly the same as Australian taxi drivers, UberX drivers provide point-to-point passenger transport services for commercial reward, it’s just a form of taxi service.
“Having to charge GST for those services and remit that GST to the ATO doesn’t disadvantage uberX drivers compared to taxi drivers, it just treats them exactly the same.”