Uber in Australia

The ‘Ride-sharing’ service UberX in Australia..

A News article on March 24, 2015 stated: ‘The NSW Transport Department has begun taking UberX drivers to court for breaking the law that requires drivers and cars to be licensed.
It’s also illegal in South Australia and Queensland, while there are signals that things may change in Victoria and Western Australia.

On 30th March 2016 another news article at the Telegraph stated: ‘While UberX has been legalised in NSW, Western Australia and the ACT, it remains illegal in other states and territories.

Uber in Queensland.

The Sydney Morning Herald on 20th January 2016 discussed a Brisbane-based Uber driver who prefers not to share her last name for privacy reasons, about how she makes her Uber business a success.

Uber itself though advises that Uber is available in Brisbane:

‘Drive with Uber in Brisbane

Earn money on your own terms. Full-time and part-time driving opportunities for independent contractors in Brisbane give you the flexibility to work as much or as little as you want.’

A Brisbane Times report on 9th November 2015 states:

Infringement notices issued to Uber drivers, which can be up to $1,707 for operating a taxi service without authorisation, are yet to be challenged in the Queensland courts.
Queensland netted more than $1.7 million in fines to Uber drivers last year.
A bill introduced by the Katter Party, which would see drivers caught driving for Uber three times lose their licence is being reviewed by a Parliamentary Committee, which is due to report back by March next year (2016).

Uber has systems in place to block calls from known Department of Transport and Main Roads inspectors so they cannot easily catch Uber drivers.

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What a UBER driver needs:.

Be at least 21 years old, have a clean driving record, and must pass a background check.
Have a car in great condition and has at least 4-doors.
Have an iPhone 4s or newer, Android 2013 or newer.

Taxi Driver or Uber Driver.

A taxi driver needs to meet Queensland Government requirements to obtain a driver authorisation or operator accreditation.
An Uber driver needs a normal driver licence

Why UberX and not Uber ?.

www.uber.com.au is a webhosting company in Australia

www.uber.com is an American online transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California

Uber to pay $10m in lawsuit.

Uber will pay more than $10m to settle a lawsuit claiming it did not do enough to screen the criminal backgrounds of its drivers.

The ride-hailing app-maker will now open its pocketbook to end legal action brought by prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2014. It was alleged that Uber drivers were not subject to the same background checks given to commercial taxi drivers and therefore posed a danger to the public.


Uber drivers required to register for an ABN and GST.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released advice on the tax consequences of travel through ride-sourcing (also known as ride-sharing or ride-hailing), provided as part of the ??sharing economy’.

People who provide ride-sourcing services, through companies such as Uber, are providing ??taxi travel’ under the GST law. The existing tax law applies and drivers are required to register for GST regardless of their turnover.

Affected drivers must register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), GST, charge GST on the full fare, lodge business activity statements and report the income in their tax returns.

Current drivers that don’t have an ABN and are not registered for GST can easily apply online at abr.gov.au.

Recognising that some taxpayers may need to take some corrective actions, the ATO is allowing drivers until 1 August 2015 to get an ABN and register for GST.

For more detailed information on the sharing economy and tax requirements for ride-sourcing, visit www.ato.gov.au/sharingeconomy


Taxation on Uber Drivers Income.

Last year 2015, Uber was dragged kicking and screaming to its GST obligations, and the tax office warned its 20,000 drivers to declare their incomes or be audited and penalised before it launches its data matching offensive.

The ATO also reportedly wrote to about 15,000 ride-sharing drivers in December 2015 after comparing bank payments made by Uber with drivers’ tax returns.

From Uber:

The ATO has now issued guidance that people who provide ridesharing services like uberX and are who are carrying on an enterprise must register for GST by 1 August 2015.

Normally small businesses do not need to register for GST until their turnover reaches $75,000 per annum but the ATO has taken a different approach to ridesharing. The ATO believes that suppliers of ridesharing services must register and pay GST from the first dollar of turnover.

From the ATO:

For taxi drivers, including chauffeur driven limousines and hire cars, there is no registration turnover threshold. This means that anyone who carries on an enterprise of driving a taxi, chauffeur driven limousine or hire car, must register for GST.

This ruling for Taxi services is also being applied to Uber drivers, as they provide the same service.

Uber Rejected ATO Offer to help.

Senior tax office officials offered controversial ride-sharing network company Uber a compromise deal that would have exempted casual drivers for its low-cost UberX service from having to charge GST, ATO documents show.

However, the proposal appears to have been rejected by Uber… more

What happens if I do not register for GST?.

If you are a taxi driver (a person who uses a vehicle to transport people for reward), you are required to register for GST.
If you do not, the Commissioner can register you and backdate your registration. You can also be subject to an administrative penalty for Failure to Register.
The Commissioner is also able to make an assessment of your net GST amount for a tax period.

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