The taxi industry aren’t good at GST so why are they lobbying over Uber?

The SMH online has this article which says “Uber drivers will be liable to pay GST on every dollar they earn from August, after the Australian Taxation Office recently advised they are legally classified as providing taxi travel.”

An article in the Financial Review yesterday said the Taxi Industry had been lobbying the government and ATO to ensure Uber charge GST. Uber know this because they had a good result with an FOI request that returned with the letters from taxi lobbyists.

So you would think the taxi payments industry would be on top of this GST thing, right?

Firstly, what makes a valid Tax Invoice? In their instructions the ATO say Tax Invoices must have seven features:

  1. that the document is intended to be a tax invoice
  2. the seller’s identity
  3. the seller’s Australian business number (ABN)
  4. the date the invoice was issued
  5. a brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
  6. the GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as ‘Total price includes GST’
  7. the extent to which each sale on the invoice is a taxable sale (that is, the extent to which each sale includes GST)
    either the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words ‘total price including GST’, or
    it shows the GST included in each line item (see column with the GST amount), and the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words ‘the total price includes GST’.

I catch lots of cabs so I checked my current receipts in my wallet.


cabcharge

This document claims to be a Tax Invoice. (1)

We can identify the driver by a number and the driver’s ABN. (2) & (3)

I omitted the issued date (4) in the scan but it is below the image.

There is a description of a pick up location and destination description (5)

Below the Total Fare is “INC. GST” which suggests (6) and (7) are satisfied.

So on the face of it I received a valid Tax Invoice.


GMCabs This document claims to be a Tax Invoice (1)

A driver number is shown (2).

An ABN is omitted (3) but a date is shown. (4)

There is a description of a pick up location and destination description. (5)

Below the Total Fare there is no “INC. GST” which suggests (6) isn’t satisfied.

The line “SERVICE+GST” acts like (7) is satisfied but it isn’t.

If the bottom line said “Total Inc. GST” (6) & (7) would be satisfied.

So on the face of it (3), (6) & (7) I did NOT receive a valid Tax Invoice.


taxipayThis document claims to be a Tax Invoice. (1)

We can identify the driver by a number (2)

There is no ABN. (3)

The is a date when it was issued. (4)

There is a description of a pick up location and destination description but they both say “Home” so arguably it doesn’t really satisfy (5) but I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

Below the Fare is “inc. GST” and also shown is the GST on the “SRV FEE” which suggests (6) and (7) are satisfied.

So on the face of it (3) I did NOT receive a valid Tax Invoice.


One out of three receipts appear to be a valid Tax Invoice while the other two appear to pretend to be.

It’s odd that this industry is lobbying to ensure Uber collect GST when they don’t appear to be on top of their own GST compliance.

2 thoughts on “The taxi industry aren’t good at GST so why are they lobbying over Uber?”

  1. Maybe I am missing something

    “When you make a taxable sale of more than $82.50 (including GST), your GST-registered customers need a tax invoice…”

    None of your charges are over that are they?

    1. On their website at https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/GST/Claiming-GST-credits/When-you-can-claim-a-GST-credit/ the ATO says:

      Small purchases

      To claim a GST credit for purchases that cost $82.50 or less (including GST), you should have one of the following:

      a tax invoice
      a cash register docket
      a receipt
      an invoice.

      If you can’t get one of these, keep a record of the purchase, such as a diary entry with the name and ABN of the supplier, the date of purchase, a description of the items purchased, and the amount paid.

      The almost tax invoices supplied seem to fall in a strange place. The one that shows an ABN is probably OK but the one without might cause trouble in an audit.

      That said, I’ve had taxi bills over $82.50 in Sydney and Melbourne and if the receipt I received looked like the two failing invoices I would expect a finance professional to be pretty reluctant to claim the GST on it as an input credit.

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