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Clarification on ride-sourcing

The Federal Court has recently agreed that ride-sourcing is taxi travel.

For GST purposes, the word taxi means a car (vehicle) made available for public hire that is used to transport passengers for fares.

State and territory laws regulating transportation of passengers contain specific definitions of the term taxi. A vehicle can be considered a taxi for GST purposes, but not for state and territory regulatory purposes.

The ATO defines ride-sourcing as an ongoing arrangement where a driver makes a car available for public hire; a passenger uses, for example, a website or smartphone app provided by a third party to request a ride, i.e. Uber, GoCar and the driver uses the car to transport the passenger for payment with a view to profit.

For those who provide ride-sourcing services, you are most likely to be running a business and therefore, you must:

  • keep records
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST, regardless how much you earn
  • lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS)
  • pay the GST portion of the full fare received from passengers for each trip
  • include income from ride-sourcing in your income tax returns.

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