Black-cab drivers are about to declare all-out war on Uber after word got out that the ride-hailing app company has been paying bollocks in taxes.
Apparently, Uber got away with paying only £22,134 in UK corporation tax each year, even though it made £866,000 in profit. And the taxes it paid were, apparently, only related to money it had lost in previous years.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association told The Guardian that any four cab drivers in London pay more tax than the entire company, which the association’s general secretary called “immoral.”
Uber, per its wont, isn’t backing down. In a statement, it asserted that the drivers, not the company itself, owed the majority of taxes that the company at large would generate — they, after all, are the ones making the bulk of the revenue. Explaining further, Uber argues that it’s unfair to draw comparisons between it and more established companies like Google, which have much higher profits and thus pay much more in taxes.
“We make a loss and corporation taxes are paid on profits not revenues,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “In addition the vast majority of the revenue generated via our technology stays with our driver-partners in the local economy.”
The company’s “the money goes to our drivers” reasoning has gotten it in trouble before: In Toronto, Uber drivers themselves have been called out for dodging taxes on fares collected from riders.
While Uber maintains that it’s in the “investment phase” — meaning the company has yet to turn profits globally — that hasn’t stopped it from making aggressive business moves. Just this morning, Uber announced that it was dropping UberX fares in New York City by as much as 15 percent.