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Canada Transportation Businesses Communications The Almighty Buck

Canada To Tax Ride-Sharing Providers Like Uber (www.cbc.ca) 69

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government announced plans to tax ride-sharing providers like Uber for the first time. According to CBC, the latest consumer tax changes included in Wednesday's federal budget "will add to the cost of Uber rides while ending a public-transit credit." The idea behind the decision is to "help level the playing field and create tax fairness." From the report: The proposed levy on Uber and other ride-hailing services would for the first time impose GST/HST on fares, in the same way they are charged on traditional taxi services. The change will broaden the definition of a taxi business to ensure Uber and other web-based ride-hailing services are required to charge and remit GST/HST, adding to the cost of each trip. The effect on federal revenues will be modest, just $3 million in additional revenue in 2017-18, but the budget suggests the measure is to help level the playing field and create tax fairness. The non-refundable public transit tax credit -- a so-called boutique tax credit introduced by the previous Conservative government -- will be phased out on July 1. The credit enabled public transit users to apply 15 per cent of their eligible expenses on monthly passes and other fares toward reducing the amount of tax they owe. Ending that tax break is expected to save Ottawa more than $200 million a year. Of course, Uber Canada isn't so fond of the idea, calling it a "tax on innovation" that would hurt Uber drivers and users. The company said in a statement: "At a time when Canadians spend far too much time stuck in traffic -- and people should be encouraged to leave their cars at home, take public transit, and share rides -- we should be supporting policies that make sustainable transportation more affordable, not more expensive. Federal tax laws already offer small business owners a break on collecting sales tax, but unfairly exclude taxi drivers. The best way to support taxi drivers and level the playing field is to extend the same exemption to them."
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Canada To Tax Ride-Sharing Providers Like Uber

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  • "Ride-sharing".... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:24PM (#54099269)

    There is no "ride sharing", it's ride selling. If you want one of my cookies and I sell it to you, am I sharing it? No.

  • the bottom line for most monetary exchanges resolves itself once taxes are applied
  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @06:33PM (#54099317)

    >Federal tax laws already offer small business owners a break on collecting sales tax, but unfairly exclude taxi drivers. The best way to support taxi drivers and level the playing field is to extend the same exemption to them."

    This is because the taxi driver's an employee everywhere but on paper. Uber's model is to exploit the system (which is good for cracking the cab licencing scheme but no better for tax collection and worse for the drivers).

    If those drivers had resources (and at their wages they'll never save up enough to do anything), they could get together and pay some other entity to handle dispatching them, pay another entity to handle the money, and a third to vet drivers and vehicles. Keep 'em separate so they can't collude against the drivers.

    But what really needs to be done is to reform the cab licencing systems.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      It's GST, sales tax on services. The Uber driver won't be paying it unless they lower their fares so the customers pay the same as before, they just collect it.
      If the drivers are smart, they'll register themselves as a business, get a tax number, and get reimbursed for whatever GST they pay for business purposes, things like gas, vehicle maintenance along with the vehicle, clothes, phones etc. Might actually come out ahead.

      • >The Uber driver won't be paying it unless they lower their fares so the customers pay the same as before,

        Yes. But the customer sees that as a significant fare increase, and Uber fares are where they are to make them much more attractive than cabs.

        >they just collect it.

        Which is a pain in the ass, especially for people who are making shit money and will likely spend the extra collected money and worry about paying the taxes in April (except I think GST remittance is quarterly... it's been a while). A

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          Some good points, the counter point is that all the other businesses have to do the same so why should business people contracting with Uber be exempt?
          At least they have the advantage that (I assume) the app takes care of most of the paper work and I assume an electronic receipt is good enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 23, 2017 @07:12PM (#54099493)

    Canada, like any other modern society, has a social safety net to ensure that citizens who need help can get it. This requires funding and participation from everyone involved, and ultimately leads to a net benefit for all of Canadian society.

    If you don't want to participate in our society, then please, go away. A Canadian company will happily replace you considering how popular Uber is in Canada.

    Even taxi companies have finally started to get it. Example: http://teomtl.com/en/ - this is essentially an Uber clone, but is a legitimate taxi service with licensed taxi drivers. It is of course slightly more expensive as the rates are set by the provincial government, but you get everything Uber offers, and then some.

    So good luck telling Canadians "fuck you"!

  • What innovation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by boojumbadger ( 949542 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @07:14PM (#54099515)

    The only innovation is new ways of taking money out of the economy and sticking it in foreign bank accounts. Uber is a bad deal for the drivers and a worse deal for the places where they operate. 'You want to tax us for the wear and tear on your roads? Nonsense. All your money belongs to us and it ain't going to pay for roads we need.' Once they get rid of the drivers they will take even more money out of the system.

  • Quite a few of my acquaintances have switched to using Lyft because of Uber's toxicity. But all the Uber drivers around here are also Lyft drivers.

    Not that Lyft is allegedly much better. Apparently they're all a bunch of assholes.

  • GST law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 23, 2017 @08:18PM (#54099855)

    This is a simple extension of existing GST laws. The law in question requires self-employed people or companies to register for a GST number, and to collect GST. Anyone self-employed who makes more than $50,000 MUST do this. Anyone who makes less than this can optionally register and begin charging and remitting GST, but anyone can do it at any income level. So Uber employees have to do this whether they make $50,000 or less, as a self-employed individual within a particular public sector.

    This isn't a tax on innovation, this is Uber drivers being forced to charge/remit GST just like any other taxi service. As for the suggestion that Uber somehow saves people from being stuck in traffic or that Uber is somehow a more sustainable traffic option, nice fantasy world they got going there.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In Canada, there is a value-added tax called the GST (goods and services tax). It is currently 5% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Most businesses are required to register for GST, charge their customers GST and remit the collected tax to the govt.

    If you are a small business (less than $30k annual revenue), you are not obligated to register.

    BUT, there are some exceptions: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bs... [cra-arc.gc.ca]

    Taxi drivers authorized by provincial law (which is all of them) always had to register, regardless of s

  • either public transit was so popular in Canada that the credit was an unnecessary give away or it was misapplied (do limos count as "public transit"?). Either way, something's rotten in Canuck land.
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      90% of that money will be thrown at the GTA(Toronto) to try and shore up the Liberal party voting block. The GTA, counts towards nearly 1/3 of the population of Canada. Public transport isn't popular in Canada, you really aren't getting anywhere without a car here...unless you live in a major city. For me, the next major city with a population of over 200k is over an hour away. I live in the most population heavy part of Canada(southwestern ontario).

  • "Hey, a new business....let's tax it!"

    Anyone who didn't see this coming must have a head injury or an IQ below room temperature.

  • Naturally i dislike paying any tax for anything. I suspect that most people feel the same way. But survival of a nation depends upon taxes. So what form of tax is the least obnoxious. A fellow that works a lot of over time dislikes paying more taxes than a worker who works less hours in the same trade. The idea of taxing one's home is hugely offensive to me. It is absurd to be forced to pay taxes on one's home. How can that be just? That guy that works huge over time hours surely has a nicer and mo
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tax the people that have no money that will work great.
      Really superb idea No money comes along way towards public schools and roads.

    • by Alumoi ( 1321661 )

      So let me get it straight, you want to tax politicians only? After all they make the laws which classify what actions/inactions are considered crimes, set the taxation level so that most companies and people must find 'creative' ways to avoid paying them and, best of all, make every effort to have an uneducated population so they can get elected over and over again.

      • We are entering an era in which employment will be a quaint historical artifact. Obviously people who do not work will not be paying much in taxes at all. It is time to have new beliefs that fit the certain realities that are upon us.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ending that tax break is expected to save Ottawa more than $200 million a year.

    Ottawa "saving" is an interesting word choice, being that I take advantage of this particular tax break, and will be sending them money for "savings."

  • [...] will be phased out on July 1. The credit enabled public transit users to apply 15 per cent of their eligible expenses on monthly passes

    In other words, public transport cost for regular users just increased 17,6% (1/(1-0.15)). Thanks for helping the planet and the poorest layers of society at the same time, Justin. You're as despicable as your father.

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