UberPop raided for sales tax evasion

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The Environment and Transport Inspectorate raiding the Uber headquarters in Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@zaandamtaxi). The Environment and Transport Inspectorate raiding the Uber headquarters in Amsterdam (Picture: Twitter/@zaandamtaxi)

UberPop drivers are evading taxes by not charging VAT for the trips they make. According to Uber, it is impossible to charge VAT as the UberPop drivers are not registered with the Chamber of Commerce.

"We can not send an invoice with VAT because the UberPop drivers do not pay VAT. They are not registered with the Chamber of Commerce." an Uber employee told the Volkskrant in an email. A spokesperson for Uber in the Netherlands told the newspaper that they are working on the issue, but would not give a substantive response.

UberPop drivers are reluctant to declare their extra earnings as the private taxi service was banned by the court. "If I give my income through to the tax services, I am actually turning myself in", a 56 year old driver told the newspaper. "I decided to do nothing with the tax."  Another driver told the newspaper that he was planning to register as a driver with the Chamber of Commerce, but was arrested by the police before he could do so.

SP parliamentarian Farshad Bashir has repeatedly asked parliamentary questions about the UberPop drivers' tax obligations. According to him the company is keeping the rates artificially low by not charging VAT, which creates unfair competition for regular taxis. In answer to his questions, Statesecretary Wilma Mansveld (Infrastructure) wrote that the drivers who do not declare their income could face fines and criminal prosecution. The tax authorities also states that UberPop drivers have to pay taxes. "Those who are actively offering services as a taxi driver on an app are seen buy as a business and have to pay taxes", spokesperson Adrian Ros told the newspaper.

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