Do I Have To Pay GST On My Uber Income?

 

Do Uber Drivers Have To Register For GST?

Although this was unclear a few years ago, there is now no doubt that all Uber drivers must pay GST.  Under the GST law, if you carry on an enterprise and you provide taxi travel services in that enterprise you are required to be registered for GST regardless of your turnover. This means that, instead of only having to register when your turnover reaches $75,000, you must register from the first dollar you earn. Since it’s been confirmed that Uber fits the definition of a taxi service (keep reading for more on this), Uber and all rideshare drivers must now register for GST from the day they start driving. They must lodge quarterly BAS’s, and pay GST of 1/11th of their gross fares less expenses to the ATO, in addition to paying income tax on the net amount.

For many drivers, this is completely new territory, and perhaps more than they bargained for when they signed up to drive. If you’ve never calculated GST or lodged a BAS before, we can help get you registered and meet your BAS lodgment obligations. Head to our blog post on the Seven Steps for Sorting your Rideshare Tax Obligations for our ultimate guide to managing your tax.

For those who are interested in further detail on the legal arguments for why you must register, read on.

 

Update: May 2018

Over the last few months the ATO have finally put together some reasonably comprehensive information for Uber Drivers on their website. They explain the requirements for having and ABN, registering for GST and keeping records and logbooks. You’ll find all that information on our website too (our blog post on the Seven Steps to Sorting your Uber Tax Obligations is a great place to start), but if you’d like confirmation directly from the ATO about GST or anything else you can find it on their Ridesourcing and Tax page.

 

 

Steering Wheel Driver

 

The Court Battle –  Is Uber Considered a Taxi Service?

The ATO announced on the 20th of May 2015 that Uber drivers must register for GST. They determined that under GST law, Uber, and by extension all rideshare services, meet the definition of a taxi service. This is significant because taxis have different GST rules to any other small business.

The ATO state that “the word taxi takes on its broad ordinary meaning of a car made available for public hire that is used to transport passengers for fares.”

How the definition of ‘public hire’ applies to Uber services is a topic of hot debate. Kathrin Bain of the School of Taxation and Business Law at UNSW Australia explains it perfectly.

“Uber has highlighted the fact that drivers cannot accept street hails, cannot wait at taxi ranks and do not use taxi meters. But the vehicles used by Uber drivers are available for public hire – members of the public use the Uber app on a smartphone to book the service. So while the method of booking the service may be different to a conventional taxi service, the service being provided is the same as that provided by a conventional taxi driver.”

CPA Australia’s head of policy Paul Drum agrees. “If it looks like, smells like and quacks like a taxi service, then it probably is”.

However in an interview with Fairfax Media, Uber’s general manager in Australia David Rohrsheim said the company had written to their 9,000 drivers telling them that it was going to challenge the ATO decision. “We disagree with the ATO’s interpretation … and we will be challenging this. So stay tuned”.

Uber’s appeal didn’t happen until February 2017. During the appeal, the ATO’s legal team read out definitions of a taxi service out of SIX different dictionaries to prove that a taxi service is any service that drives passengers from A to B for money.  The court concluded that while a yellow car with ‘TAXI’ on the side and a light on top is certainly a common form of taxi, it’s not the only possible kind that fits the definition. They found that Uber, and by extension all rideshare services, meet the definition too.

This decision means that is it now completely beyond doubt that in the eyes of the ATO and the law Uber and rideshare drivers must register for GST, and the ATO have made it clear they’ll be enforcing this.

 

But Isn’t Uber A Foreign Company? Shouldn’t They be Exempt from GST?

 

Update: December 2017

Uber have switched to an Australian company effective from the 1st of December 2017. This means that they must now charge GST on the Uber Fees they charge you. However you can claim the GST back from the ATO on your quarterly BAS, so there’s no extra cost out of your pocket. 

 

This is true (edit: not anymore!), but it’s irrelevant anyway, because Uber are not the one supplying the service to riders. The transaction is directly between you and your rider. This means you, an Australian driver, are the supplier so GST is applicable. Uber have deliberately structured themselves as just a third party who arrange bookings and do the paperwork for you.

 

If Uber Is Supposedly Illegal, Then How Can The ATO Tax Me?

In an side note within the ATO’s statement, they said “The ATO expresses no view about whether ride-sourcing vehicles are taxis within the State and Territory specific definitions. More generally, the ATO expresses no view on the legality of ride-sourcing arrangements. The sole purpose of this document is to clarify how the tax laws administered by the ATO apply to ride-sourcing.”

The legality of ride-sharing services is of course still being debated, some states have endorsed it, in others it’s still illegal (edit: Uber is now generally accepted as being legal in all states). But the income of drivers will be taxable regardless. Tax legislation makes no distinction between income from legal and illegal activities. In past cases, even activities such as drug dealing and prostitution have been found to be taxable. So even where Uber is illegal, tax will still apply.

 

What If I Don’t Register?

ATO Deputy Commissioner James O’Halloran has said “If those providing ridesharing have not obtained an ABN and not registered for GST, then we will undertake compliance activities – that means reviews and audits – and assessments may be raised.”

The ATO has extensive power to collect information to help them identify taxpayers who should be registered for GST. Uber will of course try to protect the privacy of their drivers, but they can be forced to provide details, or the ATO may be able to access other information sources.

The penalty for failure to register for GST is currently $3,400. The penalty for failure to lodge a BAS begins at $170 per BAS if lodged within 28 days, and can stretch up to $850 per BAS after 113 days.

With penalties as tough as these, and the resources of the ATO, it’s safe to say that avoiding GST registration carries quite a high risk.

Update – February 2018

The ATO continue to send letters to all Uber drivers who haven’t registered for GST, and in these letters they advise to the cent the amount that driver has earned. This tells us that Uber are still being made to advise the ATO of the income earned by every driver. You should assume that if you’re driving for Uber the ATO knows about it, and it will be a matter of time before they contact you to register for GST and pay back-taxes.

 

What Next?

If you’re new to driving for Uber, or you’ve been driving for a while but haven’t registered yet, head straight to our article on the Seven Steps to Sorting your Uber Tax Obligations.  It’s our ultimate guide to managing your tax with Uber.  Here’s a quick summary of the main points:

  • Apply for an ABN and GST. Your ABN should be backdated to when you first began driving for Uber, because if you meet the requirements to be considered an enterprise (above), then you’re required to have an ABN regardless of the GST situation. For GST, it currently seems that as long as drivers registered by 1 August the ATO won’t take any further action on GST prior to this date. However you may find it easier to register from the start of the financial year at 1 July instead to make your BAS and end of year tax more straightforward.  DriveTax can apply for your ABN and GST Registration for FREE, and it only takes a few minutes. Click through to learn more about out FREE Uber Startup Pack.
  • Follow any instructions given by Uber with regard to advising them of your GST registration. They will need to adjust their records, so that if one of your riders requests a tax invoice it will contain the correct details.
  • Establish a logbook so that you can maximise your deductions against your Uber income. Our post on Tax Deductions for Uber Drivers gives more detail on what’s required.
  • Establish a record-keeping system to record and categorise your expenses. You may like to use a spreadsheet, or bookkeeping software such as Xero. At the very least, you should use an expanding file or other filing system to collect receipts and then add these up at the end of each quarter.
  • Establish a system to put aside a portion of your Uber income to cover GST and Income Tax. We’ve provided some tips and strategies in our article on Paying Tax with Uber.
  • You need to lodge a BAS every quarter that you are registered for GST, even if you didn’t drive. You can find information about our BAS Services on our BAS page. If you have four or more BAS’s to catch up on please message us directly via our contact page.
  • At the end of the financial year you’ll declare your Uber income and expenses in a business schedule within your regular tax return. Our Tax Returns page has more information.

 

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The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. If you’d like to know how this article applies to you, please contact us to arrange a consultation, or talk to your accountant. 

By | 2018-05-18T23:18:43+00:00 April 20th, 2015|Tax|71 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Jess. I'm a CPA Accountant and Registered Tax Agent, and I specialise in tax preparation and advice for Uber drivers. As a regular rider in Melbourne, I’ve chatted to many drivers who are facing their first ABN tax return, are confused about their tax obligations, or aren’t sure what to do at tax time. I'm on a mission to relieve the confusion and build a go-to service for Uber drivers across Australia.

71 Comments

  1. Ehsan July 30, 2015 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Thanks for the clarification and explanation
    I just had three question and i appreciate if you could help me with those..
    First, when we registered for GST, we don’t need to inform RTO till the first quarter? I mean after registering for GST and ABN we wait for first quarter to pay the GST?
    Second, Can we pay the GST annually?
    And third, Where can we find the form to fill for paying the GST at each quarter or annual?

    Thanks again,

    Best Regards,
    Ehsan

    • Jess July 30, 2015 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Ehsan,
      You’re absolutely right, once you have registered the first interaction you’ll have with the ATO will be at the end of that quarter. The ATO will post you your BAS form in the mail a week or two before the end of the quarter. This is the form you fill out your Income and Expenses on. Once you fill it out you must post it back to them by the due date, which is usually the 28th day following the end of the quarter. The form also includes a payment slip with the payment options, which include Bpay, Post Office and credit card.
      Uber drivers do not have the option to pay GST annually. This option only exists for people who register for GST voluntarily, which does not apply to Uber drivers. You have the option of reporting and paying quarterly or monthly. We recommend quarterly because it is less hassle, and less risk of getting late fines if you only have four forms to lodge per year instead of twelve. I hope this answers your questions!

  2. Henry October 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Hi There

    Wondering if Uber Drivers is Liable for GST on Incentives he/she is receiving . Say If one received $500 for making other driver sign to Uber . Should He/She pay GST on $500 i.e 45.45. Also by doing so the amount reportable on Gross Sales will be $500 , Net $454.55 and GST will $45.45.Am I right to say this ?

    Regards

    Henry

    • Jess November 5, 2015 at 2:11 am - Reply

      Hi Henry,

      Thanks for your comment, you’re absolutely right. ALL income is subject to both GST and income tax, and the way you have calculated this is correct. A common point of confusion is expenses that are reimbursed, such as tolls. The toll payments you receive from Uber should be included as income, and then the same amount claimed as an expense. This will net out to zero, both for income tax and GST.

      Jess

  3. H December 9, 2015 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    Hi, can you explain the implications of Joe Hockey’s $20000 instant deduction for those considering a vehicle purchase for the purposes of Uber?

    Thank you

    • Jess December 14, 2015 at 7:14 am - Reply

      Hi H,

      Thanks for your enquiry. Essentially, if you buy a vehicle (new or second hand) with a total GST-exclusive price under $20,000, you can claim a deduction for the Uber use percentage of the purchase price on your end of year tax return.

      For example, you buy a car for $19,800, and you will use that car 60% for Uber. The GST on the car is $1,800, and you will get 60% of that back on your BAS, being $1,080. Then the GST exclusive amount, being $18,000 will be entered in your end of year tax return, and you can claim 60% of that as an up front deduction. That equals a tax deduction of $10,800.

      Note that if your Uber taxable profit besides this depreciation was $5,000, then the up-front depreciation claim would push you into a loss of $5,800. This loss cannot be used or claimed in the current year. instead it will be carried forward to be claimed against your Uber profits in future years. For drivers who are not driving much, the $20k write-off may not have as much impact as you may first think.

      There is a sting in the tail. When you sell the car, you will record a tax profit. This is because the written down value will be zero because you claimed all the depreciation up front. You must therefore pay tax on the selling price of the car when you sell. What goes around comes around!

      If the purchase price of your vehicle is over $20,000, you can only claim depreciation at normal small business rates, being 15% in the first year and 30% in subsequent years.

      I hope this information is useful!

      Jess

  4. Tony December 30, 2015 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Are Uber fees an expense?
    For example If Uber charges the customer $100 and keeps $25 of that as a fee:
    – Is the GST to be remitted by the driver 100/11=9.09 or 75/11=6.81 ?
    – Can the $25 be claimed as an expense (like petrol) for income tax purposes?

    • Jess January 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your question. There are two calculations required for the two types of tax you’ll pay, GST and Income Tax.

      GST: $100 fare / 11 = $9.09 GST payable to the ATO. There is no GST credit to claim on Uber Fees because they’re not an Australian business.

      Income Tax: The GST exclusive amount of the fare is taxable, so thats $100 / 1.1 = $90.91. The $25 Uber fee is a tax deduction against this. Therefore your net taxable profit is $65.91. You’ll pay tax on this amount at your marginal tax rate.

      I hope this is helpful!

      Jess

  5. Abhi February 8, 2016 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Hi if you are using the company leased car and driving Uber. Than how do you claim the GST on expenses and car?

    • Jess February 9, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

      HI Abhi, if your leased vehicle is salary packaged from your employer, then your employer would likely already be claiming the GST credits on any expenses they pay for, so you can’t claim them again. The same goes for tax deductions, you can’t claim a tax deduction for any expenses that have been salary packaged because you have already received a tax benefit, claiming another deduction would be double-dipping. If you pay some expenses, such as the running costs, out of your own pocket then you can you can claim GST and income tax deductions on these, subject to the usual logbook requirements. Contact us if you need more information Abhi!

  6. Rani February 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess
    If I’m earning say $600 a week roughly with Uber.
    By the time I take out tax ( second job) and GST
    I’m wondering if I’m really earning enough to make it worth while.
    Then petrol.
    Are you able to give me a rough idea what I would be left with for the week.??
    Thank you?

  7. Mit March 5, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Can I share my uber income as family trust for tax purpose. Because my wife doesn’t earn much so can I share über income (by family trust) so I don’t have to pay tax much.
    Thanks

    • Jess March 9, 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

      Hi there,

      If you are registered for GST in your family trust, driving in that name and lodging BAS’s and tax returns with your Uber income in the trust, then yes, it is possible to distribute the income to be tax effective. However I’m not sure if Uber has their own rules on whether this is allowable. Note that this may be effective if you already have a family trust and have to lodge tax returns for it anyway, but if you don’t already have one, the cost of setting it up and lodging tax returns each year may not make it worthwhile. I would recommend getting advice specific to your situation before setting up any new entities.

  8. yin April 19, 2016 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    If i use 66c per km method, can i claim GST in BAS as well?
    for example, i drive 2000km in a quarter, deduction will be 2000*0.66=$1320, do i claim $120 in BAS?

    Thanks
    ying

    • Jess April 19, 2016 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Hi Yin,
      Great question. No, the cents per km method is for end of year tax only. You cannot use it in your BAS.

      Instead, you must keep your actual car running costs, such as fuel, registration, insurance, and cleaning. Then you must work out an appropriate percentage to claim, either through a logbook, by other records of your car’s travel, or with reference to the kms travelled. You can read more about this in our blog post here: https://www.drivetax.com.au/putting-aside-tax-and-gst/

      Feel free to email if you have further questions Ying!

  9. Faraz May 30, 2016 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Hi i register for gst and abn today bit i start driving 2 month ago how can i pay the last 2 month gst

    • Jess June 3, 2016 at 7:49 am - Reply

      Hi Faraz,

      If you registered on the 31st of March or earlier you will need to lodge a March BAS to declare your GST. If you registered on 1 April or after, then you must wait until the June BAS and pay the whole quarter’s GST then. You can check our BAS page for more information.

  10. johny July 9, 2016 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Uber driving appears quite enticing ,,,but correct me if I am wrong ,,,,,when yu become an uber driver ,,,,yu are basically self employed ,,,so ,,,this means yu are responsible for ,,,not only being a tax collector for the gov’ment ,,,yu are responsible for yur own requirements ,,,,,ie: workers comp,,,,superannuation(@9+%) holiday pay ,,,and sick pay ,,,i cant see uber paying any of these bills ?? and remember ,,,yur gonna need to pay an accountant as well !! thats another bill !,,,,so if yu operate as an uber driver ,,,and operate yur business according to the book ,,,is it really a worth while enterprise ??..all yu might be left with @ the end of the day …..that is yurs ,,,might be yur tips ,,,,

    • Jess July 10, 2016 at 5:41 am - Reply

      Hi Johny, yes you’re correct, most of those expenses have to be paid yourself. Worker’s compensation isn’t applicable to sole traders, though you might consider other types of income protection insurance if this was a concern for you. Also, in my experience most drivers don’t actually put any money aside for super. It is true that there are a lot of costs involved in driving for Uber. For some people it’s still worthwhile to them to earn what they do earn, for others it’s not worth their time compared to alternative sources of income. It’s completely up to you to decide what’s right for you.

  11. Rio July 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess, i just started driving for uber. been driving for couples of days.
    just realised that we have to register for ABN, GST ( uber didn’t tell)
    don’t have ABN atm.
    and decided to stop driving if its gonna be that complicated.
    how do i pay my tax and GST for couples of days of ubering?

    • Jess July 21, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Hi Rio, The technically correct answer, unfortunately, is that you’re required to pay GST even on that small bit of income, which means you’ll have to get an ABN, register and then de-register for GST, lodge a BAS for that period to declare the GST, and then declare the income on your tax return. Please get in touch if we can help you with any of this!

  12. Jack January 24, 2017 at 1:29 am - Reply

    Veru nice article, can I please ask whether I need to pay GST on the income I earned from UberEats.
    I have ABN and registered for GST and do both UberX and UberEats at the same time. Am I correct in saying that the income received for UberEats does not attrack GST (but will still be counted for Income tax)?
    Thanks

    • Jess January 25, 2017 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Hi Jack,

      Interesting question. If you were only driving for UberEats, then you would be correct. Food delivery drivers don’t have to register for GST, they just have to declare the income on their end of year tax returns and pay income tax.

      However if you are driving for both UberX AND UberEats, you will have to pay GST on both. This is because the ATO only allow you to have one ABN per person, to cover both activities. As you know, you must register your ABN for GST because of UberX. But the GST registration applies to your whole ABN and all of your ABN income, not just to the UberX part. This means that unfortunately your UberEats income gets caught up in the GST registration as well. You will have to pay 1/11th of your UberEats income to the ATO, but you can also claim GST back on your UberEats expenses.

      I hope that explains it Jack! – Jess

  13. Jivi February 20, 2017 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Could you please tell me if a person has not driven the uber and has not earned any income in one quarter, can he still claim the expenses like car insurance, car repairs??

    Thanks

    • Jess February 21, 2017 at 3:50 am - Reply

      Hi Jivi, Generally speaking the answer is no. The percentage your car is being used for Uber during that quarter is 0%, so you can claim 0% of your expenses. You should reassess this percentage each time you lodge your BAS. – Jess

  14. ravi March 20, 2017 at 7:09 am - Reply

    hi jess
    As iam doing ubereats do ned to register for gst?. As i have asked ATO they have asked me to register for GST . ?

    • Jess March 20, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Hi Ravi,

      The person you spoke to at the ATO was incorrect. UberX drivers must register for GST, but not UberEats drivers. The laws that require drivers to register for GST from the first dollar they earn are only applicable to drivers who are carrying passengers, not food. Food delivery drivers only have to register for GST if their income is over $75,000.

      Jess

  15. Allen Jiang March 22, 2017 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Hi jess
    Can I claim tax deductions for those toll charges that are not reimbursed when I am driving for uber? Also, in the quarterly bas lodgement, how can I claim gst credits on those expenses such as fuel; toll and services etc?

    Thanks
    Allen

    • Jess March 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Allen, You can claim GST credits for all for your expenses on your BAS. If you choose to use our Express BAS service you’ll just need to have a total added up for the quarter for each of those expenses. You’ll enter the totals into the Express BAS form, and we’ll claim the GST credits for you.

      Regarding tolls, Uber will list your on your monthly statement the amount you received from passengers for the tolls incurred while on trip. (This is income that you must declare on your BAS and tax return). You can claim a deduction for these tolls (thus cancelling out the tax/GST on the income), but you can also claim a deduction for any tolls incurred between trips as well. Uber won’t report these to you, so you’ll need to keep your own records. You can do this either by making a note each time you incur a toll between trips and look up the cost later on your toll statement, or by simply claiming an appropriate percentage of your toll invoice.

      I hope this helps! – Jess

  16. Fausto April 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Hello! Today I received a letter from ATO. They said I have to register for GST because I’m a Uber partner. But I deliver only food (UberEats) .. What can I do to show them that I work just with UberEats? Thanks

    • Jess April 3, 2017 at 12:21 am - Reply

      Hi Fausto, You’re right, you don’t have to register for GST if you only drive for UberEats. They should be able to take your word for this over the phone, but you may like to have some of your income summaries handy just in case. Note that we’ve heard of some ATO staff being confused about the difference between UberX and UberEats, because they have only been taught that Uber = GST, instead of two different types of Uber. So if the person you speak to doesn’t understand the different you might like to call back another time and try with someone else. Good luck! Jess.

  17. Carl April 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Hi jess, what are the deductible taxes I have to pay once I start ubering?

  18. Jak April 10, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Hi, I had to get a medical to get my driver authority to Uber drive. As it went through medicare am I allowed to deduct the net amount or should I have medicare reverse their credit and claim the gross medical bill?

    • Jess April 10, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Jak, claim a tax deduction for the net amount, being the gross bill minus your medicare refund. Jess

  19. Sam Inayat April 27, 2017 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hi,

    Does UBER commissions, which is currently 25% do include GST? which means I cannot claim it?

    Thank you for answering.

    • Jess April 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Sam. Uber don’t charge you any GST on their fee (because they’re not an Australian company). This means you can’t claim any GST back on your BAS for Uber fees because you didn’t pay any GST in the first place. Jess.

  20. Paula May 24, 2017 at 1:37 am - Reply

    Are uber drivers supposed to be issuing/charging tax on my rides?

    • Jess May 25, 2017 at 12:27 am - Reply

      Hi Paula, it sounds like you’re asking from the perspective of a passenger, not a driver, I hope I’ve understood that correctly?

      The answer is yes, on the assumption that all Uber Drivers are registered for GST, there is GST included in the price you pay for an Uber fare (not an extra charge on top). This is the same as having GST included in anything you buy from a supermarket or store, it’s usually not relevant to the average consumer so the GST is not highlighted on price tags, it is just included in the price.

      If you need a tax invoice for your Uber trip (as opposed to the ‘receipt’ you automatically receive by email) you can request this from Uber through your Uber app. However Uber don’t actually do a very good job of making the tax invoices, they say something vague like ‘if your driver is registered for GST then this price is inclusive of GST’. Not very helpful, because how are you to know if the driver is registered or not?! The fact is that many drivers are not registered for GST because they are not complying with the ATO rules, and so the invoice would not include GST.

      So to answer your question, yes they are supposed to be charging GST on your rides (although this would be included in the fare, not an extra charge), but in reality it’s all a bit of a mess.

      Jess

  21. Dim June 9, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Hi Jess

    I have read all the comments here and you are doing an absolutely amazing job for some of us Uber partners who are a little lost on all this. I did UberEATS in 2016 for six months and would just like to double triple check that I don’t have to pay any GST on my earnings. I got a letter from the ATO regarding ride-sourcing and tax obligations but only just read that UberEATS partners are exempt from GST which was a massive relief as I didn’t log my vehicle usage or put aside any money. Is my only obligations to declare my Uber income at tax time? I only earnt about $5400 in gross fares and $800 in incentives, so I wont have to pay tax on that income if my overall earnings are below the tax-free threshold right?

    Thanks alot for taking the time to answer.

    • Jess June 11, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

      Hi Dim, you’re absolutely right. If you only drive for UberEats and don’t do any rideshare driving then you don’t have to register for GST, and income tax is the only kind of tax you will pay. Your income tax rate will be your marginal tax rate, which is based on all of your taxable income, including employment and investment income, not just your UberEats income on it’s own. So if the income you mentioned was your only income for the year then you would be below the tax free threshold, but if you had other income from other sources then your marginal tax rate may be higher.
      You can read more about tax for food delivery drivers on our recent blog post: https://www.drivetax.com.au/tax-for-food-delivery-drivers/ Thanks! – Jess.

  22. jak June 28, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Hi,
    if I ran the quarter at a loss (earned $4000 but spent $5000) do I have to pay GST on the $4000? this has become soooo confusing that I am stopping uber as it is just not worth the confusion for a few dollars pocket money. it is a real shame.

    but if you could help me. Revenue $4000. Expenses $5000. What do I pay on my BAS is it still 10% of the $4000?

    • Jess June 29, 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

      Hi Jak, if your expenses have GST on them, then you can claim that GST back. So in your example, lets assume your $5,000 of expenses were GST expenses. You would owe the $4,000 / 11 = $364. And the ATO would owe you $5,000 / 11 = $455. So if we net those two off, the ATO owes you $91. Remember though that not all if your expenses have GST on them, in particular you don’t pay any GST on your Uber fees, so there is no GST to claim back. So if $1,000 of those expenses were Uber fees and $4,000 was GST expenses (fuel, mobile phone etc) then you would be square with the ATO. I hope that explains it! Jess

  23. Elaine Edwards July 12, 2017 at 12:22 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, many thanks for all the information. I have just received an email from Uber stating that as of 1st August if driver partners are not registered for GST that this will be deducted from our payments. I wondering if this is a better way for me as I also have a full time job. My car is salary packaged with a novated lease so I wouldn’t be able to claim anything anyway. Would love your advise

    • Jess July 12, 2017 at 5:37 am - Reply

      Hi Elaine, Uber are sending that email because the ATO have changed the tax laws for foreign companies. But your tax law has not changed. The ATO still state that all Uber drivers MUST be registered for GST. Sorry Elaine, no getting around it! Jess.

  24. Ramandeep July 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hi jess can you please clear my question that do uber driver need to pay gst quarterly and income tax return annually . I mean they need to pay both gst and tax return.

    • Jess July 17, 2017 at 5:10 am - Reply

      Hi Ramandeep,

      Yes, they must do both, because Uber Drivers must pay two kinds of tax. You must lodge a BAS every quarter to pay GST, and a tax return at the end of each financial year to pay Income Tax. – Jess.

  25. Anthony August 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I hired a car through the Uber marketplace to do my driving. I only used this car for Uber. Can I claim the whole amount as a deduction?

    Also, as it was not my car, how do I claim my petrol expenses? I have kept all my petrol receipts.

    • Jess August 24, 2017 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Anthony,

      Even if you used the car 100% for Uber, you have to keep a logbook to prove to the ATO it was 100%. (remember a logbook isn’t essential for BAS’s but it is for your end of year tax). You can absolutely claim the fuel even though it wasn’t your car, and expenses you pay for yourself to run or maintain the car can be claimed.

      – Jess

  26. Michelle Milner August 31, 2017 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Hi Jess – I only do driving for UberEATS , however as I was misinformed by the Uber corporation I have been doing my BAS at the end of each quarter and paying GST on all amounts I have earned to date. Can I get a refund from the ATO for the incorrectly paid GST?

    • Jess August 31, 2017 at 2:26 am - Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      Good question, but unfortunately not. Once you’re registered the ATO considers that you were operating as a GST registered business, you can’t go back in time to change this. This is because it would be impossible for you to contact each customer you delivered to, and advise them that there is no longer GST on the fee they paid you. Furthermore, if any of those customers happened to be a business who claimed a deduction for your delivery fee they would have to go and amend their BAS and pay that GST back to the ATO, which I’m sure they wouldn’t want to do…. Obviously that’s an unlikely scenario for UberEats, but you can imagine it would cause chaos for bigger businesses if they could go back and change their invoices and GST after the fact and stuff up the BAS’s of every one of their customers. So the ATO rules are written to prevent this. Therefore I recommend cancelling your registration asap, but only from ‘todays date’. I hope that explains it! – Jess

  27. ROH September 21, 2017 at 6:33 am - Reply

    I’m bit confusing while calculation of the GST on my Uber driving. Can I deduct uber fee in GST calculation after 1 August? example if total income = 5000, uber fee=800, do I need to calculate GST for 5000 or 4200? I already registered for GST and paid for 2 quarters. willing to pay next one in the coming months.

    • Jess September 25, 2017 at 1:33 am - Reply

      Hi,
      Uber do not charge you GST on their fees. So there is no GST credit for you to claim back. You will pay GST on your gross fares (in your figures it’s 5,000 / 11 = 454). Then you can claim back any GST you paid on your expenses, for example fuel and phone. But since you didn’t pay any GST on the Uber fees there is nothing to claim back.
      Jess

  28. Shaun October 1, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    My name is Shaun Bedford I am a taxi driver for Narrandera taxis at the moment and I would like to setup uber in Narrandera Nsw what would I need to do.
    Shaun Bedford

    • Jess October 2, 2017 at 2:31 am - Reply

      Hi Shaun,
      Thanks for getting in touch. I recommend heading straight to our New Drivers page. This has everything you need to get registered with an ABN and GST for free, plus our free Startup Pack. I hope you find it helpful!
      – Jess

  29. Raj October 15, 2017 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Hi Jess.
    I bought a new car 33K in September 2017 for both Uber and private use. I started driving for Uber in October. I am yet to register for ABN and GST. Should I have to backdate the GST registration to September to claim GST credit for the purchase of the car (Note: I haven’t worked for that quarter yet) or too late to claim GST credit on it? Or is it possible to claim the GST credit for the purchase from the second quarter as I started driving in October?

    • Jess October 15, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

      Hi Raj,
      You must be registered for GST on the date you purchased the car in order to claim the GST. It is possible to backdate your GST registration but only if you had actively started business activities. For Uber drivers this is the date you began the application process with Uber. Uber send you an email to confirm you have started the process, so you can check back through your emails to find out what date this was. If you bought the car before you started the application process then you will not be able to claim the GST on the purchase of your car. – Jess

  30. Amit Mahendru November 1, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Hi Jess
    I started driving an Uber since July and have been working, can u help me? I have bought car amount 12500 dollars including GST in May 2017.Can I refund this GST from my BAS statement 1st quarter 2017-2018. Please help on this matter.
    Thanks
    Amit

    • Jess November 1, 2017 at 6:49 am - Reply

      Hi Amit,
      You can only claim GST on your car purchase if you were registered for GST on the date you bought it. If you didn’t start driving until July then you probably were not registered so you would not be able to claim. You cannot claim it later, it has to be at the time you bought it. If you have further questions on your personal circumstances please contact us directly! – Jess

  31. Hassan January 5, 2018 at 4:24 am - Reply

    Just have one question to ask please. Can I claim back the GST I paid for uber service fee on the last quarter. Uber service fee was 1000 dollars . I paid GST 90 dollas . Can I claim it back when I do my next one thanks

    • Jess January 8, 2018 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Hassan, Yes you can claim back any GST you have been charged on any expenses. Note that Uber only started charging GST on their fees from the 1st of December. – Jess

  32. Ex-Taxi Driver January 19, 2018 at 10:44 am - Reply

    This GST register requirement for UBER drivers-is basically a back-door ban on the whole UBER service!
    Already, I’ve heard UBER has been banned in Israel and London City (& also taxed in the rest of regional UK,like Australia-via their VAT).
    The Government here basically is using the GST as a back-door way of banning the UBER service in the Commonwealth of Australia-don’t hold your breath anymore drivers-you’ll go the same way as the TAXIS-down the gurgler!

    • Jess January 19, 2018 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Hi there, I hear where you’re coming from! From a tax perspective the ATO imposes GST on Uber drivers in order to level the playing field between taxi drivers and Uber drivers. They decided it was more fair for both groups to have the same tax laws. But I do agree that a huge proportion of Uber drivers do less hours and therefore earn less than taxi drivers, but they still have to deal with the hassle and cost of quarterly BAS lodgment. Very frustrating! – Jess

  33. Peter February 7, 2018 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Hi Jess
    Could you please clarify if Uber drivers still have to pay GST to ATO every quarter. Since December 1st 2017 Uber is now taking out the GST from the fare, so does this negate us having to pay the GST on their behalf. Will we only be claiming GST on our expenses every quarter. Thanks.

    • Jess February 7, 2018 at 2:42 am - Reply

      Hi Peter, that’s not how it works. You must think of Uber’s 25% service fee just as any other business expense, like your fuel or mobile phone bill. You pay GST on all of these expenses, and then you claim the GST back from the ATO on your BAS. Our recent blog post about GST on Uber Fares & Fees explains in more detail, I think this will answer your question. – Jess

  34. Leeanne Millar February 20, 2018 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, I am helping my father out with his first BAS as he only started driving Oct 17. I have printed the Uber tax invoices (Partner invoices) from October to December 17. Three invoices dated 24/10, 30/10 and 7/11 are showing 10% GST on the fee for Uber services (example below)
    23 Oct 2017 Fee for Uber services for the period of 16 Oct 2017- 23 Oct 2017 GST 10% tax amount $3.16 net amount $31.62
    gross amount: $34.78 (the $34.78 was deducted as Uber fee on his payment summary for this period)

    The invoices dated 14/11, 20/11, 27/11 show no GST. Invoices dated from 5/12 onwards show the GST again which is correct since Uber apparently only started charging/paying gst from the 1st of December. Do you know if anybody else has invoices showing GST in October and should I just ignore the gst on these October invoices?

    TIA and I love all the information in your article.

  35. Tony Hackett February 23, 2018 at 12:44 am - Reply

    As a corporate accountant I receive an Uber Statement for employees use of Uber on business affairs. A majority of the fares show a GST amount but some which are Australian local rides sho zero GST.
    Do I assume the fares with zero GST that the Uber driver is not registered for GST and we cannot claim a GST credit when we lodge our BAS return?

    • Jess February 23, 2018 at 4:47 am - Reply

      Hi Tony,
      This is a very interesting problem. On the one hand, given that all Uber drivers in Australia are required to be registered for GST, it would be reasonable to process all Uber transactions as GST transactions. On the other hand, you do have documentation that conflicts with this. However from my experience Uber’s data on which drivers are registered for GST and which are not is not reliable, because they rely on individual drivers logging in an manually selecting their registration status, which many drivers do incorrectly or not at all. Furthermore, even if a driver is not currently showing as registered, the ATO is likely to track them down at some point and have them backdate their GST registration to when they started driving. Based on this, it may still be reasonable to claim GST on all Uber fares. I hope this helps you apply whatever discretion is needed! – Jess

  36. Ben April 18, 2018 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Fantastically informative site and Q&A. Thanks.

    I am about to start Uber driving, which would mean I believe mean my my first BAS is due at the end of this quarter (Apr-Jun 2018)

    I have an existing ABN, but am not currently registered for GST. I know that to drive for Uber I need to register my ABN for GST.

    Couple of questions on that:

    1. I have been doing occasional UberEats deliveries since January, on my bicycle. Reading your answers above, I believe that once I register for GST I will now be liable for GST on any deliveries already made during this current quarter (Apr-Jun2018). But what about deliveries made in the previous quarter, Jan-Mar 2018, when I was not registered for GST?

    2. I have used my ABN earlier in the current tax year (Jul-Dec 2017) for non-Uber work, on which I have not charged GST. If I now register my ABN for GST, does this mean I will be liable for GST on all that other income from earlier in the tax year?

    Thanks,

    Ben

    • Jess April 18, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Ben, you must register for GST from the date that you started driving for UberX or ridesharing. From that date forwards you must pay GST on all income you earn under your ABN. If this date is in the past you will need to backdate the GST registration and back-pay the GST, though you can claim GST back on expenses from that time too. You will not have to pay any GST on your ABN income that was earned before the GST start date, so if you register from the April, you do not have to pay any GST on your income from March or earlier. – Jess

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