Tax Deductions For Uber Drivers & Rideshare Drivers

 

As tax time rolls around again, Uber drivers and rideshare drivers across Australia will be looking to maximise their tax deductions. This article explains the different options for claiming your vehicle expenses, how to keep a logbook, as well as a range of other potential tax deductions for rideshare drivers.

 

Motor Vehicle Expenses Deductions for Uber Drivers

 

Motor Vehicle Expenses

There are two different methods available for claiming motor vehicle expenses, the Logbook Method and the Cents Per Kilometre method. You can choose whichever one gives you the biggest tax deduction.

Let’s take a look at these two methods in detail.

 

Logbook Method

If you have kept a valid logbook, you can claim a percentage of your vehicle running expenses, including:

  • fuel
  • registration
  • insurance
  • servicing, repairs, tyres and other maintenance costs
  • cleaning costs
  • depreciation on the purchase price of your car (if you own your car)
  • interest (if you have a loan on your car)
  • rental/hire/lease fees (if you lease/rent your car)

If you wish to claim these expenses you MUST have a valid logbook. We’ll explain the requirements for a logbook in more detail below.

The records you’ll need to keep for your car expenses are:

  • Fuel – fuel receipts are the best form of evidence, so we suggest keeping an envelope in your glovebox to collect these. If you don’t have receipts, the ATO will accept your bank statements as evidence. 
  • Other Running Costs – you’ll need receipts or bank records of your registration, insurance, servicing, repairs, tyres, maintenance, cleaning and other costs
  • Car Washes – if you don’t get a receipt for your car washes, the ATO will accept a diary note or other handwritten note with the date and amount of your car wash. Keep a little notebook handy in your glovebox to write these down.
  • Depreciation – you’ll need the tax invoice or purchase details of your car, so that depreciation can be calculated
  • Interest – if you have a loan or finance, you’ll need to find out how much interest you paid (not loan repayments, just the interest) for the financial year. If you don’t have this, you will need to supply us with your original loan documents showing the amount borrowed, repayments, term of the loan and interest rate.
  • Lease Payments – if you lease your car, the whole amount of your lease payments are deductible
  • Logbook – to claim all of the above expenses, you must have a valid logbook. Otherwise your car expenses are irrelevant and you’ll be limited to the cents per kilometre method.

Please note that the ATO will accept bank records for your end of year tax return, but for your BAS’s you must have a tax invoice for all expenses over $82.50 in order to claim the GST back.

 

Cents Per Km Method

If you haven’t kept a valid logbook you’ll be restricted to using the Cents per Kilometre Method instead.

You can claim 66 cents per kilometre up to a maximum of 5,000 km. This gives a maximum tax deduction of $3,300.  You don’t have to have specific records of your kilometres.  Instead you can make a ‘reasonable estimate’ based on your patterns of work, diary notes, records from Uber/the company you drive for, etc. Note that you can claim the kilometres in between trips as well as kilometres while you have a passenger or are making a delivery. You can also claim kilometres between home and your first trip, and from your last trip back home again.

If you’ve been driving more than just a small amount then $3,300 may be much less than your actual car expenses. This would give you a lower tax deduction and therefore a bigger tax bill. We recommend unless you are just an occasional driver you should keep a logbook so that you don’t miss out on claiming all of your expenses.

 

Keeping a Logbook

Here are the essentials of keeping a logbook:

  • It must go for 12 weeks. It’s okay if the 12 weeks go past the 30th of June (e.g. you keep your logbook from May-July). But you must start before the 30th of June for it to count for the current year.
  • You only need to make one logbook entry for each shift/session of driving, you don’t need to record individual deliveries. You also don’t need to record private/non-business trips.
  • You must record the date, and the odometer reading of your car at the start and end of each shift/session of driving.
  • You should start your logbook when you leave home or switch on your delivery app, and stop when you arrive back home or switch off the app. Your kms to and from home, and your kms in between deliveries can all be included.

We recommend the Zions Pocket Logbook, which you can buy from Officeworks for under $7. Using an app is also fine, as long as you are still recording your odometer readings.

It’s important to note that the kilometre records that Uber sends you are not enough to meet the ATO’s requirements of a logbook, because they don’t show your car’s odometer readings. They also don’t include your kms in between trips, so you’ll be missing out on tax deductions!

 

Other Expenses

Other costs that will be deductible include:

  • Fees or Commissions paid to your rideshare/delivery company
  • Other Fees – medical tests, police check, driver accreditation, driver training etc
  • Rider Amenities – water, mints, newspapers, tisues etc
  • Tolls – you can claim tolls while on trips and tolls in between trips as well
  • Parking – if you don’t get a receipt, and the amount is under $10, you may write a diary note instead, just as for car washes above.
  • Cleaning Costs – for specific passenger incidents you can claim the whole amount, but general cleaning costs, such as car washes, must have your logbook percentage applied.
  • Safety Equipment – hi-visibility clothing, sunglasses (though if you use them when not driving as well you must specify a percentage of Uber use),
  • Equipment and Accessories – dashcam, seat covers, mobile phone holder
  • Mobile Phone Bills – you can claim a percentage of your mobile phone bill 
  • Home Office Expenses – stationery, computer expenses, a percentage of your home internet bill
  • Music Apps
  • Bank Fees – but only if you have a separate bank account just for Uber
  • Accountant’s Fees

Costs that are not deductible include:

  • Clothing – clothing is personal expense. Only safety wear, such as hi-visibility clothing or steel cap boots is deductible.
  • Personal Hygiene costs – deodorant, haircuts etc
  • Meals – you cannot claim for food or coffee for yourself
  • Fines – even if directly related to Uber
  • Driver’s Licence – your normal drivers licence is considered a private expense

If you have expenses that you’re not sure are deductible, keep the receipts anyway, and let your accountant advise you at year end whether they can be claimed.

 

Need to Lodge Your Tax Return?

If you’d like help preparing and lodging your Uber tax return, you’re in the right place. As specialists in tax for Rideshare and Delivery Drivers, we know what you’re entitled to claim to maximise your deductions.

But that’s not all we do. As a CPA firm and Registered Tax Agents, we offer the full spectrum of tax and accounting services. If you have a rental property, capital gains or any other tax complexities, DriveTax have the expertise and experience to help with those too.

You can read more about our services, view pricing, and browse our appointment booking calendar for a timeslot that suits you by visiting our website

In the meantime, follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with tax news, tips and due date reminders for rideshare drivers.

 

Happy and safe driving!

 

 

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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 | 2018-05-18T18:37:04+00:00 April 20th, 2015|Tax|236 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.

236 Comments

  1. […] Tax Deductions For Uber Drivers April 20th, 2015 […]

  2. […] Tax Deductions For Uber Drivers April 20th, 2015 […]

  3. Victor June 5, 2015 at 5:10 am - Reply

    Thanks heaps for writing this article! Have been quite confused recently and this at least has given me some direction on what to do next!

    • Jess June 8, 2015 at 6:26 am - Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Victor. It’s tricky to get direct information so I hope this helps! Feel free to reach out on our Contact page if you need anything further.

  4. Rob July 30, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Please could you explain to me why meals aren’t deductible as an uber driver. I would have expected subsistence (food and drink consumed whilst away from your home and normal place of work) would be an allowable expense.

    • Jess July 30, 2015 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Rob, the tax law distinguishes between entertainment, which is not deductible, and basic refreshments, which may be deductible. Generally, anything more than the most basic takeaway coffee or sandwich will be considered entertainment. Almost any meal you sit down in a cafe or restaurant for will certainly fall in this category. A good rule of thumb – if you stop to enjoy your meal for more than a moment, it will be entertainment, and non-deductible. The rules are quite restrictive, although there is quite a lot of grey area between the two categories. As a conservative approach you should generally assume that most, if not all your meals are non-deductible. There are some other exceptions to this rule, such as certain business meetings with clients, supplying coffee for staff, or overnight travel away from home, but these would arise for Uber drivers rarely, if ever.

  5. Jared August 3, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Considering that Uber drivers have to get an ABN are these drivers eligible for the Abbott/Hockey 20000 immediate tax deduction in their new budget? For instance if a car was purchased this would surely be considered “relative to the business”?

    • Jess August 4, 2015 at 1:00 am - Reply

      Hi Jared, You’re absolutely right, as small business owners Uber can claim the $20,000 up front deduction, and also claim the GST back on the purchase of a new vehicle. Beware though, if you later sell the car, you will then have to declare the proceeds as taxable income. You will also have to pay GST when you sell it, or pay a GST adjustment if you deregister from GST in the future. It’s important to plan ahead for these. Finally, don’t forget that all of your tax deductions and GST claims need to be apportioned for business and private use percentage, so you’ll need to have a logbook. I hope this helps!

  6. Doug November 3, 2015 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Is the 20% fee that Uber takes from gross fares tax deductible, considering drivers pay GST on gross fares rather than their 80% cut?

    Thanks!

    • Jess November 5, 2015 at 2:18 am - Reply

      Thanks for your question Doug. The Uber fee is absolutely deductible. You’ll declare the gross fare (exclusive of GST) as income, and claim the 20% fee as a deduction, thus only pay tax on your 80% cut. GST is different though. There is no GST on the Uber fee because they are not an Australian company. This means you’ll pay GST on your gross income without any reduction for the Uber fee. Note that you’ll only pay income tax on the GST exclusive amount for your gross fares, i.e. the income you have left after giving the ATO their GST portion. I hope this helps! Jess

  7. Alex December 7, 2015 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Q1: Why is the gross fare deductible rather than the net fare? Given drivers don’t actually receive the gross fare, if it was the gross fare would we not recieve the gross fare then pay uber back the fee?

    Q2: I drive a dual cab ute and have purchased a canopy for it (stop luggage getting wet), sidesteps (so people can get into the car) & a tub liner (to protect the car from scratching) as well as a Long Range Fuel Tank (so I can purchase fuel at its cheapest once a week rather than most expensive). All this is deductible under the 20k AUTO deduction. Is it not?

    • Jess December 12, 2015 at 7:25 am - Reply

      Hi Alex,

      1) You will only pay tax on the net amount. However the ATO require you to report the gross fares as income, and then claim the Uber fees as a deduction. It’s the same net result, just a more round-about way of reporting it.

      2) Yes, all assets purchased after the 12th of May that are under $20,000 can be deducted up front. A few things to note:
      – you can only claim a percentage based on how much you use your vehicle for Uber vs Private use
      – it’s not ‘cash back’, only a tax deduction
      – if the deduction pushes your Uber business into a loss, that loss can’t be claimed against your other income. Instead it will be carried forward and can be claimed against Uber profits in future years. This means you may not get the full benefit of the deduction in the current year, depending on how much you drive and how much profit you make.
      – if you sell the assets or the car as a whole you will need to pay tax on the proceeds of sale, because you claimed a deduction on the purchase. The tax rules work both ways!

      I hope this answers your question!

      Jess

  8. Duncan February 9, 2016 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Thanks for providing this service. Nothing about signing up for Uber has been as straightforward as their slick marketing made it seem. This site seems to provide some solid, practical advice. I’m sure I’ll be signing up for some of your services in the near future.

    • Jess February 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Duncan. Becoming a sole trader can be quite a learning curve, I hope you find the info here useful! All the best with your driving.

  9. Kirill March 2, 2016 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Hello Jess

    Under new tax incentive where businesses are allowed to write off expenses up to $20000, would I be able to write off a purchase of a car as an expense ? Since I will be using it 97% of time for Uber driving.
    Appreciate your help.

    Thanks

    • Jess March 3, 2016 at 4:06 am - Reply

      Hi there,
      The simple answer is yes, but there are a number of qualifications to that.

      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.

      Here’s an 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.

      There’s a catch here. If your Uber taxable profit is more than the amount of the deduction, then you won’t get the benefit of the whole this year. Say for example your net Uber profit was $5,000 (i.e. you fares, less Uber fees, less car running costs and other expenses), and then you claimed the depreciation deduction of $10,800, this would create a net loss of $5,800. Unless your gross fares for the year were more than $20,000 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’s also a sting in the tail you need to keep in mind. When you sell the car, the sale proceeds are taxable. Since you will have claimed depreciation on the whole cost of the car at purchase, you must therefore pay tax on the whole selling price of the car. What goes around comes around! If you’re replacing the car with another business vehicle, and if this $20,000 deduction rule is still in place (which is by no means guaranteed), then the deduction on the new car should offset the tax paid on the sale of this car. However if you’re selling it and not replacing it, or you’re simply no longer driving for Uber, there will be tax to pay.

      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!

  10. Kevin March 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,thanks for the helpful tips. Would you mind explaining the tax implications for an individual with a full time job having a new car purchased through a novated lease to drive uber 20%of the time? I intend to utilize the $20,000 business expense write off but the car on the novated lease costs $30,000 (including gst).

    • Jess March 9, 2016 at 1:12 am - Reply

      Hi Kevin,

      That’s quite a specific question, and one that required more information about your personal circumstances to answer. I would invite you to book a consultation on our website, where we can do a calculation based on your income, marginal tax rates, other tax factors, your projected uber income and the specifics of the lease.

      A few quick notes through, the $20,000 doesn’t apply if the cost of the asset is over $20,000. Also, with many kinds of leases, you do not actually own the car, so you cannot claim the $20,000 deduction even if the car price is below $20k. Depreciation only apples where you are the owner of the car, not the leasing company. Please get in touch if you’d like further details.

      Jess

  11. Mukti March 8, 2016 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Thanks for such a useful article. Is it possible to claim both method (per cents km and logbook) as I haven’t kept my logbook yet and now on I want to keep it. I am a uber driver since last week of December. Should I give my ABN number to uber?

    Thanks
    Mukti

    • Jess March 9, 2016 at 12:32 am - Reply

      Hi Mukti,

      For your quarterly BAS’s you don’t need to have a logbook. Instead you can either claim a percentage of your car expenses set by the ATO based on your estimated kilometres travelled for Uber, or make a reasonable estimate of the percentage you use your car for Uber, based on Uber reports, service records and other information. You can then claim this percentage of the GST back on all your vehicle expenses. We’ll walk you through these options when you lodge your BAS with us. Once your logbook is complete you can switch to using your logbook percentage instead. Be sure to keep all your car running expenses (both Uber and private) so that your claim can be calculated.

      For your end of year tax return you do have to have a logbook, but you still have plenty of time! As long as you start the logbook before 30 June, you can use it for that year’s tax return. (Although if you do start in June, you’ll have to wait until your 12 week logbook is complete before you can lodge your tax return). If you don’t start a logbook during the financial year, that’s when you’ll be forced to rely on the cents per km method. (Note that the cents per km method does not apply to GST/BAS’s, it is only for your end of year income tax).

      Regarding your ABN, I’m not sure what Uber’s requirements are regarding advising your ABN. This is a question for them I’m afraid!

      All the best with your driving,

      Jess

  12. Hahim March 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Hi

    I was told I cant use my car for Uber as I am doing novated lease via my employer. Is this correct?

    • Jess March 23, 2016 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Hi Hahim,

      Thanks for your question. I’m not sure whether you mean that your employer/lease company said you are not allowed to, or whether you mean this came from Uber or the ATO.
      I can’t comment as what is permissible use of your vehicle, as this will be written into the terms and conditions of your lease contract. They may have a clause in the lease that says you cannot use the car for business purposes except for your employer? You would need to ask your employer or lease company about this.
      I also can’t comment on whether Uber allows this. Technically the lease company owns the car, not you, so you’d have to check Uber’s requirements on ownership of the vehicle you use.
      As far as the ATO is concerned, they don’t stipulate whether you may or may not use a leased car for Uber, but they do have rules on whether you can claim a deduction for the expenses. If you are salary packaging your vehicle, then you are already receiving a tax benefit, because you’re paying for the car from your pre-tax income. To claim a tax deduction on anything that has already been salary packaged would be double-dipping. If you pay for running costs directly (i.e. outside of the package/lease agreement) then these may be deductible provided you keep a logbook.
      As a side note, for a lease that isn’t salary packaged, you may claim the lease payments on your end of year tax provided you’ve kept a logbook, and you may claim the GST on the lease payments on your quarterly BAS’s. Note that when a car is leased, you don’t actually own the car, so no interest or depreciation (including the $20,000 upfront depreciation) is deductible. Instead you’ll only claim the lease costs.

      I hope this is helpful. – Jess

  13. Angela April 24, 2016 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Could you clarify something for me please? If I log on to Uber waiting for my first passenger, and I accept a duty, and they are 5 kms away waiting to be picked up, can I record those 5 kms as part of my trip to go and get them? What about driving home after my last passenger, if they are say 20 kms away from my own home? Can that be counted too?

    • Jess April 25, 2016 at 6:38 am - Reply

      Hi Angela,
      Yes, you can absolutely claim ALL of your Uber related travel, including kilometres between jobs, and kilometres to and from home at the start and end of each Uber session. The distance isn’t a problem, for example if you live some distance from your nearest city and have to travel in to the city where there’s a higher demand for Uber.
      Note that when Uber advise your kilometres on your weekly and quarterly summaries these are only kilometres that you carried passengers. Be sure to keep your own records to determine your total Uber kilometres for tax purposes.

  14. Huntz April 29, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    “For tax purposes, you can also claim the kilometres between rides, kilometres from home to your first fare, and kilometres from your last fare back home.”

    What if you leave home and drive somewhere, however cannot find any passengers, so just drive back home or wherever. Is that a claimable expense?

    Thanks,
    Huntz

    • Jess April 30, 2016 at 3:48 am - Reply

      Hi Huntz,
      Yes that travel is tax deductible too, provided of course that it was genuine. Logging into the Uber app is the clearest way to verify that you truly were ‘working’.
      Jess

  15. Hani May 6, 2016 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I just want to ask you the calculation for tax if I am working Uber as my additional income. For instance, I am working full time earning per year $85,000 and from Uber I am earning $20,000 per year. Let say for 1 year all expenses for Uber $6000. Then how the tax will be calculated? I understand my tax bracket under 37% category for my TFN, does the calculation for my tax (TFN and ABN) will be counted separately for my ABN and TFN or it will be combined?

    If it is combined, it means my tax fall in the high bracket unfortunately 🙁

    Is there any way to reduce the tax legally as I don’t wanna end up paying more tax at the end.

    Thank you so much,

    Hani

    • Jess May 9, 2016 at 12:39 am - Reply

      Hi Hani,
      Your ABN profit from Uber is added to the rest of your taxable income and is taxed at your marginal tax rate. Therefore, if you already have $85k of taxable income from employment, then your Uber profit will be added on top and taxed at 37% (plus Medicare Levy). It’s up to you to decide whether this will make Uber driving worthwhile for you. The only way to reduce your tax is by keeping good records of all your expenses so that you can maximise your tax deductions. Be sure to keep a logbook as well to maximise your car claims.
      I hope this is helpful!
      Jess

  16. Stv May 6, 2016 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Hey Jess,
    great site – thank you.
    if i was to purchase multiple cars, each worth less than 20k, then create a business leasing these to prospective drivers would the deduction apply each time?

    • Jess May 9, 2016 at 12:29 am - Reply

      Hi there,
      Yes, you can certainly claim this tax concession as many times as you like. The only requirement is that your business turnover is below $2 million. The tax concession is currently scheduled to close on the 30th of June 2017.
      Keep in mind though that depending on which business structure you use, and your level of profits, you may not be able to use all of those tax deductions in the one financial year, and in some cases they will instead be rolled forward to be offset against future profits.
      If you need any further advice on setting up this business or how the loss rules work feel free to get in touch.
      Jess

  17. Nathan May 9, 2016 at 6:17 am - Reply

    Hi, I am wanting to know if I can setup a company to operate Uber through so the income doesn’t get added to my personal income from my regular job. Has anyone done this? And what problems might there be?
    Thanks

    • Jess May 11, 2016 at 6:31 am - Reply

      Hi Nathan,

      Great question. You can drive for Uber in a company, but the problem is cost. Company setup costs will be $600 to DIY or $800-$1,000 with the help of an accountant. Then each year the company must have Financial Statements and a Tax Return prepared, plus pay an annual fee to ASIC, assume around $2,000 per year all up. There are also more stringent bookkeeping and administration requirements than for a sole trader.

      If you’re in the 32% (+ Medicare Levy) tax bracket ($37-$80k) from your employment and other income (i.e. before your Uber income), and we compare to the current 28.5% small business company tax rate, you would need to have Uber profits (after expenses) of over $46,000 per year to cover the annual costs plus setup costs. (I’m yet to meet an Uber driver who has reached this!)

      If you’re in the 37% (+ Medicare Levy) tax bracket ($80k-$180k) from your employment and other income, and we compare to the current 28.5% small business company tax rate, you would need to have Uber profits of over $27,000 per year, not including setup plus costs.

      Of course these tax rates may change depending on the outcome of the Budget and Election, but there won’t be much difference to these results.

      My recommendation is that setting up a company for Uber is overkill, unless you’re earning over $180k, or earning over $80k from employment PLUS driving for Uber almost full time, and you plan to do so for a number of years… In other words, it’s generally not worth it!

      I hope this answers your questions Nathan. Jess.

      • Jae July 17, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

        Hi Jess,

        I’ve been considering setting up a company to operate Uber under and doing research on information of it somehow led me to your comment here.

        Given that I’m in the 37% marginal tax rate, whereas the small business tax rate in FY17/18 is 27.5%, and I would probably generate over $30k net profit in this financial year, it seems to make sense to set up a company rather than operating as a sole trader. However, I’m not 100% clear about the extra costs for registration and reporting obligations.

        So, what extras as opposed to a sole trader are required for a company on the top of the usual quarterly BAS’s and the annual income tax return?

        Also, can you please elaborate on the more stringent bookkeeping and administration requirements that you mentioned above?

        Thank you very much in advance Jess

        • Jess July 18, 2017 at 3:23 am - Reply

          Hi Sean,

          This question is quite involved and depends on a range of personal circumstances, so I’m afraid I can’t answer here as to whether this is a good option for you.

          However to answer your question about cost, you should expect to pay around $800 to set up a company (including legal documents, ASIC’s registration fee of $459, and accounting fees to register the company TFN, ABN, GST etc), $250-ish in annual fees to ASIC, $20-$50/mth for bookkeeping software (because all companies must have fully reconciled bookkeeping records), and $800-$1200 for end of financial year Financial Statements and Tax Return (because all companies must have formal financial statements prepared).

          If you’d like more personalised advice, please feel free to book a consultation.

          – Jess

  18. Lizzy June 3, 2016 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Great article, thank you for all the information!
    A quick question, I have an ABN and have registered for GST. I purchased a vehicle today (private used car). Should I register this for private or business use?
    I will use my car very rarely for private use, mainly just for Uber. Am I right in thinking the insurance etc will be deductible? I intend on keeping a logbook.
    I have a full time job and this will be something on the side for me.
    I just want to set everything up so that I do not have any issues at tax time! It is all very new to me.
    Thanks!
    Lizzy

    • Jess June 3, 2016 at 8:00 am - Reply

      Hi Lizzy,

      The laws registering cars are different from state to state, so you’ll need to check with the road authority where you are. In terms of insurance, you should definitely advise that you’re driving for Uber, otherwise you may not be covered if something happens while you’re driving. If your insurance company don’t allow you to drive for Uber, you can just switch to a company that does cover it, there are plenty out there. In order to claim the cost of your registration, insurance and other running costs, be sure to start your logbook before 30 June and keep it for 12 weeks! All the best with your Uber driving Lizzy.

  19. Gordon June 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Thanks for this article.
    A quick question, if I paid $10 000 to purchase a second hand and use that 100% to drive uber is that $10 000 tax deductible?
    What happen if I sold my car for $9 000 next year, is that whole $9 000 a taxable income?
    Thank you.

    • Jess June 16, 2016 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Hi Gordon,

      Thanks for your question. You’re absolutely correct, you must pay income tax on the market value upon sale. The same is true for GST. You can claim GST on your Uber percentage of the purchase price, but you must pay GST on the sale price of the car. Importantly, these rules also apply when you stop using the car for a taxable purpose, that is, when you stop driving for Uber. When you deregister for GST you must pay GST on the car’s market value at the time, and also pay income tax on a ‘balancing adjustment’ for the market value of the car. Many accountants forget to apply this, so it’s important you’re aware of it.

  20. Kart June 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess

    Looking at this website and your comments made me just to stick with one regular job. One quick question, i just signed up with uber and drove for only one week. I am not going to drive for uber any more. Do i have to register for gst and claim the tax or i can claim from my regular tfn?

    • Jess June 20, 2016 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Hi Kart,

      Unfortunately you are technically required to register for GST for that one week and then de-register. You would need to then lodge a BAS for the quarter, declare the little bit of income you earned and pay GST to the ATO. The remainder of your Uber income (the GST exclusive amount) must then be declared as business income on your end of year tax return. Frustrating, I know!

  21. Stan June 27, 2016 at 3:46 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I was thinking about the 20% fee that uber takes from the full fare received from customers. Does this mean that I should be declaring the full fare amount received. Likewise, should I be claiming the 20% fee as expense for using the UBER platform?

    Kind regards,

    -Stan.

    • Jess June 28, 2016 at 5:19 am - Reply

      Hi Stan, You’ve got that all correct. In both your BAS and your end of year tax return, the ATO require you to declare the Gross Fares as income, and then the Uber Fees as an expenses. These two net off to give your net fares. It’s the same end result either way, the ATO just want to see it broken down. Note that there is no GST to claim in Uber fees because they’re not an Australian company. Thanks Stan!

  22. Mad June 28, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, Its all really valuable advice.

    Would you please comment on my situation.

    I already had purchased a vehicle for 32,000$ in 2011 and started driving with Uber in 2015. Can I deduct portion of purchase amount as work related expenses under that 20,000$ tax exemption. Or Can I transfer my own vehicle to the sole business ?

    How should i account for deprecation expenses with my vehicle ?

    Thanks

    • Jess June 30, 2016 at 4:34 am - Reply

      Hi Mad, that’s a complex question. The simple answer is that we can calculate the approximate written down value at the time you started driving for Uber and bring this into account. I estimate this to be roughly $6,500. Under the $20k deprecation rules you would then be able to write this off as a deduction. Don’t forget that if this results in you making an overall loss for Uber, you can’t claim that loss against your other taxable income. Instead you would need to carry this loss forward to be offset against future Uber profits. If you need a more detailed response, please feel free to book a consultation on our website. Jess.

  23. Ashish July 6, 2016 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I bought a car in Dec 2015 and as per the logbook about 90% is business use. The car costed $12500 ex GST. Till June 30th I have made about $10500 from Uber. I want to check is there a way write that car off. As per your comments above it looks like we cant as it will be a loss for uber income and has to go next year. Does that mean that it can be written off next year or how will it work. Thanks

    • Jess July 6, 2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Ashish,

      Thanks for your question. So if we assume your net profit from Uber was $10,500 (after deducting all your expenses) and the cost of your car after applying your logbook percentage was $12,500, then you’d have a carried forward loss of $2,000. This will be carried forward to be offset against future year’s profits. So, let’s say next year you make a net taxable profit of $5,000, then the $2,000 from last year will be deducted and you’ll only pay tax on $3,000. Or alternatively, say you only made a profit of $500, then we would use $500 of your carried forward loss to cancel out this taxable profit, and the remaining $1,500 would be carried forward again to next year.

      Losses can be carried forward indefinitely, but can only be offset against the ‘same business activity’. Therefore, if you stop driving for Uber, your carried forward losses can no longer be applied.

      I hope this answers your question.

  24. Sam W July 11, 2016 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hi,
    I started UBER driving in Sept 2015. Purchased a car for 18500/- only for uber. But I did not have ABN at that time.
    Can I claim this as $20k write-off?
    Question 2
    Can I get the refund for UBER using PAYG (full time job)

    Sam

    • Jess July 12, 2016 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Hi Sam, You must have an ABN to claim the $20k writeoff. But you can only get an ABN if you were driving for Uber at that time. Don’t forget you must register for GST too.
      I’m afraid I don’t understand your second question, so feel free to email info@drivetax.com.au and I’ll do my best to answer.

  25. jimmy tzinalas July 20, 2016 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Hi,
    i purchased a car valued at 27k, the car is used 80% for uber, am i able to put that amount in my BAS form or am i only allowed to claim at 20K or under.

    • Jess July 21, 2016 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Hi Jimmy,

      Yes you can absolutely claim 80% of the GST, provided you were registered for GST at the time you bought it and you purchased fro a GST-registered seller (i.e. a dealer, not a private seller). Be sure to put the purchase price at G10 on your BAS, and only claim the amount of GST on the invoice x 80% at 1B. The 20k limit that you’re referring to only applies to your tax deduction on your end of year tax return, not GST on your BAS. Since the price is over $20k you can still make the claim, but you must spread the claim over a number of years as depreciation, instead of claiming up front for cars under $20k.

  26. Andrea July 26, 2016 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Hi Jess my husband only just started uber so last years earnings of $900 need a tax return. Should he be putting this under personal services income. He was going to put it as a business but the only option it gives him on etax is for earning over 20,000 none of the options apply to him
    Thanks for your help

    • Jess July 26, 2016 at 3:37 am - Reply

      Hi Andrea, no it’s not Personal Services Income, it definitely must go in the Business Schedule. If he has made a loss he will not be able to claim it against his other income because he has earned less than $20k, so the loss must be deferred instead. Aside from this I’m sorry I can’t guide you further – as tax agents we have specialised software and therefore I’ve never used eTax! Good luck!

  27. Adam July 26, 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Jess,

    You have answered this question a couple of times, but this is a variation of the questions already asked.

    I plan on travelling to Switzerland to live in the middle of next year.

    I plan on selling the car in July next year (The financial year I am not in Australia)

    Say I sell the car for 20,000$ but do not earn any money in Australia, then that means I do not have to pay tax on the sale of the car? As my earnings for that year with the ATO will be effectively 0.

    Are my assumptions correct?

    Thank you so much for your aweseomness

    • Jess July 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Adam, Interesting question! To give you a brief answer, you would technically still be required to lodge a tax return and pay tax. Your car is a business asset, therefore the sale of the asset is taxable business income. You’re required to lodge a tax return if you earn $1 or more of business income. To complicate things further, depending on your residency status you may not be entitled to the tax free threshold for the whole financial year, which will increase the tax payable. Residency is a very grey area, so I’d definitely recommend getting tax advice for this. Another idea, it may be more strategic not to claim the $20k deduction on your car this year, and instead claim normal depreciation so as to minimise the tax payable on sale… Lots to think about Adam! Feel free to book a consultation via our website if you’d like more detailed and personalised advice. Happy travels!

  28. Mick September 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess

    I have just received a Voluntary Redundancy and currently taking a break. My last day of service was July 14, 2016. As it stands now I have already earnt a massive amount of money for my next years taxable income. I also pay quite a bit in child support whilst I was working. I’m not a shirker kind and would like to work and pay my child support (which I have continually paid since I stopped work).

    I am paying $1350/month of child support (which I don’t begrudge) but don’t want to be ripped off either come tax time next year. If I was to work for Uber can I reduce my taxable income with Uber expenses, of the money I have already earned with the redundancy?

    • Jess September 30, 2016 at 3:24 am - Reply

      Hi Mick, thanks for your question. In most cases, you cannot claim your Uber expenses against your employment income or any other income. Instead, if you have losses from Uber, you can only roll these forward and claim them against Uber profits you make in future year. The exception to this is if your Gross Income (i.e. fares before Uber deduct their fees) total more than $20,000 for the year. In that case, you can claim Uber losses against other income. This will probably require you to drive full time for at least a few months, or part time for the rest of the financial year. I hope this answers your question, but if you need more detail feel free to book a consultation on our website. Thanks Mick! Jess.

  29. Nick October 22, 2016 at 1:58 am - Reply

    if i purchase a car of $22000 and %business use is 10% in year 1 but in year business use increased to 50%. can i claim gst on purchase price in year 2 ? if yes !!! how and how much?
    thanks

    • Jess October 24, 2016 at 1:05 am - Reply

      Hi Nick, no unfortunately you can’t claim more on the purchase of the car later. You can only claim GST on the purchase in the quarter that the transaction occurred, and the percentage is based on your usage at that time. If your usage increases later unfortunately you can’t make an additional claim. Jess

  30. Mak October 24, 2016 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, very interesting article.
    I have a quick question –
    Lets say I have non-Uber gross income (post deduction of $90k and I have one old car (#1) for personal use only. If buy car (#2) worth $40k including GST using 40k Secured Car Loan on personal name and start doing Uber in that car (100% Business Usage), can I claim my P&I repayments during tax time? or can I only claim interest? Also, not sure how GST will play in this scenario (as not sure whether the car loan repayments will be charged including GST)
    Also, lets say in the year, I did not do Uber for 2 months and the car is sitting in the garage, would I be able to use those 2 month worth of car repayments as deductions under my ABN?
    Many thanks

    • Jess October 24, 2016 at 1:08 am - Reply

      Hi Mark. Regarding your car tax deductions, you can only claim the interest, not the principal, of your repayments. However you can claim depreciation on the purchase cost of your car, which in a way is like claiming the principal. There is no GST on loan repayments, so these amounts aren’t relevant to your BAS’s, only on your end of year tax return. The answer to your second question is yes, provided the car is still available for Uber use, and that is consistent with your logbook then you can continue to claim the expenses. Jess.

  31. Nirav Torvi November 15, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Hi jess,

    Highly informative article and the comments below. Thank you for writing it.

    I was hoping to get your opinion on if it is worthwhile for me to work a second job driving for Uber. I currently have a first job where I make 75k gross(tax withheld on tfn -15k).

    I drive an older car so I am looking to buy a newer car worth approx 10k (will mostly go for a car loan) which I will be using for Uber(95%) and plan to keep a log book.

    From Uber I was hoping to work the weekends and hopefully make about 25k a year on an abn(need to register for gst).

    My expected deductions for Uber costs is approximately 10.5k.

    Would you say this can be a worthwhile option to pursue or is it going to be the same overall with the tax I might have to pay at the end of the year.

    Please advise.
    Thanks in advance,

    Regards,
    Nirav

  32. Grant Moynihan November 29, 2016 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I currently have my own car which I use for work and claim against. Are there any implications for me to become an Uner partner and use this same car?

    Regards,

    Grant

    • Jess November 29, 2016 at 7:38 am - Reply

      Hi Grant, You can absolutely claim deductions for your car for both employment work and Uber driving. However you must use the same tax deduction method for both. This means that if you wish to use the logbook method to claim your Uber car expenses, then you must keep the logbook for your work kilometres also (all in the same logbook is fine, just make sure you note which trips are work and which are Uber). Alternatively you can use the cents per km method for both, but you’ll be limited to 5,000km for the two combined. I hope this answers your question!

  33. Sam M. December 4, 2016 at 7:39 am - Reply

    Gross income ~90k using car for client visits, uber income ~10k
    Hypothetically, for tax minimization purposes, if for example I uses multiple cars through the tax year, would the below be correct –

    ATO states 66 cents per km, per vehicle up to 5000km, does that mean I can claim on multiple vehicles each with max 5000km claim per vehicle for the tax year? or

    If I have owned and used multiple cars in the tax year with the maximum value of $57,581 per car, can I then and depreciated each car via logbook method?
    The latter seems more appealing given only having to keep a logbook for 12week per vehicle.

    • Jess December 5, 2016 at 2:26 am - Reply

      Hi Sam,

      The 5,000km limit applies per vehicle. This limit applies across both Uber/business and employment, so if you have already claimed 4,500km for your employment, you can only claim another 500km for Uber. If you had two cars during the financial year, then you can claim up to 10,000km.

      When it comes to logbooks, if you trade your car in for a new car you can continue to use the same logbook as long as your pattern of usage hasn’t changed. This means there’s no need to do a new logbook just because you have bought a new car. If you own two cars at the same time, you must have separate logbook records for each car. If your pattern of usage changes for one car, you will need to do new logbooks for both cars.

      It’s fine to use the logbook method for one car and the cents per km method for the other, or to use the same method for both cars. Feel free to use whichever combination gives you the highest tax deduction!

  34. Sakin December 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Hi, to benefit from tax deductions is it a must that I have an abn? I don’t have an abn and have been driving for a few days now.

    • Jess December 5, 2016 at 2:19 am - Reply

      Hi Sakin,

      The ATO require you to have an ABN and be registered for GST as soon as you start earning income from Uber. Therefore you must of course have these to claim deductions as well. If you have already started driving you can easily have your ABN and GST backdated to the date you started driving. Feel free to visit our GST Registration page if you need a hand with this.

  35. Ted January 3, 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Hi
    I retired and on Centerlink pension, my wife receive carer allowance because of my health status but I am physical y do such job as driving. I joined Uber and rent a car. Is it anything that I need to be aware? I know that I can have $6500 not taxed by Centerlink as I did not work for few years and if I exceed this limit, I will be taxed if my profit is more than $414 per fornight.
    The general question is if I am able to earn anything with such limitations. Centerlink ask for my fornightly earning before tax deduction. I am also asked how many hours my wife does not provide care for me when I drive – I specified amount of hours I drive, not amount that I logged to the device, I think it is proper. She gets about $500 per fornight as a carer. This amount can be reduced when I drive and out of home. Its complex and I don’t know if is a simple answer to my situation

    • Jess January 5, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Hi Ted, thanks for getting in touch. This is quite a complex question, and I’m afraid I can’t provide individual advice since I don’t know all of your background details. Also, you mentioned about how much you can earn before being taxed, but I’m wondering whether you’re actually talking about how much you can earn before your pension starts decreasing? In any case, this is something I’d need to look at in more detail for you. I couldn’t comment on the amounts of pension or carer’s allowance you’d receive, as I’m not a specialist on Centrelink (they’re a very separate department to the tax office!). But if you need help estimating how much you would earn so that Centrelink can tell you the impact on your pension, I can certainly help with that. Feel free to book a phone/Skype consultation by visiting our website, you’ll find the Book Now link in the top right hand corner. All the best Ted!

  36. Jenny February 2, 2017 at 9:19 am - Reply

    I bought a new car in Oct 2016 worth $40k and use 50% for uber, doing bas for Oct to Dec quarter, can I still claim the $20k small business write off? What other claims n deductions can i make on bas?

    • Jess February 2, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Jenny,

      The first thing to note is that the $20k small business write-off is a tax deduction, which means it goes on your end of year tax return. It doesn’t have anything to do with your GST or quarterly BAS.

      The $20k small business immediate write-off only applies if the purchase price of the car was $19,999 or under, so yours won’t be eligible. This means you must claim the usual deduction of 15% (multiplied by your 50% Uber use) in the first year.

      This ATO link has an example that matches your situation (Brendan and his $22k car):
      https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Income-and-deductions-for-business/In-detail/Capital-allowances/Simplified-depreciation—rules-and-calculations/?anchor=buyingandusingassets#buyingandusingassets

      But there’s still some good news. In your second year, the opening balance of your depreciation pool will be below $20k, and this makes you eligible under a different part of the $20k rules to write off the remaining balance

      So essentially, you’ll be able to write your car off on your end of year tax return in the second year, not in the first. Note you MUST keep an ATO-compliant logbook in order to get this deduction.

      With regard to GST and your BAS, provided you were GST registered on the date you bought the car you may claim back the GST amount on your tax invoice multiplied by your Uber percentage on your October BAS. This assumes you bought from a car dealer. If you bought from a private seller there most likely won’t be any GST to claim.

      I hope this answers your question! – Jess

  37. […] Tax Deductions For Uber Drivers April 20th, 2015 […]

  38. Dan February 20, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, if we are to claim car expenses (i.e. •running costs such as fuel, oil, and servicing•registration•insurance•vehicle depreciation) and we use the logbook method, can we still claim for the $20k writeoff. Say I bought a car for $10,000 and use it 50% for uber, spend $6000 in car expenses(as mentioned above), can I then claim $13,000 as my expense? And if I use it 100% for uber, can I then claim $16,000? Thanks!

    • Jess February 20, 2017 at 7:23 am - Reply

      Hi Dan, You’re absolutely right and in fact you must have a logbook to claim the $20k writeoff. The writeoff claim is on top of your other car running costs, and both of your examples are spot on. The only catch is that you must exclude GST from your tax deductions wherever GST applies, as it’s assumed you’d claim the GST back on your BAS. – Jess

      • Saffat November 26, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

        Hi Jess, I thought the % use applies to the capital cost not the running cost. What Dan has suggested above considers the running cost not the capital cost. Shouldn’t the deduction be $11,000 for 50% use? Thanks

        • Jess November 26, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

          Hi Saffat,

          You can only claim a tax deduction for the business use portion of ANY cost, capital or non-capital, because of course the ATO won’t let you claim a deduction for private expenses.

          I think Dan’s example is a little ambiguous though, so let me clarify how I have interpreted. He uses the car 50% business and 50% private. The car cost $10k, so of course he can only claim 50% being $5k. His TOTAL (business + private) running expenses for the year were $6k, so he can claim the 50% business portion which is $3k. So 50% business portion of the car purchase + 50% business portion of the running costs = $5k + $3k = $8k.

          (Remember you must have a valid logbook, otherwise you cannot claim any of the above and could only claim maximum 5,000km x 66cpkm = $3,300)

          I hope this clarifies Saffat! – Jess

  39. Dan February 20, 2017 at 2:07 am - Reply

    If we were to register for ABN as a sole trader for driving uber, do we have to register another ABN for leasing the same car to other drivers? Thanks

    • Jess February 20, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi again Dan! No, you must use the same ABN for both activities, because the ATO only ever issues one ABN per person. It’s important to note that GST registration applies to your whole ABN, not just to a single business activity. This means that since you’ll be required to register your ABN for GST because of the Uber income, you’ll be forced to pay GST on any leasing income too. If you need more detail on this feel free to get in touch or book a consultation. All the best! Jess

  40. Stephen Lelliott February 21, 2017 at 3:18 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Regarding the car write off: I bought a second hand car in November on finance purely for 100% uber driving. The purchase price was about approx $15,000 plus GST. Am I correct in saying I can claim the full amount of approx $1,500 GST in my Oct-Dec BAS Statement, but as it will not cover the amount of GST income I received in the quarter it will carry over to the subsequent BAS statements?
    And on my end of year tax return, I can offset the $15,000 asset write off against my tax liability for both my main income and my Uber income?
    Will I still be able to claim depreciation and interest on the finance at the same time?
    Thanks, Steve

    • Jess February 21, 2017 at 3:58 am - Reply

      Hi Steve,
      First, I’ll assume you bought that car from a dealer, hence the GST on the purchase price, and also that you have a logbook showing 100% for your end of year tax return.
      Essentially, you have these two a little backwards!
      On your BAS, you’re correct that you’ll get a credit of $1,500. If that exceeds your other GST payable, you will actually receive a refund of GST from the ATO. There are no carry-forward rules for BAS, everything is payable or refundable in full each quarter.
      For your end of year tax return, yes the $15,000 will be deductible up front against your Uber income. If this deduction is greater than the rest of your taxable profit from Uber, then you’ll end up with a taxable loss from Uber driving. What happens next depends on how much you earned in Gross Fares.
      – If your gross fares were over $20k, then you can claim this loss as a deduction against your employment and other taxable income.
      – If your gross fares were under $20k, then you cannot claim the loss, instead it must be carried forward to offset against Uber profits in future years.
      – (Note the $20k limit in this rule is unrelated to the $20k write-off, it’s just a coincidence that they’re the same amount!)
      I hope that all makes sense! – Jess

  41. Stephen Lelliott February 21, 2017 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Thanks for being so prompt Jess! Just to be clear and using very approximate figures:
    I anticipate that my gross fares from Uber (before fees) from Oct 2016-June 2017 will be about $40k, however my taxable income after fees and other deductions, but before any write-off will be about $25k. Thus I can further reduce my taxable income from Uber by another $15k i.e. $10k?
    And as a result, can I assume that my taxable income for 2016-2017 will be my earnings from my ‘day job’ plus the $10k (which will then be taxed in full at my marginal rate)?
    Steve

    • Jess February 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Steve, that’s spot on! -Jess

  42. Stephen Lelliott March 10, 2017 at 5:05 am - Reply

    Hi again Jess;

    Just to clarify – looking at Dan’s query above on Feb 20th 12:29 and your reply, is it correct that I can claim depreciation on my vehicle purchased 100% for Uber driving as well as the $15k write-off on my vehicle? If so, how is the depreciation calculated?

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Jess March 11, 2017 at 2:22 am - Reply

      Hi Steve,

      The write-off IS depreciation, these two things are one and the same. In other words, the tax concession is allowing you to write off all your depreciation up front, rather than spreading it over a number of years per the usual rules.

      I hope that clears it up!

      Jess

  43. Michel Cheerakathottathil March 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I’m currently studying at university. And I do Uber during weekends to meet my expenses. My only income is primarily from uber which is less than 18k. I’m still required to pay tax?

    Thank you,

    Michel.

    • Jess March 12, 2017 at 3:32 am - Reply

      Hi Michel,
      If your total taxable income is below $18k you will not have a tax bill. However you must still lodge a tax return and declare all of your Uber income and expenses, even if you will have no tax to pay.
      Thanks, Jess

  44. wei March 20, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have a vehicle worth about 65k which is used for my day job which I claim depreciation on, maintenance and insurance.

    Can I claim the same vehicles depreciation, maintenance and insurance on Uber as well?

    • Jess March 20, 2017 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Hi Wei,

      Yes, you can claim your running costs and depreciation for both your employment and your Uber driving. However you must create a new 12 week logbook that records both your employment and Uber kilometres in the one logbook. This will give your logbook percentages for each, so that work % + Uber % + Private % = 100%.

      Jess

  45. BB March 20, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    How long I can Claim tax deduction for the Car.

    1.Brand new car 2017 ($25,000)

    2.Second hand car 2012 ($18,000)

    My friend said only five years from the car register. Correct?
    Can you recommend Should I Brand new or Second Hand, cash or Loan better
    Uber is my second job. First job I got $60,000 up. please give me advise..

    Thank you so much

    • Jess March 21, 2017 at 12:44 am - Reply

      Hi,

      I can’t answer questions about your personal car purchase or circumstances here, but I can answer your question about depreciation.

      There isn’t a specific number of years. Instead, you will claim 15% of the cost in the first year, and 30% every year after that. If the ‘written down value’ gets below $20,000, or if the cost of the car was below $20,000 in the first place, then you can claim/’write off’ the remaining balance.

      Jess

  46. Fara March 30, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Thanks for providing such useful information.

    I did not keep my fuel receipts. Can I use my bank statements to claim GST on my BAS’s?
    Regards,
    Fara

    • Jess April 3, 2017 at 12:05 am - Reply

      Hi Fara, the ATO will accept your bank records for transactions under $82.50, but over that amount you must have a tax invoice. Jess

  47. Philippa April 20, 2017 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have a question regarding claiming expenses for manual car washes that you pay by coin and no receipt is given.

    Can I still track this in my logbook and claim in the BAS Expenses?

    Many thanks

    Philippa

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

      Hi Philippa, in these cases the ATO allow you to keep a ‘diary note’ record. You can just write a note in your diary, a notebook kept in your glovebox or in a ‘notes’ page in your logbook, with the date, amount, and the name of the car wash. This will be accepted as a valid record. – Jess

  48. Philippa April 20, 2017 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Can I claim a percentage for Home office, for when I track my weekly Uber figures, downloads, viewing Uber related sites eg?
    I was told I could not, only my mobile phone usage.

    Thank you

    Philippa

    • Jess April 21, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

      HI Philippa, you can absolutely claim a percentage of your home internet bills on your BAS’s and tax return. You can also claim any stationery or computer purchases for Uber (or a percentage if they are part Uber and part private use). For the rest of your home office costs the ATO specifies a set rate that you can claim of 45 cents per hour, which is meant to cover your rent, electricity, heating etc. This does not have GST, so it’s not relevant to your BAS< it is only on your end of year tax return. As an example, you drove for Uber for 20 weeks, and spend 2 hours per week working from home on recordkeeping, research etc. Your tax deduction at the end of the year would be 45 cents per hour x 2 hours per week x 20 weeks = $18. I hope this explains it! - Jess

      • Philippa April 21, 2017 at 4:34 am - Reply

        Fantastic, Thank you Jess, it certainly does explain it

  49. Philippa April 21, 2017 at 4:35 am - Reply

    Thank you Jess, this is great to know as I had been getting mixed messages from various people.

  50. Elena April 21, 2017 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Hi jess,

    My husband started driving for uber on the 31st of March therefore would I be correct in saying that he will have to lodge his BAS for that one day?

    • Jess April 22, 2017 at 1:24 am - Reply

      Hi Elena, unfortunately that’s right. If you’re registered for GST for even one day of the quarter you must lodge a BAS, even if you didn’t earn anything. If you have no income or expenses for the quarter you can lodge a ‘Nil BAS’ to the ATO in just a few minutes using their automated phone service. The number is 13 72 26, available 24/7. Jess.

  51. Elena cakoski April 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Hi jess, sorry second post I am writing on but I’m just freaking out about all the payments and how little we would be left with if my husband continues driving for Uber so I’ll start with this calculation because that’s what I need help with the most. E.g He makes $2500 before Uber takes out their percentage
    Then 2500/11 (Gst)= 227
    The 25% Uber fee 2500X0.25= 625
    So 2500 – 227- 625 = 1648
    Then say $500 expenses (fuel,leasing the car) side note we solely rented the car for Uber
    So 1648- 500 = 1148
    Not taking the GST credits into consideration because it will only make a $50 difference if that, so then the tax rate and I’m assuming that coz we start @ 2500 that means X 52 = 120000 per year, means the 39% marginal tax + Medicare levy
    So 1148 X 0.39= 447
    Therefore 1148 – 447 = 701 and for arguments sake we’ll add the $45 in gst credits
    701 + 45= 746 net profit. Sorry for the long post I’m just really freaking out he just quit his job to do Uber and 2500 is a lot of money for it to come down to 746 and if this isn’t the right fit then I need to figure it out ASAP. Thank you for your time and patience I really appreciate it.

    • Jess April 22, 2017 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Hi Elena, I can’t provide personal advice here, but I’ll try to answer in general terms. Your calculation looks right except for the income tax. The marginal tax rate depends on the net profit from Uber (i.e. gross fares minus uber fees minus expenses minus GST), not the gross fares. So if gross fares were $2500/wk and net profit was $1000/wk, you’d be looking at the $1000 per week to calculate the tax rate.

      Also, say the tax rate is 34.5% (including Medicare Levy). That doesn’t mean all the income is taxed at 34.5%. Some is taxed at 0%, some taxed at 21% and so on. For example if your net Uber taxable profit for the year was $52,000, that’s a marginal tax rate of 34.5%. However the tax bill once taking all the different tax thresholds into account would be $9,487 (including Medicare Levy), which is an effective average tax rate of just 18%. This tax calculator can help you work it out, and you can see the marginal tax rates here. Good luck!

  52. Rachel Lin April 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    My husband has a company and the car is registered under the company. Does that means the income and expenses for driving Uber are calculated as part of the company’s income and expenses?

    Thanks!

    • Jess April 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Rachel, I’m sorry I can’t answer this question, as it depends on a number of factors. I recommend chatting to the accountant who looks after your company tax, and they’ll be able to answer with your personal and company circumstances taken into account. Jess

  53. Huntz May 12, 2017 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I asked a question at another Facebook forum for Uber tax related matters but I’m not 100% convinced on the matter so thought I’d get a 2nd professional opinion from yourself.

    So I have been driving for about 5 weeks and am currently recording my log book mileage.

    Not sure if you’re aware but the Uber app has a feature (perhaps relatively new) that allows the driver to enter a destination of their choice (2 allowed per day) and the app will only receive ride requests which are in the direction of travel towards the driver-selected destination.

    So my question is as follows:
    My understanding is that as long as I am logged onto the Uber app then the kilometers we accumulate can be logged as a business expense. Because with Uber’s “2 trips per day towards a destination of your choice” function, I’m able to drive between home and work and only pick up ride requests that are enroute so essentially I’m still using my vehicle 100% for business purposes.

    • Jess May 12, 2017 at 4:20 am - Reply

      Hi Huntz, it’s a great new feature isn’t it! All of those kms are tax deductible and can be entered in your logbook. It’s true that you may have a secondary motive or benefit in that you’re travelling in the direction of work, as long as you’re logged into the app and genuinely available to take passengers, you are doing so in order to earn income that is taxable (or attempt to earn, if you don’t get any passengers), and therefore you can claim tax deductions for the expenses you incur. Choosing trips that are convenient to you personally does not prevent you from claiming a deduction, just as a professional consultant can pick and choose which clients they work with, their expenses are still deductible and in my opinion so are yours. Jess

  54. Gary June 29, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Hi Alex

    I have a question regarding the deductions for a pre owned vehicle used for Uber.

    So I purchased a vehicle for $50K inc GST and used it for 1 year privately before starting Uber i.e. business use was zero before Uber. However I only drove for Uber for 3 months before I realised how little I was making! During the 3 months I kept a log book and estimate my Uber use for that 3 months at 80%.

    How do I calculate the opening value for the small business depreciation?
    Can I claim any GST on the initial purchase?
    Is the depreciation a flat 15 or 30% irrespective of the fact that the business was only in operation for only 3 months of the year?

    Cheers Gary

    • Jess June 30, 2017 at 1:30 am - Reply

      Hi Gary, I can’t give you personal advice here, but generally speaking you cannot claim GST on the purchase of a car unless you were registered for GST on the date you bought it. Regarding depreciation, the small business depreciation rules allow you to claim 15% in the first year of business use (multiplied by your logbook percentage of course). We’d work out the value of the car to be claimed by calculating what it’s written down value would have been had it been depreciation under business rules from the day you bought it. However if the business was closed during the same financial year we’d also have to process a disposal of the car at it’s market value. The small business depreciation rules are quire generous in this case, essentially you’d still get your 15% deduction. Jess

  55. Darss July 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have a full time job paying approx $70K p.a. I plan to buy a new car and drive for uber only. I understand that if I buy from a dealer, I can claim GST on purchase of car.

    In terms of loss, if my billings to uber (after GST) exceed $20,000 p.a. and yet I make a loss from my uber activities (after depreciation, fuel and other costs) can I reduce my total taxable income i.e. my salary less the loss from uber and therefore get a tax refund. I plan to buy an expensive car and place it for Uber Select (slightly higher fares charged to customers). The depreciation on the car plus the interest charges on the loan alone will amount to more than $20,000 in the first year.

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Jess July 4, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

      Hi Darss, You are correct, if your gross Uber earnings are over $20,000 but you still end up making a loss, then you can claim this loss against your other taxable income. If your gross Uber earnings don’t reach $20,000 then the loss can’t be claimed, and instead you’ll hav to carry it forward so it can be claimed against future Uber profits. – Jess.

  56. Mike July 5, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information ans resources you have provided for free and continue to respond to questions in this forum. Very commendable… I’ll absolutely be retaining your services shortly.
    My question is….. I’ve just registered my car on the 26th of June. Does this mean that the Registration, comprehensive insurance and CTP insurance I’ve just paid cannot be used as deductions for the current financial year?

    • Jess July 6, 2017 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the great feedback! To answer your question, to claim GST on those expenses you’d have to be registered for GST on the date of purchase, and then you could claim the GST in your June quarter BAS (note that you may not pay any GST on some of those expenses, so there wouldn’t be GST to claim back). To claim a tax deduction on your 2017 tax return, you must have an ABN, and you must have an ATO-compliant 12 week logbook that started on or before the 30th of June 2017. I hope this answers your question! – Jess

  57. Gary Finch July 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess. Thank you so much for this very helpful thread. I received a $100 payment from Uber for signing up another driver. Is this regarded as part of my gross income on BAS and my end of year Tax Return. If so, can I claim it as a deduction, as I have not received it for driving passengers around. Thanks, Gary.

    • Jess July 18, 2017 at 3:15 am - Reply

      Hi Gary, The referral payment is income that you received, so you will have to declare it and pay income tax on it, just like you pay tax on employment income, bank interest and any other income. You can’t claim a deduction for it. For your BAS it’s a little different. Referral payments from Uber are GST-free. So although they must be included as income at G1 on your BAS, there is no GST to pay at 1A. If you need help preparing your BAS be sure to check out our BAS services page! – Jess

  58. Gary Finch July 19, 2017 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Thanks Jess. I wasn’t quite sure, as it was money coming from an overseas company, and not from my passengers.

  59. Pete July 20, 2017 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    hello Jess. I have read a lot of the q’s and a’s here and found a lot of valuable information. i don’t want to go over information you have already provided but just a question regarding my situation. I receive a pension through state super at a tax rate of 15%. Will my Uber income be taxed at the same rate. And I have purchased a vehicle prior to registering for Uber. Does that mean that I cannot claim any of the $20,000 set up on offer. I am seeing my accountant next week but good to find out in advance what I am entitled to. I can see we may lose a few Uber drivers if this all becomes too difficult for some. Thanks for your information so far.

    • Jess July 21, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply

      Hi Pete,
      Thanks for your message. That tax rate of 15% is a concessional rate just for your super, it won’t apply to your Uber income. That will be taxed at normal marginal tax rates. Regarding your vehicle purchase, if you weren’t registered for GST at the time you purchased the car then you won’t be allowed to claim the GST, but you can still claim depreciation on your end of year tax return, including the $20k write-off, provided the purchase is eligible and you have a valid logbook.
      All the best – Jess

  60. Vin July 23, 2017 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have been driving uber for a couple of months now and this is my first end of year tax return as uber as my primary income. About the uber fees, I have read somewhere that they are tax deductible expense for the end of year tax return but not in the bas. Is this true and can you elaborate a bit about where in the tax return would that expense be applicable? Thanks

    • Jess July 23, 2017 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Hi Vin,
      Uber don’t charge you GST on their fees, which means there is no GST for you to claim back on your BAS. However you can claim the whole amount of the fees as a tax deduction on your end of year tax return.
      Your Uber income and expenses are all declared in a ‘business schedule’, which is an extra section within your usual tax return.
      Jess

  61. Vin July 23, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Just to clarify, I can claim the uber fee under expenses in my end of year tax return? But I have to include it in my bas under gross sales? So there’s no such thing as a tax exempt income with regarding to the net income I get and the uber fee I pay.

    Thanks once again.

    • Jess July 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Vin,
      On both your BAS and your tax return, you declare your income as your Gross Fares (including tolls, split fare fees, airport fees and booking fees) before Uber’s fees have been deducted. Then, in your tax return you can claim the Uber fees as an expense. This means that overall you are only taxed on the net amount that you received in your bank account. On your BAS though Uber don’t charge you and GST on their fees. This means there is no GST to claim back because you didn’t pay any in the first place. The only thing that is exempt is that any referral/incentive income you receive from Uber is exempt from paying GST. You still have to declare it as income on your tax return though. – Jess

  62. Hasan August 2, 2017 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Hi jess,
    I have a restaurant business which operate under company and i drive Uber under this company. As the restaurant business is not doing good, the Uber income help me to maintain various cost associated with restaurant and salary payment to employees. Is this ok? One of my friend advised me that i can not do this as i am practically use Uber income to offset other expenses. He said my income falls under PSI.
    Please advise.

  63. Muz August 21, 2017 at 3:19 am - Reply

    Hello Jess,

    I have full time job which I do Monday to Friday. I was thinking of driving Uber may be around 10-12 hours on the weekend for some extra cash for which I was thinking to buy a used car within range of $20,000 and do instant asset write off when I do my tax return in July 2018. Do you think its possible to do this?

    Also I have to buy the car first and then register for Uber (I dont have Uber driver account yet). Is that ok to buy car first and then register it for Uber and still claim asset write-off next year in my tax return?

    Thanks and Regards

  64. Max August 31, 2017 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Hi, i basically have no receipts at all for my fuel expenses as lost my receipts box. As the UBER tax summary shows the kilometers driven, can i work out the fuel costs from those kilometers and work out the GST on that fuel and claim as GST input tax credit.
    Any professional advice would be appreciated. Thank you

    • Jess August 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Max,

      For GST on your BAS’s you must have a specific record for each transaction, we can’t use our own calculation method. However for any transactions under $82.50 it doesn’t have to be a tax invoice, your bank statements are acceptable. So any time you filled up less than $82.50 and swiped your debit or credit card you’ll still be able to claim the GST. I recommend that drivers should always pay with EFTPOS or credit cards for this exact reason, just in case your receipts go AWOL. You should always purchase water, mints or personal items as a separate transaction so that you know each fuel transaction is 100% fuel.

      For income tax the rules are different, you can calculate your fuel costs based on kilometres and odometer records at the start and end of the year.

      – Jess

  65. Jom September 19, 2017 at 2:11 am - Reply

    I decided not to drive for Uber after getting an abn and registering for gst. Do I need to advise the tax dept or can I claim exes to date without any income.

    • Jess September 20, 2017 at 5:28 am - Reply

      Hi Jom,
      You could potentially claim any costs of your Uber application process if you can show the ATO you had a genuine intent to proceed with becoming an Uber driver. However these deductions can only be claimed against Uber income, so if you don’t ever drive for Uber then you will never be able to claim the deductions.
      You should deregister for GST with the ATO so that you won’t have to lodge any further BAS’s. Remember you must lodge a BAS every quarter even if you did not earn anything.
      – Jess

  66. Yokas October 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I do ubereats only as my car(coupe) is not available for uber.
    I have been doing it for a month now, was wondering if I need a ABN to do ubereats? I have heard that solely doing ubereats don’t need ABN and don’t need to register for GST. Is this true?
    If I don’t have a ABN, can I still claim tax on my car usage provided I have log book with full details of my car usage.
    If I apply for ABN, will I still get the “uber fee” deducted from my delivery?
    With the logbook, do I write start location and end location both as home?

    • Jess October 2, 2017 at 2:29 am - Reply

      Hi Yokas,
      Yes you must have an ABN to do UberEats, but you don’t need to register for GST. You can read more information in our blog post on Tax for Food Delivery Drivers. I believe the Uber Fee still applies either way. For your logbook, yes home is the location for the start and end.
      – Jess

      • Yokas October 2, 2017 at 10:14 am - Reply

        Thanks for answering my question.

        I just read the link and it mentioned that I would have to register for GST if I earn over 75k including ubereats.
        I have a full-time job that gives me 75k, just doing ubereats for some extra cash. Does that mean I would have to pay 10% of what I earned from uber? I currently get paid from uber the full amount of what I deliver minus the uber fees. Do I wait for ATO to tell me how much I owe them at the end of the financial year? (keeping 10% of what I earn from ubereats apart to pay tax)
        Also, how much is the tax management costs from you guys?

        • Jess October 3, 2017 at 3:46 am - Reply

          Hi Yokas,

          Assuming your full-time job is an employee job (i.e. you are paid under your TFN, not ABN), then it is not included in your $75k calculation for GST. You only have to register if your income from UberEats only is more than $75k, so it won’t apply to you.
          Your tax bill is calculated as part of doing your end of year tax return. You can find more information on our Tax Returns page.
          – Jess

  67. neil October 10, 2017 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Jess, What a Wonderful article! Thanks.

    I read a few comments under this article and at one point, you suggested that car depreciation be calculated at 15% for the first year and then 30% hereon. However, I am using the Diminishing value method and for that what would be the effective life of the car being used for UBER?

    • Jess October 10, 2017 at 5:51 am - Reply

      Hi Neil,
      If you’re using traditional depreciation, the effective life of a car is 8 years. Note that when using the diminishing value method under traditional depreciation you are entitled to claim double the depreciation rate, so that means a 25% DV depreciation rate. Also keep in mind that using traditional depreciation you must apportion your claim for the number of days you owned/used the vehicle for business, whereas with small business depreciation you don’t have to apportion, it’s just a flat 15%/30% per year. I hope this answers your question! – Jess

      • neil October 13, 2017 at 5:10 am - Reply

        Jess, thanks for the response. However i have read that for Taxi’s, the effective life is 4 years – declared by the commissioner.
        refer here and scroll down: https://atotaxrates.info/tax-deductions/work-related-car-expenses/depreciation-of-vehicles/

        • Jess October 13, 2017 at 5:48 am - Reply

          Hi Neil,

          Great question, you’ve hit on a very interesting point.

          As you know, the courts have determined that rideshare driving meets the definition of the ACTIVITY of providing taxi services (i.e. transporting a passenger from A to B in exchange for money). However the point you’re referring addresses a taxi in a different context, being the ASSET of a taxi, as different from the asset of a vehicle generally. The underlying legislation in the depreciation laws considers the ASSET of a taxi to be a vehicle with the specific characteristics and modifications associated with a traditional taxi cab such as markings/signage and specialised taxi equipment (light on top, meter installed etc).

          To make things clearer, the ATO have updated their annual Effective Life Table to specify that rideshare vehicles (they specifically mention UberX as an example) have an effective life of 8 years. You can view the latest table here, search for ‘Road Transport’ (ATO Tax Ruling 2017/2 if you’d like to search for it yourself).

          I hope this clears it up for you!

          – Jess

          • neil October 17, 2017 at 12:26 am

            Jess,
            Thank you for the info. Its much useful as well as shocking, given the responsibilities of the UBERX in paying GST is equivalent to Taxi service but car depreciation is treated equal to normal car use. I guess, it should have been somewhat in the middle ground say 6 years.

            May i ask a quick last question, I bought the car before having an ABN (starting to drive for UBER), and ATO told me i cannot claim GST for that reason. So, would i include GST in the total cost of car when calculating Depreciation?

          • Jess October 17, 2017 at 3:19 am

            Hi Neil,
            I see exactly where you’re coming from, the inconsistency is frustrating! You’re absolutely right about the cost of the car for depreciation, you must deduct any GST you have claimed, which in your case would be $0, so the depreciation cost will be the whole purchase price including GST. – Jess

  68. Andre October 14, 2017 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Hi, if I buy a car for $21950 to drive for Uber 50% and personal the rest can I still claim the 20000 write off or would I have to drive for Uber 98% of the time to get it considering gst. Thanks so much really appreciate it.

    • Jess October 14, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Hi Andre,

      To get the instant asset writeoff the GST-exclusive cost of the car must be under $20,000. You will need to check your tax invoice to see if this is true for your car (remember some parts of the cost your your car may be GST-free, the GST may not be exactly 10% of the cost). Your percentage of use does not make a difference, your eligibility depends on the cost of the car excluding GST BEFORE adjusting for private use.

      Jess

  69. Andre October 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks heaps for that, also if you buy the car as not drive away, and then get rego and pay stamp duty does this add on to the price of the car or is it seperate considering you have a receipt for the car gst exclusive for under $20000. Thanks again

    • Jess October 15, 2017 at 8:59 am - Reply

      HI Andre,

      Good question. I believe the stamp duty would be included as part the cost of acquiring the car even if it was paid separately, but the registration could be considered a separate cost. I’m not 100% certain on this though, so please contact us for a consultation if you’d like a definite answer before making your purchase. – Jess

  70. Arif October 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Hi jess..hope u can help me out..i am renting a car from my someone to drive for uber and paying $300 a week..for quarterly BAS can we deduct this as a whole amount or as a gst on $300..can we also deduct other car expenses like fuel, insurence,service, tyres etc for BAS..

    • Jess October 23, 2017 at 3:14 am - Reply

      Hi Arif,
      You can only claim a GST credit if you were charged GST in the first place. So the question is whether the person you are renting from is a GST registered business charging GST, or just a private person who is not registered for GST. Assuming they are not registered for GST there will be no GST for you to claim. You can claim back the GST you paid on all your other running costs. – Jess

  71. David October 25, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess, I’ve only driven a couple of times so my Gross fare is only $260. In regards to GST on purchases in BAS, does that mean GST expenses such as fuel? My fuel expense is only $15. So GST purchase = 15/11? Thanks for your help.

    • Jess October 29, 2017 at 7:49 am - Reply

      Hi David,
      That’s right. You should add up the GST on all of your expenses, and this figure goes at 1B on your BAS (GST on Expenses). Note that you should only claim a percebntage of your car expenses such as fuel. For example if you spent $100 on fuel, and you use your car 60% for Uber, then your GST claim will be $60/11 = $5.45. – Jess

  72. Shane October 29, 2017 at 1:31 am - Reply

    Hi jess,

    Thank you for your interesting forum.

    I have no current business, ABN, etc. and have never been an uber driver. Planning to driver for the next few years. If I register for ABN in November and buy a solely uber car for 15k the next day, will I be eligible to write off the purchase in deductions?

    Also, I read in a comment that you need to start log book by 30 June but I couldn’t work out if there are implications if I start in November.

    • Jess October 29, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Shane,
      Yes you’ll be able to claim a deduction provided you keep a valid logbook. You can start your 12 week logbook anytime during the financial year, but you must start by 30 June of that financial year to be valid for that year’s tax return. So in your case you must start by 30 June 2018. You’ll also be required to register for GST if you’re driving for UberX, meaning you can also claim the GST back on your car purchase provided you’re registered for GST on the date of purchase. Note that to be eligible to apply for an ABN and GST registration in the first place you must have ‘commenced business activities’, which in your case means starting the Uber application process. Therefore I recommend starting the sign-up process before you buy your car in order to show you have commenced business activities and are eligible to apply. – Jess

  73. Kevin November 4, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Jess,

    If I lived in country NSW and used splend to rent for a 6 weeks period in say Sydney or Newcastle and went home after the 6 weeks and spent 2 to 3 weeks at home before doing it all again could I claim food and accommodation as a deduction against income earnt in this period. I would still be helping to maintain a residence in country NSW for my family and for my self when not driving for Uber.

    Also would costs associated in transporting myself from country NSW to Sydney or Newcastle be deductible as well as a business expense.

    Cheers

    • Jess November 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Hi Kevin. Great question, but this is one I can’t answer here. I can’t give such personal advice in this format, and in any case the answer isn’t immediately clear so I’d need to know more from you before giving any advice. Please feel free to book a general consultation (follow the Book Now link at the top of our homepage) if you’d like to discuss. – Jess

  74. Stephen December 5, 2017 at 12:40 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, re the $20,000 purchase price for the tax write off does it need to be under this inclusive of GST or can it be $19,999 plus GST

    • Jess December 5, 2017 at 12:55 am - Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      If you are registered for GST at the time of purchase, then it’s excluding GST (i.e. maximum $19,999 plus GST). This is because the ATO assumes you’ll claim back the GST you paid, therefore your net out of pocket cost is $19,999.

      If you are not registered for GST at the time of purchase, then GST is irrelevant to you, and so you must go by the total cost of the car (i.e. maximum $19,999 including GST).

      – Jess

  75. Stephen December 10, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Hi Jess sorry forgot to ask does the car need to be new to claim the $19,9999 deduction or can it be a second hand car from a dealer?

    • Jess December 11, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

      Hi Stephen, it can be new or second hand, you’re eligible either way. – Jess

  76. Dil January 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Hi jess,
    what a valuable thread this is. i got heaps of info reading through all Q & A. thanks for your support. im not sure whether this question has already been clarified by you, however, pls help me to get it understood. tnx.

    the GST portion of “Uber Service Fee” can be claimed back under BAS GST Credit from 1st of December onward as per following thread. Further, Uber Service Fee which was charged before 1st of Dec 2017 was not consist of any GST portion, hence, we cannot claim GST credit on Uber Service Fee which was before 1st of Dec, pls correct me if i have been misunderstood.

    https://www.uber.com/en-AU/blog/gst-your-partner-agreement/

    — Dil

    • Jess January 4, 2018 at 1:26 am - Reply

      Hi Dil, you are absolutely correct. There was no GST on the fees prior to 1 Dec, so nothing to claim back. From 1 Dec onwards Uber will charge you GST so you can claim this back on your BAS. – Jess

      • Dil January 9, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

        Hi Jess, Thanks for the clarification. pls have a look of below whether i have misunderstood the explanation.

        based on the explanation given under https://www.uber.com/en-AU/blog/gst-your-partner-agreement/ FROM 1 December 2017 : Rider pays $10 as the Total Fare. This $10 includes GST portion of $0.91 (i.e. $10/11). Uber charges driver 25% service fee which is $2.5. i believe this $2.5 service fee has an GST portion which is $2.5/11 = 0.2273 which is eventually Uber has to pay this portion to ATO. my question is why Uber again charges another $0.25 portion from Driver which is mentioned here as “GST on Service Fee”. for me, that $0.25 is an amount which should not be taken from Driver. pls support to get this clarified. Thank you ¬ Dil

        • Jess January 10, 2018 at 9:42 pm - Reply

          Hi Dil, This is difficult to explain. Essentially there are two separate transactions. The first is Rider > $Gross Fare$ > Driver (you). You are GST registered, so you will charge the rider GST and pass this on to the ATO. Then the second transaction is Driver > $Service Fee$ > Uber. Uber is now a GST registered company so they will charge you GST, but you can claim this GST back from the ATO. We will be publishing a blog post in the next week or so that explains in greater detail, so stay tuned. – Jess

  77. Jerome January 10, 2018 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Appreciate all the questions that you have answered as many of us are in the very early stages of understanding the complicated tax issues.

    My question to you are as follows:

    1. For BAS – We have the following Fare Breakdown eg Gross Fares, Split fares, Tolls, Miscellaneous, Airport Fee and Booking fee – Which of them is GST inclusive and which is not. Also for Uber Service fee, as an expense is it GST inclusive or not. Also provide the dates if possible, when any GST free item became GST inclusive or vice versa.

    2. I am unemployed and could not gain any employment, so I was not able to buy a car to drive for Uber. So my daughter (she is employed) assisted me ONLY in buying a car under her name. and I am driving it with logbook recordings. I pay all the installments and dues to the car finance company. What deductions can I claim, and can I claim depreciation specifically? My payments towards the monthly installment – can I treat them as expense?

    Kind regards
    Jerome

    • Jess January 10, 2018 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Jerome.
      1) On the income side of things, you will pay GST on all amounts except the ‘referrals and incentives’ received from Uber (these amount appear under ‘Other Income’ on the right hand side of your Monthly Uber Summary). Uber’s Service Fee includes GST as of the 1st of Dec 2017.
      2) You can claim GST and tax deductions on all of the vehicle running costs, but possibly not on the purchase of the car itself, you should seek personalised advice on this. See our blog post on Tax Deductions for Uber Drivers for more information on deductions for car loans and depreciation.
      – Jess

  78. Kim January 10, 2018 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, I am going through the signup process with Uber QLD as we speak. It is now quite an expensive and involved process due to new legislation effective mid Jan 18 (which is probably a good thing as only the serious Drivers will be able to justify the expense and compliance processes). I suspect that there will be a big drop off in the next few months.

    Anyway, I intend to use a car that is registered in my wife’s name rather than buying/renting a car in my name (dipping my toes in the water). To keep things simple for the 17/18 tax year, I was going to use the cents per km method to claim expenses and then review in June. My questions are these:

    1/ Is it still OK to claim this even though the car is not registered in my name. I was simply going to take the odometer reading when I went “online” and then take it again when I went “offline” and add the total km’s up to June 30 and claim them at 66c per km (to a max of 5,000 km)?

    2/ I assume that there is no GST implication here and that I can’t claim this as an input credit – instead, it is simply used for calculating my nett income at the end of the year for nett profit from Uber activities.

    Appreciate your input – if I stick with it I will be in contact later in the year to review my options for 18/19.

    Thanks.

    • Jess January 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Kim, the ATO recognises that spouses may buy assets in either name, and so they do accept deductions for vehicles and expenses in your spouse’s name. Regarding your car expenses, if you want to claim GST on your car expenses you cannot use the cents per km method, you must keep records of the actual expenses. The ATO will accept an estimate of your business use percentage for your BAS’s/GST, you don’t need a logbook. The logbook is only required for end of year income tax deductions, and only of you’re using the logbook method to claim. If you’re happy to use the cpkm method instead you are allowed to estimate your kms (up to 5,000km), you don’t need a logbook at all. I hope this answers your question! – Jess

  79. Kim January 10, 2018 at 3:33 am - Reply

    Another one Jess – am I able to use an ABN in a Trust Name as “my ABN” for Uber and then distribute the profits at the end of the year to the Trust beneficiaries? Common sense says “no” as the income was derived solely from my activities. Thoughts?

    • Jess January 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Kim, this is unclear. Traditionally you would be allowed to trade in a trust. However the ATO has indicated that they’re investigating whether driving for Uber in a company or trust is allowed, and although we’ve been waiting for months they are yet to provide a solid answer. Also keep in mind that unless you already have a trust set up, the cost of establishing and running one for Uber usually far outweighs the tax savings (if any). If you already have a trust, Uber could impact the tax your other business activities, especially in relation to GST. You should book a consultation for personalised advice if you’re thinking of going down this path. – Jess

  80. Keith February 5, 2018 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, I am considering renting a car SOLELY for Uber purposes and was wondering if I could claim the FULL weekly rental PLUS petrol for the car without keeping Log Books. I have a Private vehicle.

    • Jess February 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Keith, you must still keep a logbook, even if the car is 100% for Uber, and even if you have another car for private use. You have to PROVE to the ATO that the car is 100%, which requires a logbook. – Jess

  81. Den February 15, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    If I have $70k employment income and $10k loss on first year of driving with uber($5k income and $15k allowed expenses), can the loss be deducted from my employment income when is submit my yearly tax return?
    Thanks,
    Den

    • Jess February 15, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Hi Den, unfortunately no. The ATO doesn’t allow you to claim business losses against employment income unless your turnover (gross fares) was over $20,000. If gross fares are under $20k the loss has to be carried forward and can be claimed against business profits in future years. – Jess

  82. Jay February 22, 2018 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I am an UBEREATS driver and have a question about the logbook.

    My situation is that I started driving with my private car and then later bought a car to use 100% for UBEREATS.
    I intend to claim the cents per km option for my private car that I used initially then the logbook for the other car. Is this okay?

    I already completed 12 weeks of my logbook however I was sick for 1 week out of the 12 and did not drive. Do I need to do another 12 weeks of logbook to have a valid logbook?

    • Jay February 22, 2018 at 3:33 am - Reply

      Also, if I buy a new car for UBEREATS, will this have a tax benefit for me from the purchase? Will I need a new logbook?

      • Jess February 22, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

        Hi Jay, you will be able to claim a tax deduction for depreciation of the new car, or if the car cost below $20k you may choose to claim the purchase price up front. However if you earned less than $20k in gross income from UberEats then you can only use these claims you reduce your UberEats tax bill to zero. You can’t claim it against your other income (e.g. employment). You would instead have to carry the deduction forward to be claimed against UberEats profits in future years. Essentially this means the tax benefit may be much smaller than what it first appears.

        If you swap one car for another and your pattern of usage doesn’t change then you do not need to keep a new logbook. This is only required if your pattern of usage changes, the car itself is not relevant.

        Jess

    • Jess February 22, 2018 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Jay, yes it’s fine to use two different methods for two different vehicles used for UberEats as you described. And the logbook is no problem, as long is it covers a 12 week period it’s fine you didn’t drive for a period of time during that 12 weeks (illness, holiday etc). – Jess

  83. Philippa February 25, 2018 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I’ve finished driving for Uber in sept 2017, but kept it all open in case I needed to take it up again. I’ve now decided I can shut it all done, but need to check what My obligations are in de-registering from gst, closing down abn? What do I need to consider? What about my car? Are there different options regarding dealing with gst on my car? Many thanks & kind regards Philippa

    • Jess February 26, 2018 at 1:14 am - Reply

      Hi Philippa, you can deregister from GST, and if you’ll no longer be carrying on any business or enterprise then you will need to close your ABN as well. You can do this yourself for free by calling the ATO, or we can do this for you, our fee is $66. If you haven’t driven since September I would recommend asking for the cancellation to be effective from the 30th of September if possible so that you won’t have to lodge any further BAS’s. If not, remember you must lodge for each quarter in which you were registered for even just one day, even if you didn’t drive. Regarding your car, you may or may not need to pay GST on the market value as of the date you deregister. If you claimed GST on the purchase of the car you definitely must pay adjustment GST on de-registering. If you owned the car for may years before registering for GST then you do not have to make an adjustment. If your case is somewhere in the middle, you should contact us for personalised advice. I hope this helps! – Jess

  84. Jay March 1, 2018 at 3:15 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have been offered a delivery job at a local restaurant which would be in addition to my PAYG day job, UBEREATS driving and investment income.

    If I was to take this 2nd delivery job, generally speaking, am I better off being employed PAYG with them or just work as a contractor under my ABN?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Jess March 1, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Jay, this is a little too complex to answer here, as there are pros and cons to both, and many of them depend on your personal circumstances. The biggest factor will be that they’ll likely offer you different rates of pay for the two options, because if you’re an employee they have to pay super, sick leave and workcover, and it’s more hassle for them in general. The up side for you being an employee is that they’ll put the tax aside for you, whereas if you’re a contractor you have to do that yourself. You’ll need to weigh up the pay rate against these factors. – Jess

  85. MM March 8, 2018 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I registered for ABN and GST few days ago with intention to drive Uber. I signed up with Uber for driving more than a year ago but never selected car I will be driving in the signup process since I did not had eligible car for Uber.Finally I am going to buy a car which is costing me $20K. This car is from a private seller so I am not paying any GST. Only proof I would have to show ATO that I paid this amount to the seller is copy of Bank Cheque. I will have to pay for stamp duty and transfer which will go above this $20K. Will I still be able to claim write off for the cost of the car? Thanks

    • Jess March 8, 2018 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      Hi there,
      When buying from a private seller you should have the seller write you a receipt. This can be a simple note written on a piece of paper that has both your names and contact details, details of the car and the purchase price, the date, and both your signatures. The ATO will accept this together with your copy of the bank cheque or your bank statement as sufficient proof.
      Regarding the instant asset write-off, the ATO specifically says that the total cost includes any amount you spend ‘installing the asset ready for use’. For a vehicle this would include registration transfer fees and stamp duty. So it sounds like you will be over the $20k threshold. This means that you can still claim the cost of the car, but instead of claiming up front you’ll claim it as depreciation over a number of years.
      Enjoy your new car!
      – Jess

  86. Den March 15, 2018 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,
    If my gross Uber fares for the year is below $75000, do I still need to remit GST to ATO?
    Thanks,
    Den

    • Jess March 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      HI Den, Yes you must. The $75k limit does not apply to Uber or taxi drivers, you must remit GST from the first dollar you earn. – Jess

  87. mohammed March 20, 2018 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Hi, its been 1 month i am maintaining logbook, but i want to submit my BAS (GST). how can i determine business and personal use to claim the maximum GST expenses?

    • Jess March 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Mohammed, for your BAS the logbook doesn’t have to be complete, you can use the figures you have so far in your logbook to make a reasonable estimate of your percentage of Uber use. – Jess

      • Hugh March 25, 2018 at 6:07 am - Reply

        Hi Jess,

        To expand a bit on Mohammed’s question – if he subsequently completes his logbook and his business use percentage is lower than the estimate he used when submitting his previous BAS, is he required to make some kind of adjustment?

        The situation I’m thinking of for myself is buying a car for mixed personal/business use. Say I pay $1,500 in GST on the purchase price of the car, and like Mohammed, I need to submit my first quarter’s BAS before completing a 12 week logbook.

        Let’s say my incomplete logbook suggests 80% business use, and I get a GST refund of $1,200. After the logbook is complete, let’s say it shows a lower business use percentage, say 50%, are there rules about adjusting for the previous quarter? (i.e. do I need to give back $450 of the refund I got?) or is this something the ATO would look at on a case by case basis during an audit, and decide if my method for estimating the initial business use percentage was reasonable or not?

        Thanks for all these answers by the way, you’re doing a great job.

        • Jess March 25, 2018 at 5:13 pm - Reply

          Hi Hugh,
          Great question! For GST, the ATO doesn’t require you to make adjustments retrospectively if your business use percentage changes. You just need to show that the percentage you applied was reasonable based on the data and knowledge you had available at the time you made the claim. However this is of course a little open to abuse, so if you knew you usage of the car would drop off in the foreseeable future this should be taken into account when making your claim. Remember these rules are only for GST/BAS, for your end of year tax return you cannot make a ‘reasonable estimate’, a valid logbook is the only way to claim, and the logbook must be re-done any time your pattern of usage changes significantly (rule of thumb +/- 10%). – Jess

  88. MD March 22, 2018 at 2:24 am - Reply

    Hello Jess. I have primary job (Monday to Friday) where I pay marginal tax rate of 37%. I am planning to drive Uber on weekends as second income for which I am buying a car just for uber worth $20K. I will be doing instant asset write-off for this when I do my tax return. I understand that this instant write off will only be against by business (Uber) income if gross fares are under $20k and any loss has to be carried forward and can be claimed against business profits in future years.

    My question is if gross fares are above $20K next year can this loss from previous year be claimed against the total income (including employment income) or will that be still just against business profit?

    • Jess March 22, 2018 at 6:34 am - Reply

      Hello, you are correct, if your gross fares are over $20k and yet you still make a loss, you can claim that loss as a tax deduction against your employment or other income. – Jess

  89. Dan March 27, 2018 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess. You mentioned earlier that when buying from private seller you should have seller write you a receipt for ATO to accept this as a proof of purchase for instant asset write-off and you also mentioned that $20K should include registration transfer fees and stamp duty.

    In my situation I am buying a car from private seller in Queensland and I will be paying for RWC, full registration and stamp duty here in Victoria. Seller will only give receipt for amount he got from me which is $18K but I will be spending for RWC, registration and stamp duty (nearly $2K over $18K). Will I be able to claim full $18K +$2K for instant asset write off? Also will I be able to claim GST that I would pay in $2K part (I am registered for GST at ATO). Thank you in advance.

    • Jess March 28, 2018 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Hi Dan, if a car is bought from a private seller this it generally won’t have GST on the purchase price, so there is no GST for you to claim back. However if you pay any GST on your on-road costs then you can claim that GST back on your BAS subject to your business-use percentage.

      Regarding the instant asset write-off, you can only claim this if your car purchase price plus on-road costs (excl GST) is $19,999 or less. If you go over this amount you will have to depreciate the cost of your car over a number of years. Both of these methods would also be subject to your business-use percentage. – Jess

  90. John April 10, 2018 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Hello Jess. I am going to start driving Uber from this weekend and will be driving only on the weekends as I have weekdays job. My question is related to logbook. You mentioned in previous posts that logbook should be maintained for consecutive 12 weeks period in the financial year. How will that work if I am working only on the weekend? I will only have 2 entries in it per week (Saturday and Sunday). Are 2 entries per week (2 x 12 weeks = 24 total entries for 12 weeks in Logbook) enough to claim expenses for the year? I am using this car 100% for Uber so no private usage on it. Thanks

    • Jess April 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      Hi John, yes that’s absolutely fine. If your car is only used twice a week for business then that is exactly what your 12 week logbook should show. – Jess

  91. Nick April 13, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Hello Jess,

    Thank you for answering these questions!

    I have a photography business which is pretty much a service business with most expenses things such as home mortgage costs for busimess use, rates, etc etc.

    As i only earn under 30k im not registered for gst amd wouldmt make mich sense to be, i want to start uber but was womderimg if you can start another business name under existimg abn which is solely for uber and registed for GST so im only payimg gst for uber, not on my small photography income also.

    Is this possible?

    Cheers
    Nick

    • Jess April 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Nick, no unfortunately it’s not possible. Your GST registration covers your whole ABN, and therefore all of your business activities, so you would have to pay GST on your photography income also. This is frustrating for business owners who want to start Uber driving, but unfortunately there’s no way around it. – Jess

  92. Jay April 16, 2018 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I am delivering UBEReats and will likely earn less than $20k for the year. From the deductions I have already, I am likely to make a loss for the year. My question is, if I buy a car for ~$5k this year with the $20k write off, generally speaking, am I better off? Or should I wait till next year and use the depreciation option?

    Thanks!

    • Jess April 16, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Hi Jay, since your gross income will be less than $20k, the loss you make from Uber can’t be claimed this year, and instead will be carried forward to be offset against any Uber profits you make in future years. The write-off on the cost of the car will make your loss larger, and will be added to the amount that will be carried forward. In other words, it won’t make any difference in the current year, and will only be deductible in future years of you have Uber profits to offset it with. Check out our new blog post on Buying a Car for Uber for more information. – Jess

  93. Paul April 25, 2018 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, thank you for providing all this very useful advice.

    I have just become a part-time Uber driver and have a couple of questions about car expenses…

    1) I started a logbook 1st April and we are minimizing our personal usage so currently running at 95% business use. If this continues for the 12 week logbook period, does this mean I will be able to claim 95% of all expenses incurred since starting with Uber (even though the car was used purely for private use up until then)?

    2) If I use the cents-per-kilometer method rather than the logbook, am I able to claim the difference between the vehicle registration fee (CTP) as it would have been for Private Use vs Booked Hire as a one-off expense?

    Thanksk for your help, Paul

    • Jess April 25, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Paul, your logbook percentage can be applied for the whole time you were driving for Uber, however if your pattern of usage changes significantly (+/- 10%) from your logbook then you’re required to keep a new one. If you opt for the cents per km you cannot claim any other car related costs, including CTP. – Jess

  94. Ralph April 29, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Great article! I have a couple of questions:

    1. You mention “Mobile Phone Bills – you can claim a percentage of your mobile phone bill”. What method to use for calculating the percentage? As my plan has free calls and SMS, I can probably count the bill as being 100% for the data. Do I then check what amount of monthly data was used by the UBER app as a percentage of total data used by all apps to calculate the % of my phone bill I can claim as an expense?

    2. I have an old (2010) car that was previously only ‘personal use’. Would it have any depreciable value now, that I can write off in this first year of driving for Uber Eats? Or is it deemed to have $0 value?

    3a. My ABN that I used to register for Uber Eats was originally setup for a internet design business that ceased trading many years ago (so I haven’t lodged any GST returns for about ten years). As an Uber Eats driver, will I need to lodge BAS statements due to being ‘registered’ for GST?

    3b. I have some losses carried forward from that previous business that I haven’t been able to deduct against my salary income. Will I be able to deduct them against my Uber Eats business income?

    • Jess April 29, 2018 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Ralph,
      1) The ATO don’t specify a method for working out your phone percentage, and trying to do it by data use or phone calls is confusing, so I recommend apportioning based on usage time. In other words, in the time you spend actively using your phone, whether for Uber, internet, calls or games, what percentage of that time is for Uber.
      2) Standard depreciation on cars is 25% per year diminishing value, so it depends on what the written down value of this would be for your car.
      3) From what you’ve described it sounds like you are not registered for GST, but if you are you should just de-register before you begin driving for UberEats
      4) Business losses can only be deducted against profits from the same kind of business activity. You can’t claim them against a different activity. – Jess

  95. Kris May 2, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Hi,

    What fantastic information…thankyou.

    I am just going through the process of what i need to do. I am notifying my current insurer ( and paying the increase premium) who i won’t name specifically but is one of the big ones that my comprehensive policy vehicle will now be used for ride share. I fully understand that if it is 100 % uber than it is classified as business not rideshare but they are telling me i need to tell them what percentage is my input tax credit…. my understanding which i may be wrong is i can guarantee it is not 100 % so will be rideshare cover but i have no idea what percentage until i do it, it may only be 10- 20 % but i was of the believe i will keep receipts, documentation, log book etc and then calculate the percentage and again if correct claim tax deduction for the amount of GST i have paid for that relevant percent for uber only. Why is it such a big issue to the insurer saying in need to put down the percentage ? I am just wary about saying a percentage which i have no idea and then it not being correct.

    Regards Kris

    • Jess May 2, 2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Kris, don’t worry too much about this, as it’s only relevant at claim time. The insurer needs to know this because GST law says that if they make an insurance payout they have to make an adjustment to the payout for any GST you would have to pay to the ATO (you wouldn’t end up out of pocket, it’s just a tax adjustment). If you did actually have an accident they would check this percentage with you before finalising your claim, you can always update and give them an accurate answer then. So for now it’s fine to just give your best estimate of what percentage you expect to use your car for Uber. – Jess

  96. Lucas May 10, 2018 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    HI Jess, should we classify the uber income as personal service income or business income in a tax return ?

    • Jess May 10, 2018 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Lucas, the ATO consider it business income, not personal services income. This is because driving for Uber also includes supplying an asset (your car) as well as your personal labour. – Jess

  97. Lucas May 11, 2018 at 1:33 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, Thank you for your prompt reply. I received a letter from Ato asking me to fix any mistake before they audit me. So I just want to make sure I do it correctly this time before submitting. So the business income will be my gross uber income and business loss will be the uber fee ? Should I claim all the business related expenses including car expense under this ‘business income and loss’ section or should I claim the expenses under the other section corresponding to other jobs with payment summaries provided ? Thanks for your help.

    • Jess May 11, 2018 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Hi Lucas, all of your Uber income and expenses must go in the business income and expenses section, not the employee section. Your gross income (including all additional Uber charges such as tolls, booking fees and split fare fees) should be declared as business income, and then your Uber fees, all other Uber charges and car expenses are claimed as business expenses. If the ATO have suggested that they may audit your tax return then this suggests the income you have declared does not match your income that Uber have advised to the ATO. If you would like your tax return to be professionally reviewed please don’t hesitate to contact us directly via email or our contact form for personalised advice. – Jess

  98. Lucas May 11, 2018 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, Thanks for your clarification. In term of asset depreciation, in this case which is the car I use to drive Uber, I am using prime cost method to calculate the decline value. May I know how should I determine the effective life of the car ? Is there a general rule from ATO like 5 years or I can say 10 years of effective life? Does it matter to ATO much in this case? Your reply is much appreciated.

    Lucas

  99. Lucas May 12, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess, I bought the car (more than 20k excluding GST) in October 2014 and only started to use it to drive Uber in October 2016. Does small business depreciation still give a better outcome in this case? (15% deduction for the first year and 30% for the subsequent year) given that I cannot claim depreciation for the first 2 years? Same goes to diminishing value method with 200% for the first year which I am not entitled to as well. Is prime cost a better method for my case?

    • Jess May 12, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      HI Lucas, I cannot give personalised advice here, but for an older vehicle it may well be that prime cost gives a better outcome. The only way to know is to manually calculate all three options. You’re then free to choose the one that gives you a larger deduction. – Jess

  100. Sahil May 16, 2018 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Hi Jess. Awesome and informative blog. Thanks for prompt and free ABN registration. I recently applied for my driver accreditation from TSC. However I plan to start taxi next financial year. Can I claim the licence, medical costs in this year tax return?

    • Jess May 17, 2018 at 2:56 am - Reply

      Hi Sahil, Yes it’s fine to claim expenses in this year’s tax return even if your income doesn’t start until next financial year. You must be able to show that you have genuinely started running your business, which I believe is clear and evident by your application for accreditation. Note though that this won’t affect your tax refund this year, instead the deductions will be carried forward to be offset against your UberEats income next year.

  101. Bin May 24, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have stopped driving for UBER last October and it is tax time again. If I could ask you a few questions:

    For my 2017-2018 income tax return, what happens with the split fare, airport fee, booking fee and UBER service fee? Do I include them in my expenses on my return? If I did, would I report them on gross value or gross value minus the GST (like the rest of the expenses)? – the time in question is from Jun 2017 – October 2017.

    And one more clarification, the reportable income I will be using on my tax return is the total gross amount – GST?

    I have done my BAS for the 4th quarter last year and the first/second quarter of this year.

    Thank you.

    • Jess May 24, 2018 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Hi Bin, in both your BAS and your tax return, all of the extra fees (Split Fare Fees, Booking Fees, Airport Fees, Tolls etc) should be included as income and also included as expenses, so they cancel each other out. In your tax return all figures must be GST-exclusive. – Jess

  102. Bin May 28, 2018 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    So when you say in your tax return, all figures must be GST-exclusive, that means including my Gross Income? So my gross Income (Including all the fares) – GST? And as for the UBER fee, I have driven before UBER included GST into the fare so I will be putting that amount in full correct?

    Thanks.

    • Jess May 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Bin, yes, your gross fares and all additional income items must be entered into your tax return excluding GST. For Uber fees you will have to separately calculate Uber Fees before 1 Dec 2017 which didn’t have GST (so you include the whole amount in your tax return) and Uber fees after 1 Dec 2017 which had GST that you must exclude. – Jess

  103. Lucas May 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    1) So based on your reply to Bin, Business income will be gross income – GST ? And Business expense will be all the work related expense including car depreciation x business use percentage ?

    2) Can we claim full deduction for Uber fee or its also based on business use percentage ?

    3) I have done logbook for continuous 12 weeks for 2016-2017 tax return. Do I still need to do one for 2017-2018 tax return? How long is the logbook valid for ?

    Many thanks.

    Lucas

    • Jess May 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Lucas, 1) is correct but in your tax return you must exclude GST from the expenses as well. 2) The Uber fee is 100% deductible, but again you must exclude the GST that was applied from 1 Dec 2017 onwards. 3) Your logbook is valid for 5 years provided your pattern of usage doesn’t change more than +/-10%. If you do change your driving pattern by more than this then you must keep a new logbook. – Jess

  104. Joe July 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    Hope you can shed some lights.
    I cant seem to find information regarding tax deduction situation where 2 different cars are being used.
    I’m planning to start UberEats and UberX in the next month.

    1st car (under my wife’s name – no finance) will be used for UberEats every weeknights.
    This is additional to my main job in which I usually claim maximum cents/km method in my individual tax return due to work travels in between clients

    2nd car (under my name – financed) will be used for UberX every weekends.
    This car will also be used for personal/family travel.

    Q1: Is it possible to claim eligible deductions on both cars separately as I will be using both cars to earn income?
    Q2: Can I also claim expenses of insurance, rego, maintenance/service and depreciation on the 1st car, even if its not under my name?

    Thanks heaps and regards,

    Joe

    • Jess July 19, 2018 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Joe, it’s no problem to claim for two different cars. You can claim up 5,000km per car per tax return, or use the logbook method for either or both (you would need a separate logbook for each car). It’s fine to claim a car that is in your spouse’s name, the ATO understands that vehicles are often shares between spouses and so claim deductions is still allowed. – Jess

  105. Leo July 13, 2018 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I have a novated leased car from my current full time employer, if I use the car for Uber part time, what can I and can not claim for tax purposes? Thank you very much.

    leo

    • Jess July 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Leo, if you are salary packaging your car then you are receiving your tax benefit through your pay. Therefore you cannot claim a tax deduction as well, that would be ‘double-dipping’. – Jess

  106. Rafael July 18, 2018 at 3:51 am - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    I bought 2014 Toyota Prius V for driving Uber in April for $24,990 (Vehicle price $21,766.27 + Transfer Fee $39.10 + Stamp Duty $1008 and GST $2,176.63).I was registered for GST when I bought the car and I am using this car 100% for Uber. Just like to clarify few things:

    In BAS statement (Total sales) G1 is the Gross fares. Do I have to put in the amount including GST or excluding GST?

    For claiming GST I paid for car purchase, on 1B (GST on purchases) I will be providing the GST I paid on other business expenses + GST payed on the car which is $2,176.63? Do I have to provide car purchase price anywhere in BAS?

    Also when doing end of year tax return when claiming depreciation for the car is that placed in other expenses section? Will it be 15% in first year of just vehicle price or 15% of Vehicle price + Transfer Fee + Stamp duty?

    Appreciate your help,

    Thanks

    • Jess July 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      HI Rafael, apologies for my delayed response, we’ve been having website trouble. G1 is inclusive of GST, and you need to tick the box just below G1 to say you have included GST. G10, the field for the cost of the car, and G11, the field for the total cost of other expenses, no longer appear on the BAS, so you don’t have to enter these figures anymore. Depreciation is based on the total vehicle price minus GST. – Jess

  107. Clay August 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Hey Jess,

    Great feed! Wasn’t able to find the answer to this one… So I’m looking at renting a car specifically for Uber and you have stated that this repayment is fully deductible as an expense, my question is what if there is nominal personal use of the car as well? Would you need to do a 12 week log book to ascertain percentage of usage or even if there is nominal personal usage can you still claim 100% of repayment.

    Thank you, Clay

    • Jess August 10, 2018 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Clay, thanks for the great feedback. You must keep a logbook to claim your car rental expenses, even if it’s 100% business use. The logbook is required to PROVE it’s 100%, without the logbook you can’t claim the car rental fees at all and you’d be stuck with the cents per km method. It sounds like for you with a little private use your logbook would be just shy of 100%, but the logbook would be required even if you were 100%. – Jess

  108. Ankit August 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess, If I drive novated lease car for Uber purposes, Can I claim pre tax and/or post tax contributions as a tax deductions?

    • Jess August 28, 2018 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Ankit, you can only claim the post-tax component as a tax deduction. With the pre-tax component you are already getting the tax benefit by paying out of pre-tax dollars, to also claim a tax deduction would be ‘double-dipping’. Note that to claim the post-tax component you must have a valid logbook. – Jess

  109. Shaun September 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Jess,

    How do I calculate the depreciation of my car for using for Uber?

    I bought my car in April 2015 for $9500,
    Started driving uber in Feb 2018
    Lets say I used the car 85% for uber in Aug 2018

    How do i calculate the depreciation of my car?

    Thank you

    • Jess September 11, 2018 at 1:26 am - Reply

      Hi Shaun, the calculation is complex. You will need to calculate depreciation from the purchase date up until your Uber start date at 25% diminishing value (including an apportionment for days in the purchase year and the last year). This will then give you your opening value for when you start driving. Then you can follow the small business depreciation rules here to calculate your deduction. These rules are too complex to explain here, so if you’d rather not dig into the rules yourself I would recommend having a tax agent prepare your tax return. – Jess

  110. Asad October 29, 2018 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Hi Jess thanks for a great article.

    My question is I have bought a $35000 car from dealer which includes GST. I have financed that car with a loan over 5 years. I just want to ask can I claim that GST? If yes can I spread that over years s I pay or it has to be claimed all in 1st BAS.
    Thanks

  111. Jay December 4, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Hi there,

    Would a Dyson hand held vacuum be deductible for UberEATS drivers?

    Thanks in advance

    • Jess December 4, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      Hi Jay, yes a handheld vacuum can be deductible. If you use it only for your car you should apply your logbook/Uber use percentage, or if you use it in your home as well then you should estimate what percentage the vacuum is for UberEats use and what percentage for private car travel plus home/private use. – Jess

  112. Alison December 7, 2018 at 4:48 am - Reply

    Hi Jess, thanks as always for the great advice!
    I recently picked up a hire car for Uber driving. The company is in Sydney and I am located approx 200kms from there. I wanted to know if I can claim the travel from Sydney to home? I am keeping a log book and I forsee the work % of the car usage to be between 95-100% (I have my own private use car).
    So would I just record those kms and the business usage percent will just apply to those kms as well?
    Thanks, Alison.

    • Jess December 8, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Hi Alison, yes you can absolutely include the kms for the whole round trip in your logbook, and it should boost your percentage a little. Or if you used alternative travel to Sydney (train, flight etc) you can claim that cost. – Jess

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