Eight in ten Uber vehicles evade taxes by failing to report revenues. A full 68 per cent of gross receipts are not reported at all – meaning that Uber is failing to report around SEK 700 million to the Tax Agency in Stockholm alone.
The Swedish Taxi Association commissioned a study of how Uber drivers report gross receipts in the taxi’s mandatory cash register (taximeter). The study, conducted by Gothia Protection Group during November and December 2018, examined 112 Uber taxi rides in Stockholm.
”Eight out of ten times that you take an Uber taxi, you’re using an illegal taxi,” says Claudio Skubla, CEO of the Swedish Taxi Association.
”Uber’s drivers either enter a very low fixed fare in the taximeter or have the taximeter remain in the ‘vacant’ position. The study found that a fixed fare of just five Swedish crowns may be entered for a trip that costs several hundred crowns in Uber’s app,” says Mr Skubla.
Taxi drivers are required to enter gross receipts in the vehicle’s cash register – the taximeter – which transfers the information to a central reporting system, which then makes the information available to the Tax Agency. Failing to register gross receipts in the taximeter is a violation of the Taxi Traffic Law and Swedish Transport Agency regulations.
”Uber lobbied to have the cash register requirement removed, but was unsuccessful. But Uber is still providing a system where clients perceive that they’re getting a proper receipt via Uber’s app. This facilitates tax evasion and is a way to circumvent the cash register in a manner that violates regulations as prescribed by law. As I see it, Uber is operating in disregard of Swedish law,” says Mr Skubla.
The total cost for the 112 taxi trips examined in the study was SEK 23,104, of which only SEK 7,374 was reported to the central reporting system. Sixty-eight per cent of revenues was therefore not reported to the Tax Agency as required by law.
”I don’t know of any other industry where a major international company regularly fails to report 68 per cent of its revenues. It would be strange if the Swedish Police, Swedish Transport Agency and Swedish Tax Agency allow this to continue.
“The Swedish Taxi Association estimates that Uber fails to report SEK 700 million annually in Stockholm alone. This is based on the assumption that Uber has 1,500 vehicles operating in Stockholm with a turnover of just over SEK one billion per year,” says Mr Skubla.