So Uber is paying too much tax in the UK then?

Uber simply does not respect the people in Britain. Before it had even begun to operate in this country, Uber had designed its company structure so that UK profits are diverted through the Netherlands. All perfectly legal, but it means this $50bn company paid £22,134 in corporation tax from a profit of £866,000 in the UK in the last financial year.

It also lost something like $1 billion globally. So, under Ritchie’s unitary taxation Uber would have got a whacking great big tax credit. Tax dodging bastards that they are, they paid a wedge in instead.

And we’re supposed to complain about this?

34 thoughts on “So Uber is paying too much tax in the UK then?”

  1. Erm, Uber operates all over Europe and they have to choose somewhere in the EU to base themselves, so what’s the problem? It’s not like the Netherlands is some miniscule tax-haven, and presumably the Dutch exchequer receives the corporation taxes due?

    Can we expect these tax justice fuckwits to back the Brexit campaign if they are so incensed about all this?

  2. Uber simply does not respect the people in Britain.

    I think there should be a law passed allowing the punching in the face of anyone who believes companies should be judged solely on how they organise their tax affairs. If Uber doesn’t respect the people of Britain, how come so many fucking people are using them?

  3. One question. If they made a profit of £866,000, that is – they had a surplus of £866,000 after accounting for all their allowable outgoings, then surely their tax bill should have been £173,000? There seems to be £755,000 in missing outgoings to get a tax liability of £22,134. Unless the report is using ‘profit’ here to mean something other than the standard definition of “total income minus total outgoings”. Even if they’ve confused pre-tax profit with post-tax profit it still doesn’t add up.

  4. Slightly OT but still relevant.

    Of the blogs on the Tim’s page 1 at this time 16 of them–a large majority– could have the issues in them resolved by smashing the left. Unless whinging is all this is about.

    Every day it seems to me more obvious and important that the entire Western world needs to kick the living shit out of the left if said WW is to survive. It can be done without violence –at present. If things go on much longer that will not stay true.

  5. Why can these people not see that the purpose of Uber is to get people from A to B as cheaply as possible?

    Why does the Guardian not ditch the internet, and even the paper edition, and employ 500,000 people to knock on everyone’s doors and tell them the news instead? Think of the jobs it would create.

  6. Fucking hell, I’ve just rwad the headline too (I CBA to read the story, I know exactly what it will say). Black cabbies going on strike is a really smart move. Really smart. That’ll show those Uber bastards!

  7. Blue Burmese: Ah, so a particular definition of “profit” that is not actually used in the real world. I’ve been making in-year surpluses recently, but am projected to make no profit for about five years due to passing forward losses from bad years a few years ago. This looks like the sort of accounting that declares somebody has £500k of assets when they’ve got a £400k mortgage on a £500k house.

  8. Idiots. Black Cabbies and Uber are in different markets. Black Cabs are hackneys, ply-for-hire hail and ride. Uber taxis are private hire, pre-booked. Uber themselves are a taxi radio control centre, nothing more nothing less. In Sheffield almost all the taxi firms have had Uber-style online booking for more than a decade.

    I think part of this is that London only got Private Hire about a decade ago, so culturally they don’t understand private hire, and culturally they think London is the entire world and they can’t conceive that other places have had private hire for decades.

  9. Black cabbies going on strike is a really smart move. Really smart. That’ll show those Uber bastards!

    The problem is, as we found out in Paris recently, “withdrawing one’s labour” often means “preventing anyone else from working”. If there is one thing I never got about Unions and union law, it is how they are allowed to actively, physically prevent non-members from going about their normal business. If I was running a country, I would allow unions and I’d allow strikes and I’d allow protests. But the second these thugs physically prevented, say, an Uber driver going about his business they’d be spending 25 years in an icy labour camp.

  10. @jgh, all kudos to Sheffield for having private hire cars for more than 10 years.
    In London a large player in private hire, Addison Lee, was started in 1975.
    If Sheffield’s system really was Uber-like, computer based with driver ratings, surge pricing and a time/distance algorithm it is sad they didn’t market it to the world.

  11. There’s another organisation which structured its activities to avoid tax. Begins with a G…can’t remember the rest of it.

    Fucking humongous hypocritical fuckers.

  12. Sheffield (like everywhere outside London) has had private hire for more than 40 years, not 10 years. Private Hire outside London was legalised in 1976, it look London until 1998 to catch up.

    Maybe because I worked in Taxi Licensing I had more knowledge of developments, but for example Sheffield City Cabs has taken electronic bookings since the mid-2000s.

  13. @jgh – corporation tax is a funny old thing.

    Say you made a £50,000 trading loss and also received £100 bank interest in year 1, then made £10,000 profit and received £100 bank interest in year 2. You might be forgiven for thinking that overall in the 2 years you are £39,800 down and shouldn’t pay any corporation tax.

    But you will be expected to pay corporation tax on the £100 interest in year 2.

    You might end up with headlines like “XYZ Limited paid £20 tax on turnover of £20,000,000”

  14. Mr Ecks>

    a) Everything is to the left of you.
    b) Except, funnily enough, the lot you’re complaining about. They’re also far right nutcases, but you’re not bright enough to be let in on the game they’re playing.

  15. Strange that the Left are behind London black cab drivers, a constituency which has pretty much been reviled by Guardianistas for years as a bunch of fat racist cockneys.

    Odd bedfellows. Hard to tell why they have such a beef with Uber. It began long before this tax nonsense. I’m sure a lot of it is herdthink, but what else?

  16. Rob>

    They’re not really the left, that’s what you’re missing. It’s no surprise that the far right, masquerading as lefties, support black cab drivers while protesting strongly against anything that might lead to poorer (darker skinned, natch) types getting the chance to sit in the back of a minicab instead of the front.

    Otherwise, you’re quite right that it’s absurd to complain about legal tax avoidance here, given that black cab drivers have always been notorious for illegal tax evasion.

  17. Dave: illegal tax evasion

    is a concept that relies on a belief in legal tax evasion. Have you been taught by 20% Professor Murphiarty at Reichenbach College?

  18. Dave:“It’s no surprise that the far right</b., masquerading as lefties, support black cab drivers while protesting strongly against anything that might lead to poorer (darker skinned, natch) types getting the chance to sit in the back of a minicab instead of the front.”

    Dave, are you really Frances Coppola?

  19. Dave–if you must rant at least rant in understandable English rather than Old Espewanko or whatever.

    “a) Everything is to the left of you.”

    Thanks for acknowledging the truth Davy-boy. Facism is socialism so literally there is nothing to the right of me. I am a free market semi-anarchist–except when it comes to sitting back and allowing what remains of freedom to be extinguished by the import of those whose idea of freedom is rape nights and dogma all day. That is an emergency situation that requires power to stop.

    “b) Except, funnily enough, the lot you’re complaining about. They’re also far right nutcases, but you’re not bright enough to be let in on the game they’re playing.”

    ???????? Translation needed. Does he mean black cab drivers?. After I said my post was OT and therefore not specifically about black cabs?

    Do you even read these posts Dave–or are you just looking for race rant-triggers?

    “They’re not really the left, that’s what you’re missing.It’s no surprise that the far right, masquerading as lefties,”

    So he agrees with me again –the left are the right!!!

    “support black cab drivers while protesting strongly against anything that might lead to poorer (darker skinned, natch) types getting the chance to sit in the back of a minicab instead of the front.”

    No. What they are Davy boy –is the white working class –and that’s why CM turds like you hate them. They are wrong in trying to protect an income security gifted them by state tyranny. But at least their selfishness is on a human scale–as opposed to your fucking mad waycist bullshit. A poison hatred of your own kind.

  20. Mr Ecks>

    Oh, my mistake, I forgot that you’re actually certifiably insane. Nowhere did I mention black cabs in response to you. I just pointed out that you’re too damned stupid to recognise that the ‘lefties’ you complain about are actually your fellow-traveller neo-Nazis playing a game you’re too dim to be let in on.

    And no, you’re not an anarch-anything. You’re a neo-Nazi, plain and simple. Very simple, in fact.

  21. Meissen Bison>

    I see logic and grammar aren’t strong-points of yours. No, emphasising that tax evasion is illegal does not imply there is such a thing as legal tax evasion.

  22. “Oh, my mistake, I forgot that you’re actually certifiably insane.”

    And you’re Mr Shining Sanity. Not even in your own dreams.

    ” Nowhere did I mention black cabs in response to you”

    No you wrote a sentence with any reference to what you were supposedly talking about. Probably in a frenzy to denounce white wickedness.

    “I just pointed outthat you’re too damned stupid to recognise that the ‘lefties’ you complain about are actually your fellow-traveller neo-Nazis playing a game you’re too dim to be let in on.”

    My original post pointed out that 16 –seemingly diverse (no pun intended)–blogposts on Tim’s front page were the result of leftist antics. So your brilliant contention is the leftist lies and/or leftist caused evils of which those blogs complained are all brought about by “my fellow-traveller neo-nazis” (who are socialists as I keep saying–so if your accusation were true Davy-boy that would make us fellow leftists ). All of them. Fuck–we neo-nazis must be hyperactive these days.

    “And no, you’re not an anarch-anything. You’re a neo-Nazi, plain and simple. Very simple, in fact.”

    You stopped mid-rant without identifying a hidden attack on the Jews . That’s your standard allegation isn’t it Davy? How did a master of logic and grammar miss that?

    You are Dave, a raving, psychotic, self-hating waste of space and oxygen . A living example of how far the West has fallen into the clutches of socialist lies and bullshit.

  23. Dave: I see logic and grammar aren’t strong-points of yours. No, emphasising that tax evasion is illegal does not imply there is such a thing as legal tax evasion

    Wrong. Your use of the word “illegal” as an epithet qualifying “tax evasion” suggests that there might be other kinds. You would have needed a subordinate clause to emphasise the illegality. As it stands you’re just being tautological. Or stupid.

    You also appear to be uncertain about the distinction between logic and grammar. Either that or you have the wrong conjunction.

    These failings sit quite well with your general intellect as displayed here.

  24. MWAM,

    “If Sheffield’s system really was Uber-like, computer based with driver ratings, surge pricing and a time/distance algorithm it is sad they didn’t market it to the world.”

    Well, no. But the cab company I use in Swindon allow me to book by app.

    The key thing about Uber is scale. You get thousands of drivers in a place, the odds of someone having a car near them when they want one goes up. It lowers the value of a black cab. And with the computing we have today, you can run the dispatch for 20,000 drivers. Computers are exceptionally good at “find 10 nearest cars near to co-ordinate that are available” on an in-memory table of 20,000 records.

    If I was these black cabbies, I’d either be joining Uber or retraining rather than protesting. It’s not Uber that’s hurting them, it’s that Uber can do what they do as a result of GPS, cheap computing and smartphones being developed and those aren’t going to be uninvented.

  25. “God, I’d respond but it’s like beating primary school kids at maths or something.”

    Yeah–don’t lower yourself Dave. Your great intellect and carefully reasoned values have seen off so many simpletons in this electronic arena.

    “I wager 1000 Quatloos on Dave!!!”

  26. If I was these black cabbies, I’d either be joining Uber or retraining rather than protesting.

    Yes, they rather missed their chance didn’t they…?

    I had a GPS in my car what, fifteen years ago…? So The Knowledge’ was effectively obsolete then but you still see them driving around on their mopeds learning the routes..

    A sensible approach would have been to dump The Knowledge in favour of GPS with a database containing all of The Knowledge, the back routes, short cuts, etc. They would by now have been offering a service that the likes of Uber would find it difficult to compete with…

    You snooze, you lose…

  27. Bloke in Cyprus:

    “A sensible approach would have been to dump The Knowledge in favour of GPS with a database containing all of The Knowledge, the back routes, short cuts, etc. They would by now have been offering a service that the likes of Uber would find it difficult to compete with…”

    Bingo. A test so hard it changes the shape of your brain is perhaps an unreasonable entry level for something as mundane as taxi driving. I remember being astonished as a kid when I first found out about the knowledge, but finding out it’s still in existence today is as odd as hearing that chimneysweeps provoke premature labour in their wives so as to produce chimneyable youths for their trade (or something). It’s an arcane throwback, and utterly pointless when £50 spent at Halfords is both quicker, easier and better than that test.

    Also: I like ecksy, goddammit.

  28. I struggled to finish Mr Black Cab’s article. So someone tell me, did he ever explain why the “unfair competition” from Uber was unfair?

  29. ” So someone tell me, did he ever explain why the “unfair competition” from Uber was unfair?”

    It was unfair in the same way a child screams ‘ITS NOT FAIR!!!!” when told it can’t have a pony for Christmas. Also unfair in the way the steam engine was unfair to the canal barge, and the HGV unfair to the steam engine.

  30. Of course, we all now know that Uber’s taxable profit wasn’t 866,000 on the tax return, nor was Uber’s income tax actually 22,134 on that same tax return. Right?

    Maybe John, Arnald or What’s His Name could email this ignorant twat of a “journalist” and explain the difference between GAAP tax figures and tax bais tax figures. Not that a Guardian reader would ever grasp it, mind you.

  31. “God, I’d respond but it’s like beating primary school kids at maths or something.”
    Don’t try it, Dave. I’m not sure you’d win.

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