Soapy Joe And Spudda would ban Addison Lee

The Senior Lecturer tells us that Uber are very bad people because of VAT:

My objection is to the fact the Uber does not charge VAT by seeking to exploit the gig economy.

I do not believe anyone who uses Uber contracts with their driver. They book and pay through Uber. I think the driver works for Uber. But Uber says they are the agent of the driver who, they claim, contracts with the passenger..

This matter for VAT. I won’t go through all the ramifications. Jolyon Maugham, who has made this an issue, and I discussed it some time ago. He has pursued it, and all credit to him for doing so. The difference between the two contractual positions is that if Uber supplies the service then VAT is charged on the fare. If the driver does, as Uber claims, then the driver charges VAT only if registered. No one can, I suggest, make enough as a Uber driver to require registration. The result is that VAT is almost invariably not paid. And that, in my opinion, is a deliberate market distortions by claiming contracts are not as they appear to the end customer in a way intended to arbitrage the tax system to secure a deliberate competitive advantage the company should not enjoy.

This issue has not been resolved in tax law as yet: it is my suggestion that a wise government would consider legislation on the issue. In the meantime the attitude that it reveals about Uber’s approach to regulation suggests to me that it is not an appropriate organisation to hold a private hire licence in London, not least when, as a matter of fact, it claims it does not provide private hire at all, but its drivers do.

Therefore Addison Lee must also lose its licence:

Where applicable, VAT (where chargeable depending on the individual VAT status of the Fulfilment Partner) may be added to such Charges.

What fucking tax privilege if that’s the way all do it? A black cab driver not going above the VAT registration threshold also does not charge VAT.

Don’t these cretins ever actually check things?

13 thoughts on “Soapy Joe And Spudda would ban Addison Lee”

  1. brian faux says:
    September 23 2017 at 3:39 pm
    Does Uber pay VAT on their commission – which obviously exceeds the £83k threshold for VAT?

    [Begruding] Reply
    Richard Murphy says:
    September 23 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Dr. Keith also has a sneaky one…

    Dr. Keith Crainshraw says:
    September 23 2017 at 11:10 am
    I noticed that Jolyon is looking for someone to front the VAT case for him, as if he should lose he’ll be on the hook for costs. If there’s someone out there with no assets, he’s looking for your help to front the case for him. (I’m not sure how that works, but he’s the lawyer soap y guess you’ll be fine!)

    “soap y”

  2. I do find it repugnant that the state’s sole view of the utility of a business is the amount of tax that can be extracted from it. Improves the lives of thousands of people? Who gives a toss?

  3. Separate topic, I know, but when is London going to have a congestion charge. You know, that thing where you identify something you don’t like, i.e. lots of traffic moving slowly or not at all, and then decide to tax it as that reduces the problem.
    I know London used to have one, but all the exemptions has rendered it ineffective.
    Please Mayor Khan, get rid of the exemptions, and bring back the congestion charge. Or do you not want the revenue?

  4. It’s a common enough model, and growing. An obvious result of tinternet. Ebay, not on the high street and Amazon are good examples. There are many more.

  5. Black cabbies have to charge what’s on the meter, I’ve never seen one with a provision to add VAT. If they’re VAT registered, can I get a receipt and claim the VAT back through my business? That doesn’t sound right, but what do I know? 🙂

  6. Ah, who provides the service, the cab or Uber?

    RM: Hello, I’m in Islington and I want to get to Ely.

    CAB: I’ll be with you in 3 minutes.

    RM: No, I don’t want you, I want Uber.

    CAB: Whut? They can’t help you?

    RM: Oh yes they can, you evil capitalist!

    A Spud stays in Islington, unconvinced but very angry.

  7. RlJ: my thoughts exactly. Zero out corporation tax and you still have iPhones and Amazon next-day delivery and the ability to summon what’s essentially a flying carpet to your current location. Asking for anything beyond that is the besetting sin of socialists of not just wanting to have your cake and eat it, but wanting to have everybody else’s fucking cake and eat that too.

  8. What Chris Miller said. Black Cabs do not charge VAT. Either that, or they all need to be locked up for failing to issue valid VAT invoices.

  9. “it is my suggestion that a wise government would consider legislation on the issue”

    He’ll have to wait until Brexit has happened. Properly. VAT is governed by the EU and ECJ.

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