ATO makes public statement about income tax and GST treatment of Uber’s ‘driver appreciation awards’

Jack Malarkey

Well-Known Member
The Australian Taxation Office has made the following public statement about the income tax and GST treatment of Uber’s ‘driver appreciation awards’:

Uber 'driver appreciation reward' payments

In April 2019, ride-sourcing platform, Uber, paid some of its drivers a 'driver appreciation reward'. The payment amount was based on the length of time the recipient has spent driving for the platform.

If you received a payment, find out below what you need to know about your tax obligations for this payment.

Income tax and deductions

The income you earn from ride-sourcing, including fares, tips and bonuses from any ride-sourcing platform (such as the Uber 'driver appreciation reward' payments), is assessable income. This is because these payments form part of your income-producing ride-sourcing activities.

If you seek legal or professional tax advice related to the taxation of these payments, you can claim a tax deduction for the costs incurred.

Reporting your income

Include the 'driver appreciation reward' payment in your income tax return at the same label you use to declare your business income from your ride-sourcing activities.

GST

To be subject to goods and services tax (GST), you have to supply a good or service in return for the payment.

As you did not have to supply a good or a service to get the 'driver appreciation reward' payment, the amount you received is not subject to GST.

Find out about:

Ride-sourcing: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/The-sharing-economy-and-tax/Ride-sourcing/

Income and deductions for ride-sourcing: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/The-sharing-economy-and-tax/Ride-sourcing/

See also:

GSTR 2012/2 Goods and services tax: financial assistance payments: https://www.ato.gov.au/law/view/doc...=false&stype=find&tm=phrase-basic-GSTR 2012/2

(https://www.ato.gov.au/General/The-...l/Uber--driver-appreciation-reward--payments/)
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Jack Malarkey comments:

I was surprised by the following statement in the Tax Office’s statement:

‘The payment amount was based on the length of time the recipient has spent driving for the platform’.

The payment amount was in fact based on the number of trips completed: see https://help.uber.com/partners/arti...t?nodeId=8490ced1-81ad-44f1-9421-fdc2b15dd203.
 
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Jack Malarkey

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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I am pleased to advise that the Tax Office has now removed the incorrect statement that the driver appreciation awards were paid on the basis of how long the driver had been on the Uber platform whereas they were in fact paid on the basis of the number of trips the driver had completed.

Interestingly, the document advises it was last updated on 12 June 2019 whereas the incorrect statement was still in it at least as late as 23 June 2019 as per my report above.

See https://www.ato.gov.au/General/The-...l/Uber--driver-appreciation-reward--payments/.
 
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