Uber Canada GM calls GST/HST collection on ridesharing a ‘tax on innovation’

Uber Sign

Uber Canada’s regional general manager Ian Black has responded to the federal government’s 2017 budget, criticizing the government’s plan to make ridesharing services subject to the same GST/HST rules as taxis in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.

“This new tax on innovation would hurt over a million Canadians who use ridesharing to earn income and get around their cities,” Black stated, adding that the government should be supporting policies to make sustainable transportation more affordable.

Additionally, Uber argued that taxi drivers should also receive a break on collecting sales tax, if the government is interested in leveling the playing field. Black ended the statement by calling for “a meaningful consultation on [the] proposal.”

Currently, Canadian Uber users do not pay taxes on the service, just tolls, surcharges and fees.

“What we’ve done is say… if you’re in an Uber or in a taxi, you pay GST. That’s consistent with what Canadians expect,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau during the March 22nd budget announcement.

See Uber’s full statement below:

“This new tax on innovation would hurt over a million Canadians who use ridesharing to earn income and get around their cities.

At a time when Canadians spend far too much time stuck in traffic — and people should be encouraged to leave their cars at home, take public transit, and share rides — we should be supporting policies that make sustainable transportation more affordable, not more expensive.

Federal tax laws already offers small business owners a break on collecting sales tax, but unfairly exclude taxi drivers. The best way to support taxi drivers and level the playing field is to extend the same exemption to them.

Considering how many Canadians this tax will directly impact, we ask for meaningful consultation on this proposal and hope to work with the Government on smart solutions that support innovation.”