Uber London tax row: Uber insists it has 'paid every penny due'

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Uber has hit back at reports suggesting its British arm Uber London used a loophole to cut the business’s UK tax bill, after accounts revealed it paid just over £22,000 in tax last year, while booking a profit of over £860,000.

Accounts filed at Companies House show that Uber London paid no corporation tax in 2014, despite making profit of £866,302.

It did, however, pay a deferred corporation taxation charge of £22,134, which related to profits made in the previous year.

An Uber spokesperson said: “We have paid every penny of tax that is due. With corporation tax past losses offset current and future profits – as is the case with Uber which made losses in the UK in previous years.

“This is an accounting principle to encourage investment that dates back to Benjamin Disraeli. It’s not a loophole.

“We’re a young company – only three years old in the UK – that’s investing heavily. We’re a significant net contributor to the local economy everywhere we go, creating new opportunities for thousands of professional drivers.”

“The lion’s share of every fare stays local, as it remains with the drivers who use Uber. And unlike the cash-in-hand past of this industry, we only take card payments so every fare is traceable and transparent.”

Uber will likely have received deductions on assets it bought as it built up its UK operations, as well as share awards it gave to staff members as part of their pack packets.

Its accounts state that Uber London employees participate in a stock incentive plan and 50 exercised stock options in 2014. Workers would have had to pay tax on share options.

The row follows controversy over Facebook’s UK tax bill, which totalled just £4,327 last year.

After the Facebook figures were revealed, experts said the government should be “more ambitious” with its crackdown on corporation tax schemes. 

Source Article from http://www.standard.co.uk/business/uber-london-tax-row-uber-insists-it-has-paid-every-penny-due-a3095251.html

October 20, 2015 |
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