UBER AND RELATED LEGAL AND TAX QUESTIONS
The UBER case has several legal and tax dimensions. Despite the undisputed popularity of UBER in society, UBER and UBER drivers need to fight on multiple fronts today. The business model that is currently being used in Europe may soon be lost. UBER would then be forced to bring it into line with the law, which would most likely override the transport itself.
UBER today can be associated with the following legal and tax controversies:
1. Is UBER providing transport services or is it just a cross-border provision of services protected by EU law?
The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU, Szpunar, according to which UBER provides transport services, has expressed its opinion on this issue. In particular, the fact that UBER checks prices, determines the minimum safety requirements for drivers and cars, checks the drivers’ offer, checks the drivers themselves through the rating system, and especially UBER service cannot be provided without the UBER application. If the EU Court of Justice were to accept Szpunarov’s view, it would have to adapt to local regulation of transport services in every EU country, which would, of course, increase UBER’s operating costs.
2. Does UBER pay taxes in individual countries?
Nowadays, UBER pays taxes from its European profits in the Netherlands. If the Court of Justice of the EU should agree with Szpunar’s argumentation, UBER would probably have a permanent establishment in each country and, hence, the obligation to pay income tax.
3. UBER drivers and license
UBER drivers perform business activities in most cases, and UBER indirectly confirms this on their site. In such a case, the UBER drivers are in breach of law unless these drivers are licensed to provide taxi services. Nevertheless, there are a number of UBER advocates who argue for the benefits of UBER for transport services as well as the phenomenon of some self-regulation through their customers through the UBER application to achieve the desired regulatory effect – improving the quality of the services provided. According to these views, UBER has the right to disregard the law, because regulation is unnecessary.
In particular, this question, and therefore whether UBER has the right to disregard the law as well as several other contexts related to UBER’s business in Slovakia, has been dealt with in his second analysis on this topic by Peter Varga in this article.