Earlier this year new tax compliance regulations were brought in for taxi drivers to self-declare their income when renewing their licence to be a taxi driver. The new requirement is intended to ensure that taxi drivers’ income is taxed properly, and HMRC is this week chasing up thousands of drivers who they suspect have failed to declare their full income.
HMRC said the missing taxes were among private hire drivers who operate on booking apps — not “black cab” taxi drivers, who have separate licensing requirements.
Uber told the FT its drivers were self-employed for tax purposes, so it could not check what drivers put in their tax returns. It said it worked with HMRC to make sure the authority had all the information it needed.
HMRC will send letters from September 5 until the end of the year to drivers it suspects have underpaid tax and recipients will have 30 days to respond or face a possible review of their tax affairs. For those who agree to make a voluntary disclosure, the authority will send an acknowledgment letter offering drivers 90 days to work out and pay the tax owed.
HMRC confirmed in a statement to the FT that the letters were “being sent to people who have earned money from driving customers who booked private hire cars through online driving applications”.