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ATO data matching on ride sharing Uber Lyft drivers

ATO data matching on ride sharing Uber Lyft drivers, while the Coronavirus pandemic has put many things on hold, it hasn’t stopped the ATO from going ahead with its data matching programs.

ATOData match program ride share data matching on ride sharing Uber Lyft and others. One of the more significant programs that have slipped under the radar due to the pandemic is the ride sourcing or ride sharing program. If you drive for Uber, Lyft or many other ridesharing apps, you may be affected. Under this program, the ATO will be acquiring data from ride sourcing facilitators to identify individuals providing these services for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 financial years.

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, many routine things have slipped under the radar, one of which is the various ATO data matching programs. One of the more significant data-matching programs currently occurring is on ride sourcing or ride sharing. Ride sourcing or ride sharing is any ongoing arrangement where you make a car available for public hire to passengers through a third-party digital platform for a payment or fare. Think Uber, Lyft or many other ridesharing apps.

Under this program, the ATO data matching will acquire data from ride sourcing facilitators to identify individuals providing these services for the 2019-20 to 2021-22 financial years. The data that will be collected include:

  • identification details – driver identifier, ABN; driver name, birth date, mobile phone number, email address; address;
  • transaction details – bank account details, aggregated payment details (gross fares, bet amount paid to driver, and all other income to which GST may or may not apply to) of all payments received in the relevant period.

It is expected that records relating to approximately 250,000 individuals will be obtained in each financial year. The data acquired will then be matched to certain sections of ATO data holdings to identify individuals. These individuals may then be provided tailored information to help them meet their tax and super obligations, or to ensure compliance with tax law (including registration, lodgement, reporting and payment).

While one of the main objectives of the ATO data-matching program is to promote voluntary compliance and increase community confidence in the integrity of the tax and super system. The ATO notes that the data may also be used as part of methodologies by which it selects taxpayers for compliance activities.

It is important to note that while the ATO data matching data is obtaining from various ride sourcing facilitators, none of the facilitators are named. It says identifications of the facilitators/providers working with the ATO has the potential to cause commercial disadvantage given the immaturity of the industry and evolving nature of the market. As such, the ATO says it is adopting a principles-based approach to ensure fairness and transparency using the following criteria:

  • data owner or its subsidiary operates a business in Australia that is governed by Australian law;
  • data owner or its subsidiary provides ride sourcing facilitation services for drivers;
  • data owner or its subsidiary provided these facilities in the years in focus;
  • where the client base of a data owner or its subsidiary does not present an omitted income risk or the administrative or financial cost of collecting the data exceeds the benefit the data may provide, the data owner or its subsidiary may be excluded from the program.

According to the ATO, new and existing ride sourcing facilitators will be reviewed periodically against the eligibility criteria, and if required, will be included in the program. In addition, any data collected will not be used to initiate automated action or activities.

ATO data matching on ride sharing, what to do now?

If you provide ride sharing services and are not sure whether you’ve been compliant with your tax obligations such as lodgement and payment, Hunter Partners can help. We can also help you understand any GST registration and reporting obligations you may have. Contact Hunter Partners today.

Hunter Partners are Accountants, Tax Agents and Financial Planners. We can assist you with all aspect of your accounting, tax and financial planning requirements, call Hunter Partners on (07) 4723-1223.

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