Taxi Talk March 2017


Embed or link this publication


magazine for taxi and hire car drivers, owners and operators

Popular Pages

p. 1



p. 2

MTCeAOtMrXoLICPpIENoECElNitaSnATTaIOxiNC?lub CHowOVER PROTECTION Ve It FREE legal advice NO joining fee FAST claims recovery FAST repair turn-around GENUINE replacement parts LOWER annual contributions providing:- Comprehensive Insurance Third Party & Public Liability Insurance PHONE 9388 0722 360 Brunswick Road, Brunswick EMAIL BRUNSWICK ROAD COLLISION CENTRE (Melbourne) • Taxi resprays from $1200 (conditions apply) • Quality jobs • Quick repair time C0o426nt2ac4|t3MI1bar8rac2hh3im2o0r179380 9935 BRUNSWICK ROAD COLLISION MECHANIC CENTRE • Low prices • Fast services Contact Daniel or Ibrahim 9388 1425 or 9388 0722 YEARS MORELAND TAXIS P/L • Taxi shifts available (day and night) • New and clean taxis • 24/7 roadside assistance Phone 9388 1425 or 9388 0722 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 3

C O N T E N T S 6 MANDATORY GST FOR UBER It's official! Ride-sourcing drivers are taxi drivers. 10 LICENCE COMPENSATION How should perpetual licence holders be compensated? 18 FAIRNESS FUND FRUSTRATION Many need assistance with fund applications. 20 INDUSTRY LEGISLATION Government has tabled the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017 in parliament. 32 NEW HEALTH APP A mobile app will drive better mental health for cabbies. 34 AIRPORT SHUTTLE TRIAL A fully autonomous electric vehicle at the Christchurch Airport. Views expressed in any article in Taxi Talk magazine are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept any responsibility for any opinions, information, errors or omissions in this publication. To the extent permitted by law, the publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising from the contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damage. Advertisements must comply with the relevant provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Responsibility for compliance with the Act rests with the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement. Taxi Talk magazine has agreed to advertise taxi clubs because those clubs have stated that they and their products comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to insurance for taxi operators. Taxi Talk magazine has not independently verified these taxi clubs’ compliance, and give no warranty and make no representation as to whether the taxi clubs are compliant. Operators should satisfy themselves as to a taxi club’s compliance with laws and regulations through their own enquiries. These advertisements do not constitute recommendations by Taxi Talk magazine that operators purchase insurance products from taxi clubs. Taxi Talk magazine does not accept any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage suffered or incurred by any operator because a taxi club or its product or service is non-compliant. Taxi Talk magazine is wholly owned by Trade Promotions Pty Ltd. COPYRIGHT © Trade Promotions Pty Ltd 2015. All rights reserved. The “Taxi Talk – Voice of the taxi industry” heading and logos are trademarks of Stanley F. White. Copyright of articles and photographs of Taxi Talk magazine remain with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission. VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 MAGAZINE EDITOR Toni F. Peters FOUNDER Stanley F. White PUBLISHER Trade Promotions Pty Ltd ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Mrs Toni Peters Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: ....................................... 0400 137 866 Email: ............................. Website: .......................... Media Pack containing advertisement sizes and costs can be downloaded from our website. DEADLINE All articles, editorial and artwork must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to publication date. CLASSIFIED ADS $35 for 40 words, $70 for 80 words, etc. Email or Mail your classified advertisement by the 15th of the month prior to publication date, together with your payment. HOME DELIVERY SUBSCRIPTION $40 for your copy of Taxi Talk to be mailed to you for one year. PAYMENT OPTIONS • Direct Deposit to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd BSB 033065 A/c 312786 • Via PAYPAL to • Mail Cheque to Trade Promotions Pty Ltd PO Box 2345, Mt Waverley VIC 3149 proudly supporting these organisations since inception..... March 2017 | 3


p. 4

How 4 | March 2017 eFdROiMtToHEr’s desk Last month we saw members and affiliated personnel of the Victorian Taxi and Hire Car Families, blockade major access routes to and from the CBD and Melbourne Airport - twice even. Many of the public don't truly understand the situation within the Victorian taxi industry. I have heard people say:- "If I invest in shares and they go south, I don't get compensation. They invesIted, they lost." "If the taxi industry was so great, they wouldn't lose a customer to Uber." "I'd support them if only they supported me in getting home from the city late nights and not asking if I was going east or west before locking the doors and driving off." "Taxi companies have had plenty of notice that ride sharing services were coming to Australia - enough time to circumvent complacency and adapt to competition. This is a result of their complacency." And then I have also heard comments like:- "I don't condone this behaviour but you can understand their frustration. They were made to pay a fortune for taxi licences and they're now worthless. They get a small compensation payout from the government through Andrews Uber tax, yet it will net him $billions." "If your home was compulsorily acquired, for the greater good, you would expect to be paid, right?" "You have to remember - they paid a lot of money for those licences, if those licences are suddenly devalued, don't you think they are entitled to a refund?" "Everyone is bagging the taxi owners....they aren't all bad and inefficient. There are a lot of good ones that have put in so much money for this job and now the government has made their licences null and void. Give them back what they are owed and let them on their way." So, did the blockades achieve anything? Not sure about that one. If nothing else it has got the public talking about the taxi and hire car industry and perhaps some of them have learnt a thing or two. But one thing is for sure - in these tumultuous and uncertain times the taxi and hire car industry needs to be on their best behaviour. Neat uniform, clean cars inside and out, fresh body odour and service with a smile. And remember to accept every fare asked of you! You certainly don't need anything more for the public to complain about. Stay positive - the future is not set in stone, things can change and most probably will. With the handing down of the judgement from the Federal Court last month, whereby it was found that Uber is a taxi for the purpose of collecting and paying GST, perhaps public perception has changed regarding Uber. YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 5

VOICE OF THE TAXI INDUSTRY TAXI MAGAZINE ON THE RANKS SINCE 1966 proudly published and printed in Melbourne Perhaps some people have come realise that Uber is still an ILLEGAL entity in Victoria. That Uber has been taking money away from taxis and hire car drivers and operators ILLEGALLY and that it has been fighting against the ATO with regards to due taxes. Uber drivers are providing a service by transporting passengers from point A to point B. In Australia if you provide a service, you collect and pay GST. Pretty simple really. Overseas in Brazil a judge has ruled that a driver using the Uber ride-sourcing app is an employee of Uber. Therefore the driver is entitled to workers' benefits - eg overtime, night shifts, holidays and expenses such as petrol, water and candy for passengers. This, together with the tax levies being imposed by many countries on Uber, may substantially increase costs and Uber may have to rethink its position and structure within the ride-sourcing industry. With regards to the Fairness Fund we have learnt that:- • It is most likely that Fairness Fund payments will attract tax. • All applications and payments will be processed by mid 2017. • Applications are based on individuals. If licences are owned by companies, trusts or like, the application needs to detail how this business structure impacts on the financial position of the individual. • There will be no formal appeals process after the assessment has been completed. • Emotional and health conditions will be considered in the assessment and how they impact on an applicant's financial position or as extenuating circumstances must be detailed. In South Australia Life Without Barriers is working with and supporting UberASSIST. Whilst it is a good thing that the Uber drivers receive as much training possible to assist passengers with mobility needs, I must query as to why Life Without Barriers would chose to support and be aligned with an ILLEGAL entity? Yes it is only a matter of time before UberX and UberASSIST will be legal in all states and territories in Australia, but at this stage they are not legal in South Australia nor Victoria. Toni Peters Editor TT Victoria's only monthly industry magamziniNesiessvsueear!n Subscribe to Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi and Hire Car Industries to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news, views & outcomes. LETTER BOX DELIVERY to your home or work each month. 1 year subscription is only $40. payment options are on page 3 OR SUBSCRIBE AT OUR WEBSITE and get Taxi Talk magazine delivered to your email inbox every month, for free. Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS March 2017 | 5


p. 6

DRIVEUBRERS PAY GST It's official! Ride-sourcing drivers are taxi drivers for GST purposes. Just as taxis and hire cars must pay GST on every dollar they earn, so too the drivers of Uber vehicles must pay GST. Last month Justice John Griffiths of the Federal Court handed down the ruling that, for the purposes of GST, Uber drivers (therefore all ride-sharing, ride-hailing and ride-sourcing drivers) are to be treated as taxi drivers and subject to GST regardless of the total yearly monetary reward gained by driving the vehicle. Thus ending the 18 month battle by Uber against the Australian Taxation Office. During the case Uber argued its drivers were not taxi drivers because they could not use taxi ranks or pick up passengers on the roadside. But the Tax Office quoted a number of dictionary definitions to argue the term taxi should include ride-sourcing services. Justice Griffiths said, "I accept the Commissioner’s submission that the ordinary meaning of the word “taxi” is a vehicle available for hire by the public and which transports a passenger at his or her direction for the payment of a fare that will often, but not always, be calculated by reference to a taximeter". He said the fact Uber cars did not have taxi meters installed in them was irrelevant because it was not essential to the ordinary meaning of the word "taxi". Sandy Spanos, Victorian Taxi and Hire-car Families (VTHF) President said, "This has been a long time coming. It's exactly what we've been saying all along." "Nobody is exempt from paying GST. If you are ferrying passengers from Point A to Point B for commercial reward - you are a taxi," she continued. In August 2015, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) ruled Uber drivers must register for the GST even if they earn less than the small business threshold of $75,000 per year. This means drivers must pay 10% GST on the total fare value on top of the commission (approx 20-25% of the total fare value) that goes directly to Uber. The ruling leaves Uber drivers unable to claim GST credit from the ATO for the 20-25 per cent commission they pay to Uber. This is because payments go ­direct from passengers to the company’s Dutch operation, where commission is deducted. In 2015 Uber responded to the ATO ruling by increasing its passenger prices by 10% and it is now 6 | March 2017 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 7

ATIA (Australian Taxi Industry Association) chief executive Blair Davies said. “We applaud the decision. It means that UberX drivers have to be registered for GST just like taxi drivers, so they can’t go under the radar. " Mr Davies said, "the ATIA simply want a level playing field. The Tax Office has decided to do that. We just wish some of the state governments would take the same view and not have regulatory hand-ups for UberX and regulations and red tape to stop taxi services being as efficient as they possibly can.” "We have testimony that you walk like a duck and you quack like a duck. Tell the court - are you a duck?" Drivers who have not already remitted the GST component of their fares (since August 2015) to mandatory that all ride-sharing, ride-hailing and ride-sourcing been the Federal Court that has taken the first step which creates the ATO will be found out, instructed to pay and fined accordingly. drivers MUST pay 10% GST to the any semblance of the basics of Justice Griffiths has also ordered Tax Office. a level playing", continued Rod Uber to pay the Commissioner’s The VHCA is pleased with the Barton. costs of the litigation. TT Federal Court's decision that from a tax point of view Uber is a taxi service. VHCA President Rod Barton said, "This decision goes some way to levelling the playing field yet it also raises other questions for:- 1. Work Cover - do they consider Uber a taxi service? aLNsEeseiGsdtaAncLe? • Business • Commercial • Conveyancing • Estate Planning • Family • Litigation If so will they be seeking • Probate Work Cover premiums from Uber? 2. TAC - do they consider Uber Serving the Taxi Industry for over 30 years • Taxation • Superannuation a taxi service? Will that impact on TAC premiums for Uber drivers' vehicles?" “It is a sad irony that while the Andrews Government has talked about its proposed deregulation of the commercial passenger vehicle industry, as creating a “level playing field”, both in terms of processes and outcome, it has LAAMWS Adams Maguire Sier 176 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe Email: | Phone: 9497 2622 Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS March 2017 | 7


p. 8

= TAXI Following the Federal Court ruling last month many questions have been raised. Here are some of them and their relevant answers. Questions Are ride-sourcing, ride-hailing or ridesharing services taxable? Do taxi, hire car and ride-sourcing drivers have to issue a tax invoice? There are conflicting views about ridesourcing, ride-hailing, ride-sharing drivers being taxi drivers. Who is correct? Does this advice apply to other forms of transport? How does GST apply to ride-sourcing, ridehailing, ride-sharing fares? For those drivers who have not been paying GST since 1 August 2015, will they now need to back-pay this GST? Is GST payable on a toll charge passed on to a passenger? What is the GST treatment of bonus and top-up payments? What are the GST consequences of delivering goods through a ride-sourcing arrangement? What is the GST treatment of cancellation or no show fees? Answers Yes. A driver providing taxi travel via a ride-sourcing or similar enterprise is making a taxable supply under GST legislation. If the fare is more than $82.50, the driver must issue a tax invoice if requested.  A receipt can be delivered directly to the passenger's mobile phone and if it has the necessary information the driver does not need to issue a separate tax invoice. Drivers providing ride-sourcing services are providing taxi travel under GST law that was upheld by the Federal Court of Australia in February 2017. This view is only about how Australian Government tax laws apply and whether a particular activity is taxi travel for GST purposes. The various states and territories have different laws about what a taxi is for their own regulatory purposes and the ATO view of the tax law does not affect the interpretation of what is a taxi for state regulation purposes or for other Australian Government law purposes. In summary, rickshaws and motorised tricycles are not cars which the ATO considers a vehicle must be, in order to be a taxi. Similarly the ATO considers that wedding and funeral cars are not considered to be used in providing taxi travel because they are not available for public hire for general transportation from point A to B but rather for special occasions. In some instances, these businesses will have turnover of at least $75,000 and so they are required to be registered for GST. The fare that is calculated by the facilitator is the full fare including GST. The GST you pay to us, less any GST on your inputs such as fuel, is oneeleventh of the total amount charged to the passenger. Yes. All drivers involved in providing ride-sourcing services MUST be registered for GST and meet their GST obligations like any other taxpayer. Yes, GST is payable on the toll passed on to the passenger, but the driver is entitled to claim a GST credit for the GST component of the toll charged. GST is a tax on consumption in Australia only. If you receive a bonus or topup payment from an overseas facilitator the service you are providing is not consumed in Australia and is GST-free. If a customer orders delivered goods from an overseas facilitator, and a facilitator engages you as the driver to deliver the goods and pays you, your delivery service is consumed by a customer in Australia and is subject to GST, even though the facilitator is based overseas. Under ride-sourcing arrangements, the customer may be obliged to pay a fee when they do not show for a trip arranged through the app (a no show). Any cancellation fee that is charged to the customer is subject to GST. 8 | March 2017 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 9

Schmidt G5 Taximeter Schmidt G5 SN 123456 01 $48.50 TARIFF Tap to Pause or Hold to Total FARE $5.10 $2.00 TOLLS CITYLINK Tap to Add EXTRAS DAY • HIRED Day View Keep control of your business • Fully automatic self-calibration - World’s first self-calibrating taximeter. - Recalibrates itself automatically whenever required e.g. when you change tyres. - No need to visit a dealer for calibration, saving you time and money. • Eliminates off-meter fares and could pay for itself many times over every year - World’s first taximeter with optional ultrasonic passenger detection - Keeps the fare running whenever a passenger is riding in your taxi • Prevent other parties from owning your confidential income data and putting your privacy at risk • Control your taximeter via secure website log-in Schmidt Electronic Laboratories Pty Ltd Trusted by thousands of taxi operators & drivers for more than 35 years TaxPi Thaolkn-eVo(i0c3e)o9f 5th4e6Ta6x9i9In0dousrt1ry300 132 422 | Email Address 153 Osborne Avenue, Clayton SYoEAuRtSh, VIC 3169 | A| BWNeb2s0it0e05w6w3w1 .7s1ch0miMdta.rccohm20.a1u7 | 29


p. 10

COMLICPENECENSATION? How should Perpetual Licence Holders be compensated? Very soon the Taxi Industry will be once again in the limelight as Parliament starts to discuss their new laws and compensation issues in the Passenger Transportation Industry. It will be at this time that the perpetual licence holders start to fight back against the injustices inflicted upon them by a government that cares more about big business than about their own citizens. It seems to be clear that the government is not backing away from their plan to replace perpetual taxi licences by some form of permits, that hold no monetary value. It is also evident that the government has paid very little attention to the plight of passengers with respect to affordability, availability and their safety. So, let us look at these issues in a more detailed manner. The government wrongly assumes that the taxi industry needs a new licensing system, but refuses to buy existing perpetual licences back at an appropriate price. The government proposes to put a $2 per trip levy on the travelling public to pay for buying back existing taxi licences and hire car licences. The logistics of collecting this levy would be very expensive and create another bureaucracy that would eat up most of the money collected. However, it should not be the travelling public or the taxpayer who bears the cost of the proposed new licensing system. If the government feels that the current system, which has existed for more than 50 years, needs to be replaced, then they should make everybody who wants to profit from transporting people pay a yearly fee. This annual licensing fee would be payable to the government on a yearly or monthly basis. These funds could then be used to properly and adequately pay for the existing licences. The $2 per trip would theoretically bring the government more than $75 million per year in revenue. A yearly fee of $12,000 for a full time licence and $6,000 for a part time licence would raise the same or even higher revenue. 10 | March 2017 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 11

Under this scenario the government could set their own rules and issue as many licences as the market could bear. The taxpayer and the consumer would both be happy. Also, the government and the adequately compensated licence holder would be happy. So why not do it? Oh I forgot, big business is not happy - big business does not want to pay. They want to steal the assets, which took decades to acquire, from thousands of small businesses. They do not want to obey our laws, and they do not want to pay our taxes. So, why is our present government and the opposition so hell bent on changing our laws in order to accommodate big business? If we look in more detail at what the consumer faces in the future, we find that the outlook is not as rosy as the government and big business want us to believe. By abolishing the rules and accommodating Uber with respect to the age limit on cars, the government condemned the consumer to an inferior service. The easily visible and recognisable Yellow Taxi will also become a relic of the past. The proposal to let the industry set its own fares will inevitably lead to higher fares and exploitation of the consumer which is already evident by the surge pricing of Uber. The availability of taxis at hotspots will decline and the service will increase in price. The safety of passengers will become a concern as more and more private vehicles are used to carry passengers for reward. The community at large will carry the burden of higher insurance costs when private vehicles carry people for reward. So what should the government do to protect its citizens and the Australian taxpayer from exploitation by big business? 1. The government should use the independent Essential Services Commission to set maximum fares for transporting people for reward. 2. The government should not change existing laws to reward big business for breaking our existing laws. 3. The government should buy existing taxi and hire car licences back at a fair price . The government should make the newcomers to the commercial passenger vehicle industry, pay for the privilege of replacing an industry that abided by all government regulations and laws, for more than 50 years. There will be many unforeseen consequences that will have a big impact on Australian families, when and if the government introduces its proposed changes. We can only hope that our politicians will be better informed and vote in the interest of all Australians when they vote in 2017. Hans Althoff Taxi Owner / Operator TT Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS March 2017 |11


p. 12

ISREFAORSM SET THEFT Victorian taxi and hire car industry is on a path to destruction and total oblivion. This is being driven by the state government that is continuing to show no moral or ethical values in its governance for its people. The rally which occurred on Monday 13 February was intended to bring to attention the cruel and inhumane treatment that has been imposed on the people of the taxi and hire car industry. This rally was successful, as it showed unity amongst all and sent a clear message to the government that as an essential service, the taxi and hire car industry will put a stop on the city and further demonstrate the neglect of the state government and its damaged reputation. The transport minister tried in vain to stop the rally and proclaimed it as “reckless and irresponsible”, however the countless attempts for discussion to relay concerns that the reforms will leave people financially crippled and destitute, being ignored by government, constitute behaviour beyond “reckless and irresponsible”. Recently the Federal court ruled that Uber are nothing less than a taxi service. As such, Uber must comply with tax obligations because they do provide a point to point service. This ruling may in fact place the Taxi Services Commission under pressure to ensure the public safety is paramount and to fine Uber for continuing its illegal operations as a taxi service. This should be a given as the lack of security features in the illegal service has led to an opportunistic criminal act against a passenger in Sydney and subsequent charges leading to a term of imprisonment for the driver. Our fight against these so called reforms will never cease and the message of our plight will always be shouted out loud and clear. These cruel reforms are nothing more than asset theft and decimation of an industry where no one will ever get behind the wheel of a cab. Victorian Taxi & Hire-car Families Assoc. TT 12 | March 2017 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 13

photo: Jason South Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS March 2017 | 9


p. 14

INWE THISINVESTED INDUSTRY The solution is simple... BUY BACK all our licences - BUY FAIR. Linda De Melis delivered the following as a speech on the steps of Parliament House Saturday February 11 2017. 14 | March 2017 For too long our plight has been misrepresented, and for too long we have been ignored. The misinformation stops today! Let me make it perfectly clear who we are, and why we are here. We are licence owners of the taxi and hire car industry. We are here to demand a fair buy back of each and every taxi and hire car licence. We are not here to oppose industry change. The government can dismantle the industry if they choose, but we should not have to pay the price of industry reform. The current proposal by the Andrews Labor government will see all existing taxi and hire car licences cancelled – simply scrapped for zero capital compensation. In no other state of Australia is this being done. Instead, the government will provide a TAXABLE income transition payment of $100,000 for the first licence, and $50,000 for a second, third and fourth licence, but nothing for anything above four – and this will be paid over two years. That is two years of income compensation for an asset acquisition. We have remaining loans and living expenses that are dependent on the equity and ongoing income that a licence provides. How do we continue paying these expenses if our asset and our income vanishes? Make no mistake - a licence is an asset. We hold them in PERPETUITY...that means FOREVER! Taxi licences are described as assets in the Commonwealth 'assets test'; • The Tax Office allowed licences to be included in superannuation funds; • Banks have been lending up to 80% of their value and hold them as collateral; • The Victorian Labor government itself established a trading facility for licences on the Bendigo Stock Exchange; And a licence can be leased allowing people to derive an income. Despite what the government would have you believe, licences are not tokens cut from a box of cereal - they are assets. ..../continued page 16 YEARS Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry


p. 15

Visit and have a chat with us at: 888 Mt. Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds Drivers, Operators, Licence Holders and Networks of Victorian Taxi or Hire Cars REGISTER WITH US and become part of a UNITED VOICE The Victorian Taxi & Hire Car Families FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL Taxi Talk - Voice of the Taxi Industry YEARS March 2017 | 15



no comments yet