Sharing economy based on individual payment morality, says Tax Board director

Uber likely won't tell the Tax and Customs Board about its drivers' work, which makes paying income tax a matter of personal ethics (Mike Blake/Reuters/Scanpix)
4/5/2016 10:28 AM
Category: News

Estonia is creating an electronic system to simplify how rideshare drivers declare their income and pay taxes. Director General of the Tax and Customs Board, Marek Helm, told ERR on Tuesday that as none of it was binding, the sharing economy was based on people’s payment behavior.

Helm said on ETV’s “Terevisioon” that Uber itself advertised Estonia as a country that wished to cooperate with them and support the sharing economy. The Tax and Customs Board received phone calls from its counterparts in other countries every week, asking how they intended to go about this, Helm added.

The board had introduced a solution last year to simplify how physical persons declare their income, and they were currently working on a similar solution for self-employed persons as well as private limited companies, Helm said.

He added that the use of these new solutions was voluntary, and that it couldn’t be assumed that a sharing economy business like Uber would pass on all of its data to the Tax and Customs Board. “In reality, the sharing economy, which is essentially appealing because people are entrepreneurial, is still based on payment morality, in the sense that we’ll have to help along payment morality at the same time,” Helm said.

Helm said he believed that the solutions of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board would serve as a role model for other countries. As Uber was active in more than 70 countries, he expected there to be those who would want to adapt Estonia’s approach, he added.

Helm didn’t say how many Uber drivers had already declared their income, but stated that every one of those who had should be appreciated.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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