Uber: What’s the Scam?

by | Jul 11, 2021 | What's the scam?

Lockdown is bliss for some. Uber Australia’s accounts are out – late – and the multinational which defines people on mopeds as its “partners”, not employees, is coining it. What’s the scam?

The scam is they collected $6bn in cash from Australian customers last year during the pandemic – double the $3bn the year before, and managed to pay tax of just $17m. A “service fee” of $643m was paid to somebody, probably its Netherlands parent.

Thanks to Uber’s auditors, the reliable masterminds of tax dodging, PwC, the accounts are a adequately confusing, but what is clear is that while Rideshare might have taken a first-half hit, Uber Eats went stratospheric, and right now, with Sydney in lockdown again, they will be braining it again. 

Uber’s P&L records $1bn revenue in Australia last year for a gross profit of $986m. The aim of course was to wipe that profit out, rip it offshore, so they did this a number of ways (besides service fees), charging $234m in marketing expenses (that we can almost believe) and $763 million “administration” (which is ludicrous).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael West

Michael West

Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelWestBiz.
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