Monthly Archives: September 2017

Uber and GST

Important Update

From 1/12/2017, Uber started invoicing as an Australian entity, paying GST to the ATO.

Although this has no effect on your net income for the quarter, it does reduce your weekly income by the GST amount and then give it back to you by a reduced amount owed on your quarterly BAS.

See the post Uber and GST Revisited for full details.

Uber and GST

Although we have covered the paying of GST by Uber drivers in Australia, along with other tax issues in previous posts (see Do Uber Drivers Have to Pay GST? and How Do Taxes Work for Rideshare Drivers?) some drivers are still unsure.

So this post is a simple list of GST considerations for Australian Uber drivers.


Biggest Frustrations of Being a Rideshare Driver

A few days ago, we posted 5 Things Uber Drivers Wish Uber Riders Knew, totally from our own experience here in Australia. Coincidentally, John Ince, a senior contributor to our sister site in the U.S., created a post that covers some similar (and additional) issues from his own American experience.

We present a slightly amended version here.

If you’ve been driving rideshare long enough, you’re bound to have encountered a few frustrations as a driver. From the distracting, like technological glitches, to the mildly annoying, like some passenger music preferences, we all have a list of frustrations. Today, senior RSG contributor John Ince highlights his biggest frustrations as a driver. Agree with these, or have a list of your own? Let us know in the comments!


Setting Goals and Lurking

Uber Driver Phil Gong Ride

As a retired baby boomer, Uber driving provides a nice little additional income for me. And, as explained in other posts, if it's set up properly as a business, it can actually improve your tax position at the same time, especially if you're receiving a pension.

But I like my income to be predictable and so I set very clear goals and make sure I always achieve them. You should do the same.

Everyone's goals will be different, but these are mine and this is how I go about it.


5 Things Uber Drivers Wish Uber Riders Knew

1. 4 Is Not a Good Rating

Uber Driver Rating

4 is not a good rating. It's not like your company's ratings of employee performance, where 4 is Outstanding and 5 is Walks on Water. For Uber, 5 means it was a good ride with no major problems. 4 is so bad that a driver with an average rating of 4.7 or less risks being disqualified from driving by Uber.

I've heard of a rideshare car that has a chart taped to the back of the front passenger seat: "The Rating System Explained."

5 stars: Got me where I needed to go.
4 stars: This driver sucks, fire him slowly. Too many of these and I may end up homeless.
3 stars: This driver sucks so bad I never want to see him or his lousy car again.
2 stars: The car is filthy and dangerous and the driver was doing 180 in a 60 zone.
1 star: I was threatened with violence and then physically assaulted.

Uber is introducing a facility for riders to select a reason for their rating and have assured drivers that poor ratings for reasons outside their control (surge, roadworks etc.) will be disregarded.


Uber Australia: What’s Next?

Uber Australia to Introduce Tipping App

Uber Driver Tipping in Australia

Uber is rolling out in-app tipping in the U.S. on a state by state basis and we believe that it will be introduced into Australia by the end of the year.

All you will have to do as an Australian Uber driver once tipping has been announced is update the app to the latest version, and then use the app's settings to Enable Tips. As long as your rider has updated the rider app on their phone, they will then have the option to leave you a tip.


Is Being an Uber Driver in Australia Ideal for Baby Boomers?

Uber Driver Australian Pension Supplement

Australian Baby Boomer Uber Driver

A large number of Australian baby boomers rely on the age pension as their primary or only source of income. The OECD report Pensions at a Glance found that more than one third of Australian pensioners were living below the poverty line, making Uber driving an ideal income supplement for them.

Being an Uber driver is great for a baby boomer pensioner because, unlike other forms of income, it can be structured so that it doesn't affect the size of the pension that can be claimed. This is because expenses that would be incurred anyway become legitimate business expenses, reducing the "paper profit" from Uber driving to zero or even less than zero and therefore not reducing the pension amount. See ​How Do Taxes Work for Rideshare Drivers?​​​


The Top 5 Mistakes Uber Drivers Make

Most of what we usually cover is about things you can do to maximise your income, reduce your tax and improve your driver ratings. But what should you NOT do as a driver?

Most of what I usually cover is about things you can do to maximize your income and improve your driver ratings. But what should you NOT do as a driver?

#5 Illegal parking

Uber Driver Parked Illegally

Hopefully you don't live in a city where the mayor goes around crushing illegally parked cars under the wheels of a Russian armoured vehicle (and yes guys this is real). Almost every time I go out driving, I see Uber drivers stopping in the middle of the road. It’s illegal parking. You can’t stop in the middle of the road even with your flashers on. You’re putting yourself at risk of a ticket, or of having an accident that's 100% your fault. If you can’t get to your passenger, if there’s no parking spots, or if there’s just too much traffic, circle the block. Give the passenger a call or a text. Let them know that you can’t find parking in the immediate area, but guys, don’t stop in the middle of the road, and always park legally.


Uber Has a New CEO

New Uber Boss Dara Khosrowshahi

Did you hear the news? Uber has a new CEO! Other than Uber's 180 Days of Change, things probably won't change right away for drivers, but there will definitely be some sort of shakeup over at Uber HQ. Today, we cover Uber's new CEO - who he is, his background and what you need to know about him.

This is what new Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi will face on his first day: A queue of angry regulators in many countries suspicious about Uber’s practices; a lawsuit with Google’s corporate cousin over Uber’s driverless car program; drivers angry about how Uber treats them; a workforce demoralized by months of bad headlines and a sick corporate culture; a board of directors spewing more venom than the characters in the “Valley of the Dolls,” and a founder with outsize voting power who has seen himself as a CEO in waiting, and appears willing to smear anyone who disagrees with him. Why would anyone want to be CEO of this mess?


Is Uber Surge Gone for Good?

Uber Surge Pricing

Have you noticed you’re not getting as many Surge requests as you did in the past? There could be a reason for that. Today, we analyze what’s happening with Surge (and also with Lyft's Prime Time in the U.S.) why it’s happening and what drivers can do about it.

I think most drivers have noticed that there’s a lot less Surge on the road nowadays.

If you rely on big Surge rides to make ends meet, the future probably isn’t bright for you. The days of sniping multiple $70+ surge rides from big events, traffic bottlenecks, and clever positioning are mostly over. There are still some chances out there but they are very rare. Of course I’ll still take them if I see an opportunity.


The Phishing Scam That Steals Driver Pay In Seconds

Uber Driver Scam

OK, an Uber driver showing up without a car and offering to carry you on his shoulders would be a super obvious scam and not the sort we are talking about here. 

Phil here.  Although Uber’s Instant Pay and (in the U.S.) Lyft’s Express Pay options have been hugely popular with drivers, there are some scams and fraud issues drivers should be aware of. Today, senior RSG contributor Christian Perea details what’s happening and how to avoid it.