Uber? Should Taiwan allow Uber to operate?


25 million? Like, seriously? You can probably pay your way out of jail for murder for less than that.

Uber doesn’t provide a taxi service. It simply matches car owners to travellers.

Uber owns no cars, employs no drivers, and (AFAIK) charges riders no money. It is not in any sense a taxi company. From one point of view, it isn’t even a transport company. Asserting that Uber are offering taxi services is as stupid as suggesting that dating sites are offering sex for sale.

Laws in general are just not keeping up with physical reality. New services are being invented all the time and lawyers, politicians and regulators are simply not very good prophets.


They say they employ no drivers. The drivers don’t always agree, and Uber has already lost one such case in the US iirc. Conventional taxi companies in various countries have also been known to make the same claim, and they don’t always win either.


How about if I do work for clients in Taiwan but my company is overseas. My work is paid on commission and I find and arrange the jobs of others and regulate their working conditions.

Should I not pay any taxes of any sort on my income?
What happens when the people I hire out want health insurance?
Who pays?
Who pays their labour insurance?

They need to get with the program pay their way.


The idea of taxation is utterly obsolete; it has been since multinational companies and remote working became commonplace.

Governments need to get with the program and find more sensible ways to fund their services.


Well I don’t want to be paying Ubers social welfare and business taxes!!


Great! So what’s the plan after abolishing taxes?


I dunno. Isn’t that what pay them for, thinking up good ideas? :slight_smile:

Taxation ‘worked’ when people were born, lived and died within 20 miles of the same place, and a big company was a guy who employed 12 people. Tax laws today are a massive patchwork of band-aids to claw in as much revenue as possible; isn’t it about time someone started to think outside the box?


So in other words, you’re not against taxation per se but just against income tax?

Some tax reform proposals would eliminate income tax and replace it with consumption tax, for example.


You’re not going to get anyone to pay into a perceived commons if they don’t actually perceive that commons to exist.


Wait a minute, Guy. Are you advocating more social spending?


Neither for nor against it in this particular instance. It would depend upon the situation.

I’m just pointing out that if people have been conditioned strongly against any kind of local identity they’re hardly then going to…believe in funding anything local.

If people see themselves as world citizens, or more likely, world consumers, they’re going to regard shopping around for the best deal (or even getting away with whatever they can) as their objective.

Also, there is a tragedy of the commons in that they will assume that they will be forced to pay for their local commons, and when people more powerful than them deem it expedient to do so, they will import a whole lot of people who have not already paid into that commons who will, at best use the commons and degrade it, at worst actively have disdain for it. I would refer to the work of Robert Putnam, for instance.


Uber pays tax in whatever country it is Incorporated. And the Uber drivers should be paying tax on their income. Some companies do business in Taiwan but only pay tax in their own country.

The taxi this morning almost made me vomit with the TV blaring on the headrest into my face, car that smelled like somebody pooped out a bien dan box lunch, and foot on the gas brake gas brake gas gas gas brake brake brake constantly.


There are any number of ways you could do it. Different services would perhaps be best funded in different ways.

For example, fire and police services should be allowed to charge working individuals a flat fee (a napkin calculation suggests this might be $5-$10 a month). The armed forces could be allowed to advertise and seek voluntary contributions, perhaps even going so far as to ‘crowdfund’ specific projects. Medical treatment could be funded by a pool of contributions (as the British NHS was originally conceived - it worked pretty well). Parents should simply pay for schools. This sort of thing would let individuals see exactly what they’re getting. Companies could publish their tax contributions, earning some level of public kudos in return.

I’m not suggesting this as a blueprint for ‘how I’d run the government’, but the fact remains that income tax is:

  1. Unfair. Your income bears little or no relationship to your use of government services. In shittier parts of the world, private companies actually provide public services that the government can’t be arsed to deliver … and then get taxed for doing it.

  2. Hard to administer. What exactly is “income”? Tax authorities tie themselves in all kinds of knots trying to decide what income is and which jurisdiction gets to dip their sticky fingers into the pot.

I agree that people who are offering car transport services should make a contribution to government coffers, simply because (a) they’re using government-provided roads and (b) they’re generating a lot of pollution. You could have a mileage tax, a gasoline tax, or electronic toll points. There are all sorts of options. There is no need to make a distinction between a ‘professional’ and a ‘casual’ driver, because in reality there is none.

Uber, as a legal entity, a corporation, doesn’t have any obvious obligations to compensate the government for services rendered, because they are (I’m guessing) just a smallish bunch of guys in an office. Their moral obligation to contribute to Society At Large is a different issue.


Uber has legit been operating illegally in a sense for months and months and months. I don’t have any problem with it really especially since I’m probably gonna pay half the price of what I would pay for a Taxi and I don’t have to pay cash or explain where my house is, Uber has all around benefits and still supports local drivers


I have a BIG problem with uber not paying their labour and social insurance for their employees (who they try to palm off as contractors) and then we have to make up the shortfall.

Taiwan is not part of any customs union like the EU they need to pay their business tax on income generated here just like any corporate entity.

Shut their app down already nobody voted them in as the government.


So why can’t you or I ‘just incorporate’ in another country and pay tax there on our income generated in Taiwan.

FIne. Jail. Deportation. Why does Uber get a free pass?
Millions of companies and millions of individuals pay their way here in Taiwan.

So does Uber get a free pass?
Answer: it doesn’t.

Pay up already don’t freeload on our economy.
Shamefully sycophantic piece from bLoomberg (somebody got more than a few uber credits)

Uber, though, hasn’t benefited from the president’s apparent goodwill. Taiwan’s Finance Ministry is pursuing the company for NT$135 million in back taxes and penalties, the Economic Daily News reported, while its Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it would ask Apple Inc. and Google to remove the app from its online stores.

While the company agreed to comply with requirements on regulation, insurance and taxation and a future diversified-taxi plan, Uber has yet to produce a concrete plan and continues to operate illegally, the transport ministry said Nov. 15.

Who the f&$k are they to tell us what to do.

While Uber says it doesn’t want to leave Taiwan, it also won’t submit to being regulated like a traditional taxi company. It’s calling on Tsai to break the stalemate so that it can fit its square peg into a round regulatory hole.

Fine, leave. How difficult is it to copy this model? Freakin easy that’s what.


So you’re saying it’s OK for locals to operate the exact same business model, but not for foreigners.


My point about tax band-aids seems to have completely gone over your head.

The fact is that multinational companies, and individuals who understand tax laws, can already swing things to their advantage, by moving if necessary.

What good would it do the consumer - the ordinary man in the street - to expel Uber from Taiwan? None. The taxi monopoly would be maintained, with no pressure on taxi drivers to improve their service.

Uber already pays taxes, somewhere, somehow. So what’s the problem?


I don’t think Brian is suggesting local taxi companies should evade tax, insurance, etc.


It’s quite interesting, but what would you say to the child who can’t go to school because his parents can’t – or won’t – pay the tuition?

I guess those shoes and chimneys won’t respectively shine and sweep themselves… :whistle:


I know. He seems to be implying that if the government kicks out Uber, a local company could copy what they’ve done wholesale and profit from it … and that would be a-OK.

Tax is not the issue here, it seems. The government is objecting to the business itself. There are well-established protocols for double taxation, so if (for example) Uber pays tax in the US, there is no legitimate reason why it should be subjected to additional taxes here.

Well, as I said, I wasn’t trying to offer a blueprint for the perfect society in a BBS post, but there are not many parents who physically can’t pay for their child’s schooling. The government could offer grants, loans, etc to cope with genuine situations of that sort. Education is not inherently expensive. It only appears to be so because governments are horribly inefficient at delivering it.

Something else to consider: the kids of parents who refuse to educate their children have problems bigger than mere funding.