Uber Canada urges government to retain tax advantage

(Reuters) - Uber Canada on Thursday urged the Canadian government to retain a tax advantage available to ride-services companies, a day after the country’s Liberal administration proposed removing the measure.

The new national budget unveiled on Wednesday said the government planned to amend Canada’s Excise Tax Act to redefine ride-sharing firms as taxi companies.

This would force the government to collect the goods and services tax (GST) on every ride provided, just as traditional taxi operators are required to do.

“Federal tax laws already offers small business owners a break on collecting sales tax, but unfairly exclude taxi drivers,” Ian Black, regional general manager for Uber Canada said in a statement.

“The best way to support taxi drivers and level the playing field is to extend the same exemption to them,” he said.

The change could mean higher fares for Uber customers in Canada, and would be the latest headache for the $70 billion company.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila