Ridesharing brings tax revenue to Estonian budget despite lack of regulation

By bne IntelliNews September 5, 2016

Ridesharing businesses have begun bringing in revenue for the Estonian budget, despite remaining unregulated, local media reported on September 5.

A total of 62 people declared profit from providing ridesharing services for the 2015 tax year, newspaper Postimees reports. Estonia said early in 2016 it plans to regulate ridesharing and connect drivers directly to the tax office electronically, but the relevant amendments to the transport law are still in the pipeline.

The profit from ridesharing service providers amounted to €70,000 for 2015, or an average of just over €1,100 per person. That is roughly equivalent to the average gross monthly wage in the Baltic state. Ridesharing companies present in Estonia include US giant Uber and local acts Taxify and Wisemile.

In line with Tallinn’s proclaimed positive approach to new technologies and online services, Estonia's Tax and Customs Board (MTA) has developed an app for ridesharers, allowing them to declare income from the activity despite the fact that it is still technically illegal.

Uber has been controversial in Europe, mostly on the grounds of tax, safety and competition regulations. The company has faced legal issues in several EU countries and had its services curbed in Germany, Netherland, Spain and the Belgian capital Brussels. 

Hungary drove Uber out of the country in August, only to see Taxify enter the same month. The Estonian operation pledged it will comply with all local regulations.



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