Revenu Québec wins case against Uber
Tax authorities carried out 2 search warrants at offices of ride-hailing company in May 2015
Revenu Québec can officially open and consult the documents it seized from Uber offices after a Quebec Superior Court judge ruled in favour of the tax agency on Wednesday.
The decision comes one day before Quebec's transportation minister is due to announce updated rules for the taxi industry, as well as Uber.
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Judge Guy Cournoyer declared that the information provided to the judge who granted the search warrants established that Uber was not respecting fiscal law at both the federal and provincial level.
Investigators from Quebec's revenue ministry searched the Montreal offices of the controversial ride-hailing company Uber in May 2015, alleging that Uber was possibly violating tax law.
The raids were carried out in two separate locations: one in Old Montreal and another in Pointe-St-Charles.
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Uber was contesting the legitimacy of the raids.
Cournoyer wrote it was reasonable to believe Uber could be breaking the law because the company does not require drivers of its most popular service, UberX, to have a tax number for GST and Quebec sales tax collection.
In the 55-page judgment, Cournoyer writes that Uber drivers offer lifts in exchange for monetary compensation in the same way that the taxi industry does, which requires both "a taxi permit and tax numbers."
"We acknowledge this initial ruling about Revenu Québec's ability to examine the items they seized last year," Uber spokesman Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said in an email.
"As we have stated, Uber would comply to revisions to the law that would amend the $30,000 small supplier exception and require sales tax to be charged on every dollar earned by driver-partners."
With files from Benjamin Shingler, Radio-Canada and la Presse Canadienne