Lyft and Uber ‘skating’ on taxes?


From my Facebook post at

After four months I FINALLY got through to the auditor at Taxation & Revenue. I was given the runaround, until I caught her in a trap which forced her to actually do some digging on her computer. Randy was there, listening in on the phone call. I am pretty darn sure Lyft and Uber (Hinter-NM LLC) are not collecting or paying gross receipts taxes. First evidence, they refused to produce specific business records, receipts and a list of their contract drivers, at the PRC hearings. “Proprietary information,” their attorneys said. If they were filing GRT, those records could be available for production at Taxation & Revenue. Then, I read the Lyft driver agreement and there is NO mention of gross receipts taxes being part of the ‘fare,’ — what they called a ‘donation’ — nor 7% GRT added to a driver’s commission. The ‘donation’ itself was a clue as well, as it was a direct obfuscation (just like Lyft and Uber were careful not to call themselves ‘taxi’ services but a quasi-carpooling ‘rideshare’) . . . all to avoid tax liability. Finally, at the Bernalillo County District Emergency Injunction hearing one of the Lyft attorneys jumped up and told Judge Franchini that they were filing 1099’s for all the drivers. Now, a 1099 is a federal tax form required for all contract payments to non-employees paid over $600. However, that has nothing to do with Gross Receipts. I sent the Taxation & Revenue forensic auditor the information she requested. Her ears perked up even more when I told her Lyft and Uber probably owed about $15,000/month in taxes. I sent a copy the email to Yellow Cab and Speaker Sanchez. Once the auditor determines tax fraud, the information will not be released to the public . . . so, it is up to the attorneys, Cadigan and Sanchez, what to do from there.
I don’t do a lot of paralegal work, but my research has proven useful on a few occasions. Analyzing evidence was part of the challenge in putting together a case. First, what were the legal concepts in tort or criminal law? Then, what evidence was proof, and how would you obtain it? I forgot to mention two more incidences ‘evidence’ of Lyft and Uber’s tax fraud. One, I personally know a driver who had to get their own business license and pay 7% right out of their Lyft commissions. You see, there is no way for the contractor to ‘bill’ Lyft for local taxes. The second is the HB194 Transportation Network bill itself. It is embarrassing and a shame it passed in the House, because one section that survived revision was the ‘exemption from local taxes.’ What did they mean by ‘local?’ Mayor Berry, an early supporter of Lyft and Uber should be advised that by taking half the taxi business away, so goes local and state tax revenue. And, as I pointed out in the post, Lyft and Uber are probably doing enough business to warrant $15,000 per month in gross receipts taxes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s