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Case Update

Good Law Project forces HMRC to collect £1.5bn in VAT from Uber

23rd October 2020

Way back in April 2017, we announced we were going to take on HMRC’s failure to assess Uber to VAT which corroded public trust, not only in HMRC, but in politics more generally. 

And it’s been quite the scrap… 

There have been lows – like us spending the money we raised in the crowdfunder trying to get a protective costs order and failing. 

And there have been highs – like us persuading the High Court late last year that a fairly spineless HMRC was allowed to do what the legislation plainly allowed it to do and tell us it had (at last) assessed Uber.

There have been further lows – as last week when the Court of Appeal refused us permission to bring our judicial review against HMRC.

But ultimately we triumphed. Uber’s US accounts now confirm that HMRC has assessed Uber to VAT on fares – both prospectively and retrospectively.

And that’s all we ever wanted. 

It’s been a long, bumpy (and expensive) ride – if you’ll allow me the metaphor – but we have reached our destination. I am so proud that together we have forced HMRC, belatedly, to act – Uber has now been asked to pay the £1.5bn of tax they owe the public purse.

We couldn’t have done it without your support. So thank you.

I’d also like to thank the lawyers – George Peretz QC, Jack Anderson, Hui Ling McCarthy QC, Christopher Knight, David Greene, Vikram Sachdeva QC, and Alex Rook – who helped out, most for even less than the smell of an oily rag, along the way.

It is only with your support that we can continue to hold Government to account. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.


This article is part of our Uber Case case

We believe Uber has broken the law by failing to charge VAT on the taxi services it offers. The sums involved are enormous – perhaps a quarter of a billion pounds a year of VAT alone. And we don’t have confidence the tax man will collect that tax itself. So we have gone after Uber, and HMRC, ourselves.

See more about this case