Fintech startup creates tax solutions for the rideshare community


Rideshare Tax, the first Australian fintech startup that specialises in tax management for the rideshare community, has recently launched its service and has already obtained the support from the dominant rideshare player, Uber.

Selda Kaplan and Michael Kambouridis, founders of Rideshare Tax

Startup

By Darcy Song

Rideshare Tax, the first Australian fintech startup that specialises in tax management for the rideshare community, has recently launched its service and has already obtained the support from the dominant rideshare player, Uber.

Founded by two qualified accountants, Selda Kaplan and Michael Kambouridis, Rideshare Tax addresses the need for tax management from Australian rideshare drivers by simplifying tax requirements and providing accounting services with a paid option.

Sole traders in the sharing economy — such as food delivery drivers — can also make good use of the app, it is not just exclusive to big dogs like Uber.

While individuals could download their BAS report for free and lodge it themselves, the app also provides paid options where users’ BAS is lodged by professional accountants.

The journey of Rideshare Tax started in 2015, when Selda was told a tale of tax by a driver while using a rideshare service.

As the driver expressed his frustration towards the complexity of BAS requirements and the exuberant fees his accountant was charging, Selda realised that the nitty-gritty of taxes is not accessible to all individuals.

While drivers are required to pay GST and lodge quarterly BAS statements from the moment they started driving, there is a gap in the market for a streamlined, compact app to guide drivers through the tax journey.

“Most people start ridesharing with a short-term goal in place to earn a few extra dollars or it could be their full-time job. However, what they don’t realise is, as soon as they start driving, they’re now a business owner and they must report on their GST from the first dollar they earn.” She says.

Selda mentions that other times rideshare drivers would find out about their tax obligations just a little bit too late.

“We get a lot of drivers who want us to lodge two years’ worth of BAS statements and tax returns simply because they weren’t previously aware of their obligations.

“The issue is they haven’t kept a record of their expenses or a vehicle logbook and they end up losing thousands of dollars’ worth of deductions.”

However, the biggest underlying problems for drivers on managing their taxes are that the process is simply too time-consuming and that accountant fees are costly.

“We’ve seen clients paying for previous year’s tax returns over $700, some as high has a few thousand dollars simply because rideshare drivers are business owners… We can charge so low because we’ve digitised the BAS process and streamlined the tax return process.”

In 2020, Rideshare Tax is looking to embark on an ambitious journey of making the service available on a larger scale, connecting platforms such as Didi, Shebah and Ola.

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