May 15, 2015

Montreal: Uber offices raided by tax officials

Rebel Staff

Revenu Quebec investigators searched Uber's two Montreal offices in search of "tax-related documents" Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into the popular but controversial ride sharing company.

CTV News quotes a spokesman for the revenue agency as saying:

"Revenu Quebec is responsible for applying tax laws. We have the power to recommend that charges be laid. And they can be accompanied by fines and prison sentences of up to five years if individuals or the company are found guilty."

The UberX service allows customers to arrange rides through a cell phone app with privately owned vehicles that aren't subject to the same regulations as taxis.

In Montreal and other Canadian cities, such as Toronto, both municipal authorities and traditional cab companies object to the upstart transportation company's current exemption from these rules.

CTV News reports that Thursday's "raids were conducted just over two weeks after the City of Montreal announced it had seized 40 vehicles since the beginning of the year."

What do you think? Should ride sharing services like Uber be subject to the same regulations as taxi services?

Tell us in the comments!

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commented 2015-05-25 23:19:52 -0400
I don’t know. I have to conclude there is a good reason for municipally licensing taxi, shuttle and limousine services/drivers. I would hope that reason is public safety and not just increasing revenue for the municipality.
That said, I’ve recently tried Uber in Edmonton, and was very impressed. In the past year it’s become almost impossible to order a taxi (any company) to my central, downtown apartment. Numerous times I’ve waited between 2 to 3 hours, called back 4 or 5 times only to be told “it’s on its way” or that a “rush” has been placed on my order, and the taxi never arrived. Uber gives me an accurate ETA, complete with driver and vehicle information, and the driver texts me on arrival. I’ve used it 3 times, and on average waited less than 5 minutes, and paid $6-10 less than a traditional taxi.
Notwithstanding being licensed, I’ve had some pretty terrible taxi drivers. Some deliberately ignore my directions and pretended to get lost, driving around in circles with the meter running, then expected me to pay 3-4 times the normal fare. One Yellow Cab driver actually fell asleep at the wheel and drove partially off the road until my screaming and pounding on the protective plexi-glass divider woke him up. I demanded he pull over immediately and call another driver to pick me up, refusing to go any further with him driving. He actually had the audacity to argue with me over paying the full fare to that point (which I did), and then called me a whore because I didn’t give him a tip. The City just gave me the run around and referred me back to Yellow Cab when I complained, and Yellow Cab just hung up on me 3 times even though it had a record of the incident.
Clearly, having a license is no guarantee for good, safe service. So, based on my experience thus far, I’ll call Uber first. And should I have issues, I doubt Uber’s handling of them would be any worse than the City or Yellow Cab. Like any responsible business, however, I would hope that Uber vets or does some form of background check on their drivers/independent contractors.
commented 2015-05-20 15:13:10 -0400
Pity there isn’t a Uber style air line that could be used exclusively by people who think flouting established regulations, declining to apply for compulsory costly cab licenses, and tax dodging are “ok” with them
commented 2015-05-15 20:15:01 -0400
Uber concludes commercial contracts in Montreal for service in Montreal. They are subject to Montreal’s laws. Uber has same arguments as criminal with name Angel, saying that angels can not be criminals….
commented 2015-05-15 13:32:05 -0400
No, Uber does not need to be subject to the same rules. Let the market decide. If, as a customer, you are not comfortable with Uber don’t use them. Call a regular cab. But leave the rest of us alone to make our own decisions. I am comfortable with Uber’s insurance and the fact that I can check out a driver before I order a cab. There is no need to make additional rules to take away my freedom to choose.
commented 2015-05-15 09:21:32 -0400
Funny – the kwebek gestapo (probably more the keystone cops) looking for paper and hard drive data created by a web based company.

Brilliant. You can’t make the stuff up.

Kwebec goobermint stole 40 cars from people trying to earn money with their own assets. Yep – kwebec gestapo.