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TAX CHECKS: 4,000 PHV drivers will have just 30 DAYS to respond to HMRC’s request to DECLARE INCOME

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Around 4,000 Private Hire Vehicle drivers will have just 30 days to respond to HMRC's request to declare the correct income information or face a possible review of their tax affairs.

Last week it emerged that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are writing to as many as 4,000 private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers in a bid to claim back unpaid tax owed.

This year the tax authority introduced new tax checks that must be completed when taxi and PHV drivers renew their licences in England and Wales.

The new checks, which went live on 4 April 2022, do not include any tax calculations, but simply confirm whether a driver is registered for tax on their licensed taxi or private hire vehicle income. Drivers in Scotland and Northern Ireland will have to go through the same new licensing checks from April 2023.

In a full statement made by HMRC it reads: “HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is writing to around 4,000 taxi drivers using taxi booking apps, who may not have declared all their income.

“The letters ask the taxi driver to either confirm they need to declare more income or confirm the income information provided to HMRC was correct.

“The letters will be sent out over the next 17 weeks starting from 5 September. Those receiving the letters have 30 days to respond or face a possible review of their tax affairs.

“HMRC will follow-up the letters with a text reminding people to respond. This text will not ask for personal or financial information and will not include any links to websites.

“To help individuals who receive correspondence from us check whether it is genuine, they can view our list of genuine HMRC contacts.“

The shear scale of tax reviews has astonished many within the industry given the new checks only went live FIVE months earlier.

According to the latest Transport for London (TfL) statistics, there are currently over 96,000 PHV drivers in the capital. They form part of the 330,300 licensed taxi and PHV drivers in England and Wales who ALL must go through the new licensing renewal process if they wish to stay in the industry.

A taxi and PHV licence in London lasts for three years, and this time period is similar for other licensing authorities, which potentially means THOUSANDS more drivers could face action in the coming years.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), told TaxiPoint: “This is as a direct result of the new requirement for drivers to provide an HMRC code when renewing a PH licence.

“Although, as is so often the case, the press release refers to ‘taxi drivers’ it almost exclusively applies to PH drivers working on apps, and because it’s mainly historical at this point, that means Uber!”


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