ATO takes its share of car sharing

September 2018

As the 'sharing' economy continues to flourish in Australia, the extra income has caught the attention of the ATO for car-sharing services.

If you're a user of or driver for the car-sharing services such as Car Next Door or DriveMyCar then it's important to note that such income earning opportunities have come to the attention of the ATO.

The car-sharing services work by making private cars publicly available in a similar way to other car hire services – it's like AirBNB for cars. Combined, DriveMyCar and Car Next Door state that over $13 million has been paid out to car owners renting through the service. The community or peer to peer rental can be confusing as many people taking part see it as private.

The ATO has taken an interest as some people utilising these services are counting the extra income as a hobby – income from a hobby is not assessable and does not need to be included on your income tax return.

But, the ATO is keen to point out that income from sharing services is not a hobby and needs to be declared. The upside is that if you earn income from these activities you might be entitled to claim deductions for things like platform membership fees, availability fees, cleaning fees and car running expenses.

Talk to your accountant

As with renting out your property for short-lets, earning income by sharing your car or providing a share service is now on the ATO's radar. Contact us on 02 9957 4033 for more information about how to include this in your taxable income.

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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