Tax Treatment for Private-Hire Car Drivers18 May 2018
Parliamentary Question by Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang:
To ask the Minister for Finance (a) what is the rationale behind allowing taxi drivers but not private-hire vehicle drivers to deduct expenses such as vehicle rental fees, fuel and ERP from their assessable income tax; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider allowing tax deductibility of these expenses for private-hire vehicle drivers based on the mileage clocked on private-hire driving.
Parliamentary Reply by 2nd Minister for Finance, Mr Lawrence Wong:
1. Tax deduction of expenses incurred for a private car is not allowed. This is applied consistently to both corporate and individual taxpayers. This is in support of our long-standing policies on car ownership. Hence, currently, private-hire car drivers are not allowed to claim tax deduction on any car-related expenses. Private-hire car drivers can, however, claim tax deduction on non-car-related expenses such as commission paid to third-party operators.
2. The current tax treatment was introduced before the advent of companies like Grab and Uber. With the introduction of private-hire car services offered by Grab and Uber, the private-hire car drivers are essentially operating in the same space as taxis. We have noted the feedback from MPs and National Private Hire Vehicles Association. We are carefully reviewing this matter, to see how we can refine the tax policy, while supporting our car ownership policies.
 Louis Ng, Sun Xueling, Sitoh Yih Pin, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, Ang Hin Kee (Executive Advisor to the National Private Hire Vehicles Association)