The 9 largest taxi companies in Bucharest paid a total of RON 61,224 in profit tax in 2016, according to data from the Finance Ministry. In the same period, Uber, active in Bucharest, Timisoara and Cluj, paid RON 187,000, three times more than the 9 taxi companies paid together.
The numbers published by the Finance Ministry draw attention not only to the low taxes paid by each taxi company, but also to the fact that the largest players on the market seem to never see any profit.
Companies like Speed Taxi, Pelicanul Grup or Bageti Star have not paid any profit taxes between 2012 and 2016. The list of the companies that did not pay profit taxes is a lot longer and includes names like Meridian Taxi or Auto Cobalcescu.
According to official data, the most profitable taxi service is Taxi Glucoza, which in 2016 paid RON 36,341 – half of the tax paid by all 9 largest companies together, although Glucoza is only 7th in size. They are followed by Cristaxi with RON 12,016 in profit taxes, and Prof Taxi, which owed RON 7,500 in the same year.
Uber Romania, the ride-sharing service active in Bucharest, Cluj and Timisoara, paid RON 187,000 in tax on profit in 2016 – that is three times more than all 9 largest taxi companies paid together. In addition, each Uber partner driver pays extra taxes – VAT, income tax and social contributions. In 2016, for example, 100 Uber drivers paid RON 320,000 to the state.
While the profit tax paid by Uber in Romania can be explained by their growing number of users, the fact that experienced taxi companies are not making any profit is harder to understand.