The government’s policy on not allowing private hire car drivers to claim tax deductions on any car-related expenses will remain unchanged, said Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah in Parliament on Tuesday (6 March).
Speaking during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate on Budget 2018, Indranee told the House that this was in line with the longstanding national car-lite policy.
“Private hire care drivers can, however, claim tax deductions on non car-related expenses such as commission paid to third-party operators, administrative charges imposed by third-party operators and the proportion of expenses for mobile phones used in the course of providing their services,” said Indranee.
The Tanjong Pagar Member of Parliament was responding to a query on tax deduction matters from Ang Mo Kio MP Ang Hin Kee. She noted that Ang, who is executive advisor to National Private Hire Vehicles Association, has also made representations to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on behalf of the Association.
In response, Ang noted that the rule on tax deductions for car-related matters does not apply to taxi drivers. “Surely, now that LTA recognises that vocation drivers for the private hire are fairly similar to taxi drivers, I think our tax deductible for car rental and fuel can be keeping in (line with)…the approach we do for taxi drivers for the year of assessment for this coming tax period.”
Indranee drily noted the “passionate advocacy” of Ang, who is also advisor to the National Taxi Association. “As I said, we will review our policies that they remain relevant and effective.”