Tax deductibles for private hire drivers needs to be revised and quick

By March 7, 2018Current

TL;DR – To deduct or not to deduct?

It was brought to my attention recently by some friends who are private hire drivers (aka your Uber and Grab drivers) that they are not too happy about how their tax calculation.

What’s the issue here?

As brought up by MP Ang Hin Kee, executive adviser to the National Private Hire Vehicles Assocation (NPHVA) at Budget COS on Tuesday 6 March, he asked the Finance Ministry if they could allow full-time private vehicle hirers – as taxi hirers currently do – to submit their vehicle rental and fuel expenses for tax deduction purposes.

A quick check on Grab’s website shows that it is true that currently these are not allowed to be included as their expenses.

Image via

So what is considered tax deductible expenses then?

Erm… I am not too sure how this works to be honest. How are you going to prove that how much is used on the Grab/Uber Application and Maps and how much are actually used on streaming YouTube videos? Is every driver going to send in their screenshot of mobile data usage based on some app on their iPhone?

No wonder the private hire drivers are unhappy. And to make things even more confusing, this was found on their Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) course handbook.

via reader’s contribution.

If the PDVL training material acknowledges these as running cost, why do they then deny private vehicle hirers to include them in their expenses?

The basic functions of private hire vehicles and taxis are basically the same, isn’t it? Besides, everything can be tracked and traced, so what is with this unfair treatment?

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Is it because they are preventing private car owners from pretending to be private hire drivers and hence abusing the system? You can read more about regulating of private hire drivers from Second Minister for Transport, Mr Ng Chee Meng’s reply here.



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Smith Leong

Author Smith Leong

Your resident Sports, and NetFlix but no chill guy. Also blogs at

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