Uber's legal problems in Taiwan have grown deeper after the ride-hailing service was ordered by the National Taxation Bureau of Taipei to pay NT$135 million (US$4.25 million) in back taxes and fines.
The U.S.-based online transportation network company has to pay NT$54 million in back taxes owed and a fine amounting to 150 percent of those taxes, or more than NT$81 million, bureau head Ho Jui-fang (???) confirmed Wednesday.
Taiwan's government has consistently said Uber is operating in violation of the country's laws and imposed several fines on the company, but Uber has ignored appeals by authorities and continued to operate its business.
Uber's defiance has triggered major protests by local taxi drivers, who have accused Uber drivers of not paying taxes on the income they earn, unlike licensed taxi drivers.
The new government that took office on May 20 has wobbled on the issue, at one point threatening to revoke Uber's investment permit in Taiwan but then pulling back from that position and suggesting an accommodation could be reached, possibly by adding or amending laws.
Earlier this week, however, Transportation and Communications Minister Hochen Tan (???) announced that the government has decided not to consider special legislation that would allow the company to provide taxi services legally in the local market.
Hochen instead urged Uber to devote itself to other related services to comply with current laws, such as cooperating with taxi operators to provide diversified services such as "matchmaking between taxis and passengers."
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel