Never a week goes by where we don’t hear from an unhappy Uber or Uber Eats driver. Although we no longer accept Uber cases, we remain honored for having had the opportunity to represented so many wonderful men and women who drove for the company. That means we continue to stay atop of all things Uber. This week we report on a possible $6 billion tax evasion scheme.
International finance magazine IFC Review reports that it is using approximately 50 Dutch shell companies to avoid paying taxes.
Investopedia defines “shell company” to be a business entity “without active business operations or significant assets. These types of corporations are not all necessarily illegal, but they are sometimes used illegitimately, such as to disguise business ownership from law enforcement or the public.”
Using offshore shell companies makes it easier for Uber to hide money from taxing authorities like the IRS and gives the company an unfair tax advantage.
Tax avoidance and tax evasion are entirely different. Tax avoidance is legal while evasion is a crime. Thus far Uber has not been charged with any crime.
According to the IFC, “Uber transferred its intellectual property through a $16 billion “loan” from one of its subsidiaries in Singapore that in turn owns one of Uber’s Dutch shell companies, a maneuver that grants the company a $1 billion tax break every year for the next 20 years, the researchers found.”
While this may sound overly technical, the bottom line is that Uber is using creative accounting and moving money around the world in order to avoid paying taxes. Little guys like us wind up making up the difference.
The Center for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research says Uber earned $5.8 million in global revenue yet through creative accounting was able to $4.5 billion in tax losses.We have been unable to find any response from Uber to these charges.
IRS Whistleblower Rewards for Corporate Tax Evasion Information
No one likes paying taxes. But 99% of us do it. As mentioned earlier, strategies to reduce one’s taxes are legal as long as no laws are broken. There is often fine line, however, between tax avoidance (legal) and tax evasion (illegal).
In 2019 we reported that Uber was being investigated by the IRS. Documents filed with the SEC that year indicated the company was being investigated over “transfer pricing” issues. For those not familiar with complex tax law, transfer pricing refers to the practice of pricing transactions between a company’s divisions and subsidiaries.
We suspect Uber skirts dangerously close the line between what is legal and what isn’t. And that where you come in.
Under the IRS Whistleblower Program, insiders with knowledge of tax fraud may be eligible for a large cash reward. Rewards can be as high as 30% of whatever taxes, interest and penalties are collected from the wrongdoer. Given Uber’s size, the rewards could be huge.
Do You Have Inside Information About Fraudulent Shell Companies?
If you are the first to report tax fraud and have inside information necessary to prove your case, the Mahany Law IRS whistleblower and may be able to help you secure a reward. To learn more, visit our IRS whistleblower rewards and our shell company money laundering pages. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact the MahanyLaw Whistleblower Lawyers for a no-fee absolutely confidential consultation, online, by email or by phone 202-800-9791.
IRS Whistleblower cases considered worldwide.