Taxman cracks down on Uber Taiwan

Agents seize office equipment and bank account

Uber supporters in Taiwan.

Uber supporters in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The taxman sent officials to the headquarters of Uber Taiwan Wednesday to seize office equipment and to the Deutsche Bank to freeze NT$11.84 million (US$383,000) in company savings over NT$51.24 million (US$1.66 million) in unpaid business taxes.

For years, the Taiwanese government and San Francisco, California-based ride-sharing app Uber Technologies Inc. have fought out a war, which escalated with the company announcing last month it was suspending services in the country amid the threat of higher fines through new legislation.

The National Taxation Bureau of Taipei accused the Taiwanese branch of the company of tax arrears dating from 2015, and put the matter into the hands of the Administrative Enforcement Agency of the Ministry of Justice, reports said.

It was representatives of the agency who descended on the headquarters of Uber Taiwan in the Daan District of Taipei Wednesday afternoon, where they sealed all the office equipment, including computers, reports said. At the same time, other agents visited the company’s bank to seize its savings.

Because the money in the account was not sufficient to cover the tax arrears, the agency said it would continue to search for other Uber assets, and would ask management to visit its offices to explain Uber Taiwan’s financial situation and its plans to pay the taxes, reports said.