Uber to relocate international HQ with plans to double staff numbers as it faces a fresh legal challenge - this time over VAT

Lynsey Barber
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A well known lawyer is planning to fight Uber in the courts (Source: Getty)

Uber is relocating its international headquarters to larger offices as part of its plans to almost double staff over the next decade.

The startup's base outside of the US in Amsterdam will move into The Cloud, near Amstel station, with potential room for 1,000 staff working in operations, research, marketing and sales as well as engineers working on the UberEats app.

"As a European tech hub, Amsterdam has great local and international tech talent, not to mention high living standards and good transport links," said head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pieer-Dimitri Gore-Coty.

"To match our ambitious plans to grow our international business, we're proud to be building our team in Amsterdam with around 600 new jobs over the next 10 years."

Legal issues

Meanwhile, Uber is facing a fresh lawsuit, this time over VAT payments, from a tax lawyer who is also fighting Brexit in the Irish Courts.

Jolyon Maugham QC has handed Uber a letter before action, a move taken before official proceeding in court which is expected next week.

Read more: Uber president quits after six months in role

He argues VAT should apply to Uber journeys, as it does to most other goods and services, in light of a separate legal case which late last year ruled Uber drivers should be considered workers.

While this decision is being appealed by Uber, Maugham will argue that VAT is now due from the company, whereas the self-employed are liable for paying the tax.

"The consequences of the tribunal’s decision is that it must be Uber supplying the transportation services not the workers," he told Quartz.

And even if the decision on the status of drivers is overturned, he said, the case will still argue Uber is providing a service.

Read more: Say Hailo to Mytaxi: Uber’s new arch rival in London

An Uber spokesperson. said: “Drivers who use the Uber app are subject to the same VAT laws as any other transportation provider in the UK."

A campaign to raise cash via crowdfunding is taking place to fund the case. It has so far raised around £5,000 of a £75,000 target.

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