KELOWNA, B.C. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has taken several strides in its attempt to reign in Driver Inc. in an attempt to help level the playing field for carriers across the country.
CTA president Stephen Laskowski brought B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) AGM and Management Conference attendees up to date today in Kelowna, B.C., saying Driver Inc. is a focal point for the alliance, which includes ensuring the industry and drivers know what the effort entails.
In a nutshell, Driver Inc. involves incorporating a driver who is operating a company truck. They do not own, lease, or operate their own vehicle and receive payment from the carrier without proper tax deductions. Unlike owner-operators, which Laskowski described as a “true small businesses where risk is involved,” those operating under Driver Inc. claim tax deductions as a small business would, with many going into a black hole and not claiming any taxes at all.
Laskowski said Driver Inc. is not about finding quality drivers, but rather about gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace, an advantage that is non-compliant with Canadian tax regulations and not a source of pride for the industry.
“It’s going to be a continuous battle when it comes to Driver Inc.,” said Laskowski. “Tax evasion is not a model to attract new employees. The message has to be that there are consequences of non-compliance.”
Canada Revenue Agency has clarified that incorporated drivers do fall under the category of personal services businesses, and are not eligible for any small business deductions. This means carriers must issue T4As to all self-employed drivers.
Educating drivers and those in the industry about Driver Inc. is one effort Laskowski said needs to continue. Many drivers looking to become owner-operators are lured into Driver Inc. because they believe it is an easier path to achieving their goal with none of the risks of being a small business owner.
“I can tell you that in the carrier community, their patience on education is getting less and less because they are losing drivers,” said Laskowski.
Enforcement and awareness of Driver Inc. are the CTA’s goals moving forward in 2019.
Laskowski also provided an update for attendees on the Canadian electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, saying he expects an announcement in the near future.
The coming year will also bring full ELD enforcement in the U.S., which moves away from automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs), which are a less sophisticated option compared to ELDs.
Laskowski said U.S. enforcement is looking forward to full enforcement, as it will simplify what has been a complex issue that has involved various types of devices.
“I expect an interesting next year in the U.S.,” said Laskowski.
A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media industry as an editor, reporter and now as editor of Truck West. I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.
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