Today marks a breakthrough in the peer-to-peer ridesharing industry in Brussels and Europe. On day 3 of CSW Europe 2015, that focused on ‘Smart Cities and Future of Mobility’, Alex Gaschard, CEO of CarAmigo, the Belgian peer-2-peer car sharing marketplace makes an announcement sure to shake up the smart mobility equation in Europe and beyond. 

CarAmigo reports that after a lengthy negotiation with the fiscal authorities, the company has now reached an agreement in the form of a “tax ruling” at a national level that would be favourable to the owners and users of its car sharing platform.

CarAmigo is a peer-2-peer car rental platform that builds on the tendency of millennials to shun car ownership and the new mindset to monetise dormant resources — which makes this new ruling particularly interesting.

The new ruling is a decision with a national scope that discounts the service providers and users of the CarAmigo platforms to consider car sharing earnings as professional income under specific conditions. According to CarAmigo,

A “ruling” decision has just been rendered by the tax authorities about the fiscal consequences of using CarAmigo for individual car owners: concretely car sharing fees will not be considered as professional income for individual users, subject to compliance with specific conditions & criteria, such the number of shared vehicles, the cumulative duration of rentals and the cumulative amount of income generated.

The sharing economy and mobility platforms in Europe have been under heavy scrutiny because of the regulatory hurdles that services providers face in terms of legal and fiscal issues. It is refreshing to see a car sharing platform like CarAmigo that proactively engages with authorities in order to provide a more secured and transparent space between emerging business models and incumbent policies at a national level. According to CarAmigo, this ruling will be “published through CarAmigo’s tax advisor Master Jerome Havet, in the form a full explanatory note which will detail the ins & outs of the ruling, including the level of taxation and deductions to be taken into account.”

Alex Gaschard, founder of CarAmigo, told us,

Very happy about this ruling; not only is it great news for us, but it’s also great news for the fisc itself and for our own car owners who will now feel 100% secure on the fiscal aspects of renting out their own car. This is a proof that if well thought out, the sharing economy in general & peer-to-peer carsharing in particular may have no conflict of interest with official authorities nor the fisc“.

CarAmigo is clearly ahead of the game in removing some of the roadblocks that would hinder growth on its car sharing platform. By simplifying regulation for reasonable users of the platform, cities and governments can rely on services like CarAmigo to reduce car ownership and traffic congestion while encouraging citizens to monetise an unused resource. This new tax benefit ruling can also be seen as a path forward in an often grid-locked conversation on innovation versus regulation that seems to have a simple mantra – sit down and discuss what’s best for the community, what will create shared value and boost innovation in the long run. CSW Europe 2015 is proud to host and support CarAmigo on this historic announcement.