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Countdown for companies to have a say on tax changes to electric vehicle charging

Accountancy firm Newby Castleman is urging companies that provide electric vehicle charging to their employees to respond to a government consultation that seeks to make changes to the way in which such benefits are taxed.

As of April 6th this year there is no taxable benefit where employees are provided with charging points at their place of work for charging their own electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, provided that certain conditions are met.

However, Newby Castleman is warning that questions remain over the precise detail of these conditions, and with the deadline for the consultation on these changes fast approaching (Thursday 5th July), businesses which provide, or are thinking of providing, electric charging facilities for their staff should have their say on the new tax system.

Kirsty Horobin, Tax Consultant for Newby Castleman, says,

“When the government first announced in the Autumn Budget it was going to give tax concessions to businesses which allowed employees to charge their own vehicles at work, it sounded like quite a wide ranging policy that would benefit firms and encourage more workers to switch to electric vehicles.

“But the changes that have come in on April 6th year appear to be much narrower in scope than first anticipated, and there are several vagaries which need clarity, plus a lot of questions over the detail of what is and isn’t covered.

“For example, the tax benefits only apply if employee-owned vehicles are charged from special, dedicated charging points at their workplace, which can be expensive to install. Itn appears that charging from standard sockets will not benefit from the exemption, despite firms having such sockets in abundance.

“Dedicated charing points also require the use of special charge leads to connect the vehicle, and these cables can also be costly to purchase.

“Furthermore, if an employee were to take a business trip in their electric vehicle, and needed to charge it whilst en route, the cost of the charge would not be covered by the exemption. Instead, the employee must submit a mileage claim.”

Companies wanting to respond to the draft guidance on reform to workplace charging tax exemptions need to email their concerns to [email protected] by 11:45pm on Thursday 5th July.

Kirsty concluded,

“Whilst companies are being encouraged to do their bit for the environment by allowing their workforce to charge their electric vehicles at work, the taxation and benefit policies could have been a lot more helpful, and businesses may wish to respond to HMRC on the policy while time remains.”

Newby Castleman is one of the Midlands’ leading independent accountancy firms, with offices in Leicester and Loughborough. It offers a range of specialist financial services, business and tax advice for individuals and businesses. For further information, telephone the Leicester office on 0116 254 9262, the Loughborough office on 01509 263500 or visit the website at www.newbycastleman.co.uk.


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