Budget 2018: first-year allowance for electric charge-points extended

Chancellor Philip Hammond has extended the current 100% first-year allowance for costs incurred on installing electric charge-points until 2023 to further encourage the take up of electric vehicles

The 100% first year allowance will expire on 31 March 2023 for corporation tax purposes and 5 April 2023 for income tax purposes.

The measure, first introduced on 23 November 2016, is designed to encourage the use of electric vehicles by supporting the development and installation of electric charging equipment.

This measure is expected to have a negligible impact on the Exchequer.

Van benefit charge and fuel benefit charges

The Chancellor also announced that the van benefit charge will increase in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the car and van fuel benefit charge will increase in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The flat-rate van benefit charge will increase to £3,430, the multiplier for the car fuel benefit charge will increase to £24,100, and the flat-rate van fuel benefit charge will increase to £655.

The changes will have effect on and after 6 April 2019 and expected to have negligible impact on the Exchequer.

Vehicle Excise Duty for vans

As part of the Budget the summary of responses on reform of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for vans was published.

This consultation was initially published to seek views on reforming VED to incentivise van drivers purchasing a new van to choose a low emission vehicle.

The majority of respondents were supportive of a new van VED system that reflects the environmental performance of different models and there was support of introducing a CO2 based system.

The consultation asked respondents when a reformed van VED system should be brought into effect with many respondents highlighting the interaction with the Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), the new laboratory test procedure which aims to reduce the gap between real world and laboratory CO2 emissions figures.

WLTP is not mandatory for new registrations of vans until September 2019. Respondents noted that implementing changes for April 2021, rather than April 2020, may avoid confusion associated with some end-of series vans paying tax based on the current CO2 testing regime, known as the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and other models paying tax based on WLTP.

The key decisions that the government has taken are to:

  • further develop its understanding of the impacts of WLTP on CO2 emissions for vans, ahead of announcing the new rates and bands, for introduction from April 2021;
  • ensure the new system takes into account the weight of the van by introducing a 2-category approach; and
  • provide ongoing incentives, beyond the first-year, for new zero emission, ultra low emission and other alternatively fuelled vans from April 2021.

Paul Hollick, managing director of TMC, said: 'As if anyone needed reminding what a disaster WLTP has proved to be, the chaos has now bitten the Budget. I'm pleased to see the Treasury will review the impact of WLTP on company car tax (CCT) and VED. But since it would be illogical to announce BIK rates for 2021/22 until after the review, it means there's no hope of clarity until next Spring at the earliest.

'Sadly, I predicted this at my last seminar and this now means that any employee choosing a company car now is still taking a gamble on how much tax they pay in year three. That's bad news all round, not only for the fleet industry and its customers but also for the government's low carbon transport plans, if employees opt out of company cars into older vehicles. The Treasury and HMRC really have to get a firm grip on CCT before Brexit overwhelms them.'

First-year allowance for electric charge-points is here.

Van and fuel benefit charges for cars and vans from 6 April 2019 is here.

Vehicle Excise Duty for vans: summary of responses is here.

Report by Amy Austin

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