CIOT comments on Finance Bill 2018-19 changes to employee benefits, exemptions and OpRA rules

Released 6 November 2018

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has published comments on Finance Bill 2018-19 provisions amending employee benefits, exemptions and OpRA rules legislation.

The submissions cover:

changes to Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA) rules for taxable cars and vans to address two anomalies in the OpRA rules;

the new exemption (to take effect from 6 April 2018) to remove any benefit in kind charge on electricity employers provide to charge employees’ electric vehicles; and

the extension to the current ‘on-call’ exemption to allow for ordinary commuting in an emergency vehicle when not on-call, provisions to ignore fuel as an ‘additional expense’ in working out the tax charge and transitional arrangements.

The CIOT agrees with the first aspect of the changes to the OpRA rules (inclusion of connected costs such as insurance in calculating the ‘amount foregone’) but considers that the second aspect regarding ‘capital contribution’ changes could be achieved more simply (illustration provided). The CIOT requests clarification on the requirement that electric charging facilities must be available to all employees generally and whether the condition is failed if the employer does not install sufficient charging points to meet demand and regarding the emergency vehicle exemption, clarification on the interaction of provisions within ITEPA 2003, Pt. 3, Ch. 6 (Taxable Benefits: Cars, Vans and Related Benefits) and Ch. 10 (Taxable Benefits: Residual Liability to Charge) which the CIOT considers could both apply.

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