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  • Should you still drive down the electric avenue?

    8 July 2021

    Chris Watts

    As it’s P11d filing season a quick reminder on a tax efficient benefit-in-kind (B-I-K) seems appropriate. 

    There has been a decrease in popularity of fossil -fuelled company cars, even hybrids, due to increasing B-I-K      rates.  However, the tax system has, for many years, rewarded the purchase of low emission cars over their gas guzzling rivals and as from the start of the 2020/21 tax year took an even bigger step to becoming more attractive.

    So should you or your clients consider the provision of electric vehicles as a perk to themselves or employees and take advantage of the current low B-I-K rates and other financial benefits?  Two quick case studies suggests it’s worth a good look:

    Case study 1 – one man and his electric Porsche

    Mr Naysmith, the director of Doin’ Alright Limited purchased a new Porsche Taycan on 6 April 2020 with a list price of £138,380.

    In the tax year 2020/21, his B-I-K would have been nil. In 2021/22, the B-I-K will be 1% x £138,880 = £1,389 and then increasing to 2% in 2022/23.

    The Company will be able to claim a First Year Allowance (“FYA”) of 100% for capital allowances purposes. 

    Case study two

    Mr Smith was appointed Sales Manager of Doin’ Alright Limited on 6 April 2021 and has been advised he can budget £350+VAT per month for the lease cost of an electric car.

    The car has a list price before any government grant of £30,000.

    For the 2021/22, the cash equivalent will be just 1% x £30,000 = £300.   If he were a basic rate tax payer then he would only pay £60 a year in tax for the provision of the car.

    The Company will be able to claim tax relief and input VAT on the lease payments based on the normal rules for the cost of leases where there is private use.

    Doin’ Alright Limited also agrees to install an electric charging point at Mr Smith’s home, to which there is no B-I-K.

    Employees – Salary Sacrifice

    The provision of an electric car by an employer can also be funded by the employee sacrificing salary to cover the lease costs of the vehicle.  A B-I-K on the provision of the car is still calculated as normal, but overall the cost to the employee is far less than if they funded the car themselves.

    Whilst not as outwardly attractive as a fully paid company car, for anyone wishing to have an electric car but the employer does not wish to meet the full cost of it, then this can be used as an attractive option for the employer as it saves them Class 1 Employers NIC on the salary (but will pay Class 1A NIC on the lower B-I-K), as well as the employee receiving both PAYE and NIC on the cost of the effective lease compared to if they self financed the car.

    If a fleet of electric cars were provided, the potential cost savings to a company can mount up considerably, when other tax reliefs are taken into account, and make the proposition both financially, and environmentally, attractive.  At ETC Tax we can help you consider the savings and how this can be offered to both you and your clients businesses.

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    Please provide as much detail as possible in regards to the reason for your enquiry so our tax advisers can prepare and tailor their response to reflect your needs. We will endeavour to - respond / call you back - to discuss your enquiry and you will not be charged for this time.

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