Tax benefits of going EV

Tax benefits of going EV

27.4.2022 | Tax

Tax Benefits of going EV

Beatons Group explains how going electric changes the tide when it comes to company car taxation.

April heralds the beginning of a new tax year, and before July 6, employers will be putting together returns related to benefits and expenses and settling any Class 1A National Insurance owed to HMRC.

In recent years, HMRC has sought to tax company cars out of existence, however, there has been a resurgence of the company car due to the significant tax advantages which have been afforded to electric vehicles for both businesses and individuals.

Here, Andrew Diver, head of taxation at Beatons Group, gives a general overview of some of the taxation benefits of electronic vehicles to both companies and their employees.

Benefits to the company

If an electric vehicle is purchased outright or via finance and is new and fully electric, it is eligible for the 100% Annual Investment Allowance. This is provided the total capital expenditure by the company in the accounting period is within the allowable limit which is currently £1,000,000.

However, the company would not be able to claim back the VAT if there is any private use because the vehicle is a car.

If the car is leased rather than purchased and is new and fully electric, the company can claim all the lease payments back without any restriction. Additionally, 50% of the input VAT can be claimed back on leased cars which have private use.

Individual

When considering the individual, we are taking into account the rules of ‘Benefit in Kind’. If the car is fully electric and has no CO2 emissions figure, then the Benefit in Kind will be 2% of the list price for this tax year (2022/23) and the next two tax years. As electricity is not a fuel then there is no fuel scale charge.

For example, the Benefit in Kind on a fully electric car with a list price of £35,000 would only be £700 which would result in tax for a basic rate taxpayer of £140 or £280 for a higher rate taxpayer.

Electric charging point

The company would be eligible for 100% Annual Investment Allowance on the equipment for the charging point provided it is unused and not second hand. The total must also be within the capital expenditure of the company and the accounting period within the allowable limit which is currently £1,000,000.

This currently applies for expenditure on electric charging points before March 31, 2023, but it may be extended again as it has been previously.

Charging others to charge

Supplies of electricity to third parties would be vatable at standard rate. VAT input claims would be restricted for private use by employees.
All employees should keep records of business and private use of the electric cars, which have been charged at work.

Any income from the charging point would be treated as other income.
Some care is needed when offering vehicle charging commercially as regulations regarding the provision of electric vehicle charging points are due to be introduced from June 2022.

This requires that the systems have some element of smart charging, for example, optimal charging during off-peak times.

Beatons is happy to give tailored advice to help ensure businesses understand the tax implications of company cars and employee benefits. Please contact Beatons via email at info@beatons.co.uk or by calling 01473 659777.

Energy logistics provider solidifies base at Lowestoft

Energy logistics provider solidifies base at Lowestoft

27.4.2022 | Ports

Energy logistics provider solidifies base at Lowestoft

Peterson signs a 1.5-acre deal on the north side of ABP’s Lowestoft site.

In this issue of Porttalk, we bring two stories from innovative port group, ABP.

Firstly, the UK’s leading ports group has concluded a new, long-term agreement with international energy logistics provider Peterson. Taking over circa 1.5 acres on the northern side of the port, Peterson will see its operational and logistics base located in Lowestoft extended to 2030.

Attracted by the port’s ideal location to support its current customer base and potential new ones, Peterson first arrived at the Port of Lowestoft in 2018.

Jason Hendry, Managing Director for England and Renewables Strategy at Peterson, said: “Following three successful years at the Port of Lowestoft, we are delighted to extend our agreement with ABP.

“With a focus on the delivery of safe and efficient logistics services from modern facilities, this partnership has helped our Lowestoft business grow, and we look forward to furthering success in the years ahead as we support the energy transition and low carbon industries in the region.”

Paul Ager, Divisional Port Manager, adds: “We are delighted that Peterson has chosen ABP Lowestoft to continue its operations, and we look forward to continuing partnership working.

“When Peterson first arrived at the Port, we made a firm commitment to support their growth ambitions. I am really pleased we have been able to deliver on this assurance and that the Port of Lowestoft is not only supporting the offshore energy industry’s current demands but also their future needs.”

The Port of Lowestoft is expanding its provision of services to the offshore energy industry and last year launched its £25 million development of Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF). ABP’s ambitious plans and continued investments will ensure its Port of Lowestoft continues to be best in class, attracting new business to the region and creating hundreds of new jobs.

Secondly, the pioneering port group has confirmed its status as the first UK port operator to provide a new range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) workwear with an SA8000 certification of social responsibility. Working in partnership with ARCO, experts in safety, and MASCOT workwear, who share ABP’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the new fully certified PPE workwear was successfully trialled by a network of ABP’s female colleagues in a variety of roles across Britain.

Achieving a first for the second time in terms of PPE workwear for the industry (ABP was the first UK port operator to offer specialised women’s PPE in 2019), the range was designed to improve safety through a better fit. It includes more comfortable designs for women and maternity-focused products that can be ordered as a special measure item.

The launch of ABP’s new MASCOT PPE workwear, manufactured using the highest quality materials available and in award-winning production facilities with SA8000 certification, aligns with ABP’s commitment to its social responsibility to its staff and minimising its impact on the environment, ensuring a more sustainable future. The MASCOT PPE workwear carries Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, the best-known label for textiles tested for harmful substances. The Oeko-Tex® label means that products have been tested and approved for zero content of health-hazardous or presumed health-hazardous chemicals and dyes.

Alan Tinline, ABP’s Group Head of Health, Safety & Environment, says: “We’re proud to pioneer this new PPE workwear at ABP and achieve another first for the industry, leading the way towards a greener, cleaner future. It is one of many plans we have in progress to help achieve our sustainability goals at ABP. We look forward to seeing all our colleagues adopt this new PPE workwear as it is rolled out.”

Mobile Phones and Driving

Mobile Phones and Driving

22.2.2021 | Logistics

Mobile Phones and Driving

Tim Ridyard, Ashtons Legal’s transport partner shares essential legislation updates ahead of the 25 March 2022 deadline.

The use of hand-held mobile phones (or other interactive communication ‘devices’) whilst driving a motor vehicle will be prohibited in almost all circumstances from 25 March 2022.

Currently, a mobile phone or device has to be performing “an interactive communication function” for the use to be unlawful. This means a driver might currently use one for certain reasons, without breaking the law. This will fundamentally change.

“Using” a mobile phone or another device will, from 25 March 2022, include the following non-exhaustive list of prohibited activities:

• illuminating the screen
• checking the time
• checking notifications
• unlocking the device
• making, receiving or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call
• sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
• sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video
• utilising the camera, video, or sound recording functionality
• drafting any text
• accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages
• an application
• accessing the internet

It can be seen how many currently lawful activities will be closed off. It will mean that one cannot take photographs or access music that is pre-stored on the device (rather than accessed via the internet), for example. It will not be possible to check the time or unlock the device.

This amends the existing offence of using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device. It does not make hands-free usage unlawful under this specific law. However, it is still entirely possible to commit other offences, by driving dangerously/carelessly or not having proper control of the vehicle, whether a hands-free device or not is used. This will occur through distraction that can occur even where a phone is used in a cradle or using vehicle in-built equipment. Using a phone whilst driving in any circumstances might lead to an accident that results in a prosecution for offences relating to death or serious injury.

Contactless Payments (lawful)
A new exemption to the offence is introduced, so that drivers can use their mobile phone or another device in order to make contactless payments for goods or services. The vehicle must be stationary. The payment made by the phone or device must be for the goods or services being provided at that time. This exemption will be needed for the payment of road tolls or at drive-thru food outlets, which otherwise would lead to massive delay and congestion.

Why the change?
The current law is very out-of-date and was drafted before rapid technological advances.

Currently, the offence is only committed where (a) the driver is holding the mobile phone or other device and (b) using it, where that use is for an ‘interactive communication function’.

This has meant that many obviously dangerous activities have not been unlawful under this specific offence e.g. taking photographs whilst driving. It has been difficult for police to enforce: even if the phone is being held how can it be proved that the use itself was unlawful?

In the appeal case of DPP v Burreto (2019) the High Court confirmed the law that is now being re-defined:

“The legislation does not prohibit all use of a mobile phone held while driving. It prohibits driving while using a mobile phone or another device for calls and other interactive communication (and holding it at some stage during that process).”

Supervising Provisional Licence Drivers
It should be remembered (and many may be unaware) that the supervisor of anyone learning to drive any category of a vehicle under a provisional licence is also forbidden from using a mobile phone or device. That remains the case and the wider definition of ‘using’ one will apply to them too.

Emergency Calls
There will be no change to the existing law that permits a call to the emergency services on 999 or on 112 if this is (a) in response to a genuine emergency and (b) it is unsafe or impractical to stop driving whilst the call is being made.

Vocational drivers
In addition to any Court penalty or fixed penalty, vocational goods and passenger vehicle drivers can expect to have action taken against their vocational licence (Category C and D) by the Traffic Commissioner who may suspend their entitlements – these are imposed through driver conduct procedures and proceedings. The duration depends on whether the phone use is in a car or a HGV/PSV and whether there have been previous offences.

Penalties
Cases are invariably dealt with by fixed penalties of £200 and six penalty points, where a driver accepts guilt. If the matter is contested, then the matter will be dealt with at trial in the Magistrates’ Court. It should be remembered that no driver may accrue 12 or more penalty points within a three-year offending period – otherwise, a minimum six-month driving disqualification will be imposed (save in exceptional circumstances). In short, two phone offences will lead to a ban.

Further, a new probationary driver (qualified within the last two years) must have their licence rescinded by DVLA if they receive six penalty points – so one offence of mobile phone misuse will lead to the loss of the licence.

Our Road Transport law team can help you. Ashtons Legal provides dedicated, niche advice in the area of road transport law, including operator licensing as well as representation in Court and at Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry hearings.

For more information about this or any other aspects of road transport law please get in touch with us through our online enquiry form or by calling 0330 404 0768. We would be delighted to help you and your business.

Sources: Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2022 and Regulation 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986

Tim Ridyard, Ashtons Legal

New year sees launch of new rail connection

New year sees launch of new rail connection

11.1.2022 | Rail

New year sees launch of new rail connection

Felixstowe is at the heart of the intermodal revolution.

The 38th daily rail service has been introduced at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe. Operated by GB Railfreight for Maritime Transport, the service connects the port with Birch Coppice in the Midlands.

The new service is the fifteenth, operated by GB Railfreight and impressively, the twelfth daily rail connection from the port to destinations in the Midlands.

Commenting on the latest addition to the port’s roster of rail services, Robert Ashton, operations director at the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“Increasing the proportion of traffic moving by rail is an important part of our strategy to offer the widest possible range of sustainable transport options through the Port of Felixstowe. We are investing in new plant and equipment as part of our own drive towards net-zero and are working with partners, including GB Railfreight and Maritime Transport, to help others remove carbon from their supply chains.

“With three dedicated rail terminals at the port, we offer more rail services to more inland destinations with greater frequency than any other UK port.”

Julie Garn, Intermodal’s general manager, said:

“Working closely with Maritime Transport and the Port of Felixstowe, this new service will play an important part in alleviating some of the pressure facing the UK supply chain. Increasing the number of services from Felixstowe is an efficient and environmentally friendly way to meet growing consumer demand, with an average freight train removing up to 76 HGVs from the road.”

John Bailey, Managing Director – Intermodal and Terminals, Maritime Transport, added:

“We are thrilled to launch this new service with GB Railfreight. Our investment in new routes, new equipment, and our terminals enables us to provide the most advanced logistics solutions and reflects our drive to deliver increased resources at a time when the industry is facing huge challenges. We have achieved unrivalled success in the intermodal sector in a very short period of time, but we are only at the start of a journey that will continue to see us challenge the industry norms and accelerate modal shift.”

GBRf

Renault Truck Commercials Felixstowe moves to purpose-built site

Renault Truck Commercials Felixstowe moves to purpose-built site

12.12.2021 | Logistics

Renault Truck Commercials Felixstowe moves to purpose-built site

New depot for French truck manufacturer. 

Renault Truck Commercials Felixstowe has moved to its new purpose-built dealer premises located at Hodgkinson Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 3QT.

The ultra-modern facility, constructed to the highest environmental standards, reflects the growing demand for the Renault Trucks brand and Renault Truck Commercials’ aftersales service and support in the important Felixstowe area.

Situated in close proximity to the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s biggest and busiest container port, the prime 1.5-acre site has excellent access to the A14, the primary route out of the docks, and to routes across the UK. Eco-friendly design and build are to Renault Trucks’ exacting dealer and sustainability standards and the building offers first-class facilities for customers and staff whilst minimising its impact on the environment.

Located just over a mile from RTC Felixstowe’s previous premises at Sub-Station Road, the new site is run by the same team, headed up by Service Manager Marc Chetty, to ensure a seamless continuation of support to operators of Renault trucks and LCVs, and all-makes fleets across the region.

Con Rooney, Managing Director, Renault Trucks Commercials says: “We are delighted to open the doors to our new Felixstowe site today, which offers a superb, eco-friendly retail experience for our customers and a comfortable working environment with a particular focus on wellbeing for our employees. Marking a significant investment, our newest depot has been designed from the ground up to deliver maximum vehicle uptime. It is an important part of our growth strategy for the Felixstowe area that will help support our customers and colleagues for many years to come.”

The new site, with plenty of secure parking, provides the full range of Renault Trucks services. Its fully equipped workshops are a welcoming working environment for the experienced team of trained technicians, with a three-bay workshop, body shop, tacho lane and latest diagnostic equipment, providing all-makes servicing, repairs and maintenance, and Renault Trucks’ 24/7 roadside assistance. For waiting drivers, there is a comfortable, well-equipped restroom with refreshments, shower, free WiFi and large screen TV.

Investment in enhanced parts stock ensures excellent first-time pick, with a dedicated daily parts delivery service for Renault Trucks and all makes parts to operators in the area. Offering new vehicle sales from 3.1 – 44 tonnes, RTC Felixstowe also sells and supports vehicles from the Used Trucks by Renault Trucks range.

RTC Felixstowe’s energy-efficient, sustainable office and workshop buildings are constructed to the highest environmental principles to meet Renault Trucks’ commitment to net-zero status across its dealer network and operations in the UK and Ireland by 2030. Achieving the top EPC rating of ‘A’, sustainable solutions on-site include an array of photovoltaic panels, top specification insulated doors and envelope cladding, LED lighting with sensors, mechanical heat recovery and efficient plant throughout to keep emissions to a minimum. Water-based wall paints are also used throughout the building.

Government decarbonisation plan announced

Government decarbonisation plan announced

14.7.2021 | Logistics

Government decarbonisation plan announced

Intention to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol HGVs by 2040. 

Today (14th July 2021) government publishes the world’s first ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport by 2050.

As part of this vision, the government is announcing its intention to phase out the sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040, subject to consultation – combined with the 2035 phase-out date for polluting cars and vans. This represents a world-leading pledge to phase out all polluting road vehicles within the next two decades. The consultation proposes a 2035 phase-out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes – or earlier if a faster transition seems feasible.

Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, said:

“The Transport decarbonisation plan will help to provide logistics businesses with confidence and clarity on the steps they must take on the pathway to net zero. Consultation on proposed phase-out dates for new diesel HGVs should enable businesses to move forwards with confidence. Rail, shipping and aviation are essential parts of logistics, so plans to support freight modal shift and develop technologies to reduce emissions across these modes are welcome.

“With logistics already embracing the need to decarbonise its operations, Logistics UK looks forward to working in partnership with the government on future activities and strategies to realise the net-zero ambition together.”

To read full details of the government’s decarbonisation plan, click here.