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AFP unveils 13-point tax manifesto

Date: 14 April 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A 13-point document setting out a preferred future for fleet and motoring taxation has been launched by the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP).

The organisation's new Tax Manifesto 2021 sets out 13 requests, ranging from minor changes to major strategic shifts, which it believes should be implemented so businesses can pursue their fleet and mobility plans faster and more effectively. 

Among the points in the manifesto is for BIK tax tables for the years through to 2029-30 to be published, which the AFP says are needed for fleets to plan up to the UK Government's scheduled halting of new petrol and diesel car sales.

The document also calls for clean air zones to be coordinated nationally, saying different rules and methods of payment being implemented by different local authorities make it difficult for national fleets to coordinate their response.

The AFP also wants HMRC's 'available to use' rule to be changed, allowing private use of company cars at either no cost or marginal cost, and technological solutions to be used to prove no vehicle use.

It also wants a clear definition of 'occasional private use' - suggesting fewer than 1,000 miles per year - and for pandemic-related home working concessions to be extended.

The manifesto also calls for the expected future introduction of road tolling to be clearly signposted, and for the cost of parking at train stations to be capped to encourage public transport use.

In addition, the AFP wants to see improvements to inner city parking, saying Oxford-style park and ride schemes should be rolled out nationally by the government, and says tax breaks should be introduced for employees taking a mobility allowance, often as an alternative to a company car.

Tax breaks are also requested for employees choosing zero carbon journeys such as walking or cycling rather than taking the car, while on the other hand a tax increase is suggested for non-Euro 6-compliant company cars.

Regarding electrification, the AFP says clear signposting is needed for EV initiatives over the years ahead, and describes a national kerbside EV charging strategy as 'essential'.

AFP chair Paul Hollick said: "A key element of the thinking behind the formation of the AFP just over a year ago was the need for an effective and engaged campaigning fleet industry organisation and the tax manifesto is really the first signs of that intention.

"We've been having wide-ranging discussions with our members and other interested parties about areas where we believe that the taxation of fleets and mobility needs changing or developing in order to create effective incentives, greater certainty and more fairness.

"The results, which we believe are constructive, realistic and thought-provoking, are contained in this document. We plan to use it as the foundation for our conversations with the government and HMRC in the coming months and years."

Hollick said that government and HMRC policy on matters raised in the manifesto often lagged behind issues AFP members faced in the real world.

He said: "Of the 13 points, several could be implemented very easily indeed, almost at the stroke of a pen. Others, such as the need for discussions around a road tolling plan, are very much strategic and part of longer-term shifts in policy. 

"What we hope to see now is the Tax Manifesto 2021 considered across the fleet and mobility sectors and to hear the reaction from all parties who have an interest. It is by no means a fixed document and we are very much open to further ideas and refinements."