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Financial Focus On….. Will HMRC now try to reassess some vans as cars?


WHEN is a car not a car? This is a question that has interested the tax office for years and has had the effect of costing taxpayers - both individually and in business - substantial amounts if they get it wrong. A car is not a goods vehicle. Before


the turn of the


century, the writer argued this point with an Inspector of Taxes who took the position that a Mitsubishi Shogun owned by a forestry company was still a company car even though it had had the rear seats removed, had been fitted with winches front and rear, increased suspension height, generators and a host of other adaptations (including a tachograph) fitted for its working life. In those days, the company car benefit was dependent on the annual mileage and as the machine in question undertook less than 2,500 business miles per year, but had had


such


correspondence, whilst


extensive


accessories fitted, the company car taxation at stake was quite substantial.


Revenue finally conceded that


the vehicle may


have been a “car” when it was manufactured, after adaptations, it was now primarily suited for the conveyance of goods and therefore no longer a car. This complex argument is still with us today as the recent Coca Cola tax case has proven. Coca Cola provide their UK technicians


After extended the Inland


the VW Kombi in this case was classed as a car for benefit-in- kind purposes. Naturally, the Coca Cola case


is specific to the facts in question but the point remains that a van is only a van for income and corporation tax purposes if it is primarily suited to the carriage of goods. Anything that is not (or has dual capability) defaults to being classed as a car.


In


addition to the benefit-in-kind effects for employees (and the National Insurance effects for employers) there may then be a knock-on effect on the timing and rate of capital allowances with vans being classed as general plant (and potentially available


to be included


within an Annual Investment Allowance claim) whereas cars have no accelerated allowances and a reduced annual rate of relief. To paraphrase a meerkat – Simples? Unfortunately not as we have not yet finished. For VAT purposes, a van it has a payload tonne


is a van if capacity


of one or with a choice


of either a VW Transporter T5 Kombi or a, seemingly comparable, Vauxhall Vivaro. The Vivaro left the factory in the appearance of a panel van but was later modified by Coca Cola to fit a second row of seats (which did not span the entire width of the vehicle and could only be removed with tools) and an additional


window.


The VW left the factory also appearing like a panel van but, critically, had side windows and full-width removable rear seats which had to be removed during working hours. Both vehicle types were then further adapted to include racking and storage areas. HMRC accepted that the vehicles should be considered to


have after the been adaptations was decided that storage


“constructed” and


it the Vivaro


was considered to be a van as the seats did not span the width of the vehicle allowing additional


alongside


the rear seats. The VWs failed to be classed as vans for tax purposes as the removable seats should be considered as part of the construction and as a result the VWs were deemed equally capable of carrying passengers or loads (and the requirement of the seat removal during working hours had no bearing on how the VW had been constructed). As such, not being primarily suited for the carriage of goods,


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above, regardless of the seating arrangements (but watch the payload figures once the weight of any rear roof is included in the computations). As a result, a vehicle could be classed as a car for one tax but as a van for another (and whether or not VAT has been recovered on the purchase in turn affects the “cost” of the vehicle for benefit- in-kind purposes). It is not yet certain to what


extent HMRC will take issue over whether the likes of a double-cab pickup should be reconsidered


being suited to the carriage


equally of


passengers as it is for loads and so you should not look to sell


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News from Framlingham and Saxmundham Cats Protection


any existing vehicles purely on the basis of this latest decision. However, if you are looking at investing in your next van or pickup,


consideration should


be given as to what it is most suited to or whether there is a duality of ability. Of course, a definitive list from HMRC would be extremely unlikely soon.


useful to but happen that is anytime


For further information on any of the above points or to discuss your tax affairs generally, please do not hesitate to contact Robin Beadle at Ensors Chartered Accountants, Saxmundham 603005.


on 01728


This article seeks to address general business and financial issues and due care has been taken in its preparation. Ensors cannot accept responsibility for loss incurred by any person, company or entity as a result of acting, or failing to act, on any material in this publication. Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to your particular circumstances.


THE calls are now flooding in about feral colonies of cats with kittens. The sooner we can get the adults neutered and the kittens (if young enough) into care the better, but as usual, we have to juggle to make room for them all. If the colonies are cared for, the adults (both male and female) can be returned after neutering. If it is not a managed colony, it poses more difficulties as we then have to find suitable places for them to go. We have to hope that there are farms, smallholdings, stables etc which are looking for


feline rodent controllers


who can give them a safe place to live. Of course, the problem does not only arise with feral colonies; there are still many cases of domestic cats who have not been neutered


and owners often


find they cannot care for them when they become pregnant. We continue to promote the benefits of neutering both males and females, and offer free


benefits or low incomes who cannot


vouchers for those on afford


to have their


feline companions neutered. Dates for your diary: Please come along to see and support us at these events: June 23rd - Woodbridge Regatta; June 22nd- 23rd Heveningham Hall Country Fair. Cat advice: Is your cat microchipped? National


June is Microchipping


Month which is a campaign that encourages and promotes responsible pet ownership through microchipping as the preferred method of permanent identification. Cats can be chipped from nine weeks and the procedure is simple and doesn't cause harm to your pet. You can get your cat microchipped by a vet, or by a


trained and insured member of an animal welfare organisation The chip is a very small


device, no larger than a grain of rice which is injected under the cat's skin, between the shoulder blades and your cat won't even be aware of its presence.


The procedure is


painless and the chip holds a unique number which


links


to an owner's address on the database. Microchipping is the most effective way to identify a lost pet, and by keeping your details up to date, you'll increase the likelihood of a happy reunion if your cat goes wandering. Unfortunately, we find that a lot of microchips we scan do not have up to date details which makes it very difficult for us to reunite stray cats. Please take the time to check that your cat's microchip details are correct and up to date,


especially moved or changed


if you have your


telephone details, as it could help us or vets to reunite you with your lost feline. Another benefit of a microchip is that it is also possible to buy cat flaps which can be programmed to recognise your cat's chip; a great way to stop those unwanted feline visitors. Looking for a home: This gorgeous little


lady is


Tuppence. She is about nine months old but has already had quite a traumatic start to her life. Despite this she is a delightful,


friendly girl and


is looking for a quiet home with someone to return her affection. If you would like to offer Tuppence the home she needs, call us soon to find out more about her.


See our website: framandsax.


cats.org.uk or telephone 01728 723499 for more information


Matt Giddings


Plasterer and General Builder Over 30 years experience


For a quote please call


07541 364842


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TIDE TABLES June 2019


about adopting cats in our care; event dates; neutering; cat- care leaflets; how to become a volunteer fundraiser or fosterer and other ways you can support us. Also find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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