TT142: VAT Fuel Scale Update-2009

September 22, 2009

All change again on VAT fuel scale charges

In Topical Tips 115 (April 2008) we reported on a change to VAT fuel scale charges from 1 May 2008. This linked the VAT charge for businesses that recover VAT on fuel used for private motoring to the CO2 emissions of each car.

For VAT periods starting on or after 1 May 2009 a new set of scale charges must be applied.

Points to note include:

  • The CO2 banding lower limit remains at 120 g/km
  • Generally the VAT scale charges have decreased (good news for a change!)

Please refer to the table below:

Rates per vehicle

Twelve month period Three month period One month period
CO2 band g/km Scale Charge VAT due Scale charge VAT due Scale charge VAT due
£ £ £ £ £ £
less than or equal to 120 505 65.87 126 16.43 42 5.48
125 755 98.48 189 24.65 63 8.22
130 755 98.48 189 24.65 63 8.22
135 755 98.48 189 24.65 63 8.22
140 805 105.00 201 26.22 67 8.74
145 855 111.52 214 27.91 71 9.26
150 905 118.04 226 29.48 75 9.78
155 960 125.22 239 31.17 79 10.30
160 1010 131.74 251 32.74 83 10.83
165 1060 138.26 264 34.43 88 11.48
170 1110 144.78 276 36.00 92 12.00
175 1160 151.30 289 37.70 96 12.52
180 1210 157.83 302 39.39 100 13.04
185 1260 164.35 314 40.96 104 13.57
190 1310 170.87 327 42.65 109 14.22
195 1360 177.39 339 44.22 113 14.74
200 1410 183.91 352 45.91 117 15.26
205 1465 191.09 365 47.61 121 15.78
210 1515 197.61 378 49.30 126 16.43
215 1565 204.13 390 50.87 130 16.96
220 1615 210.65 403 52.57 134 17.48
225 1665 217.17 416 54.26 138 18.00
230 1715 223.70 428 55.83 142 18.52
greater than or equal to 235 1765 230.22 441 57.52 147 19.17

Identify the band

For vehicles registered after 2001, the CO2 emissions figure appears on the Vehicle Registration Certificate (VC5). For vehicles registered between 1997 and 2001 the information can be obtained from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited. In addition, the Vehicle Certification Agency Car Fuel Data website can be used to search for specific cars. Further historical information is available at The Vehicle Certification Agency.

For vehicles that do not have a CO2 emissions figure, the CO2 band is based on engine size, as follows:

  • 1,400cc or less: use CO2 band 140 or below
  • Exceeds 1,400cc but does not exceed 2,000cc: use CO2 band 175
  • Exceeds 2,000cc: use CO2 band 235 or above

Barnes Roffe Topical Tips

  • Watch out for news about VAT rate changes as this will affect the figures (currently a change is scheduled for 1 January 2010).
  • Ensure that you adopt the new VAT fuel scale charge as soon as is applicable – this is usually the first thing a VAT Inspector will check during a VAT inspection.
  • For any vehicles that have no private use (e.g. a pool car) it is essential that there is evidence to support this contention.
  • If a car is changed during a tax period and the new car is in a different category, then the VAT should be accounted for by apportioning the scale charges for the two categories. Alternatively, to keep it simple, the higher of the scales can be used.
  • If an incorrect rate has inadvertently been used, then a correction should be made on the next VAT return. However, if the cumulative error comes to more that £10,000 of VAT then a special declaration to HMRC must be made.
  • If it is wished to claim the VAT on all business fuel paid for by an employee and reclaimed from the company, then the company must have specific evidence of the VAT incurred by the employee
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