ACFO seeks 2011 talks with Government on key fleet issues
Chairman Julie Jenner says in the run-up to the 2011 Budget on 23 March, she's hoping that to hold face-to-face discussions with ministers on a number of key issues including the latest Advisory Fuel Rates. Ms Jenner says she will be asking for justification for the new rates, which came into effect on 1 December with pump prices close to record levels and a VAT rise to 20% due on 4 January.
She commented: 'We want to question the formula used to calculate the rates directly with ministers. The new rates, which are due to be in place for six months, will undoubtedly leave drivers out of pocket.'
ACFO is also looking to address the issue of long-term notification of company car Benefit in Kind rates. The rates are known for the next two financial years – 2011/12 and 2012/13 – but employees now taking delivery of new vehicles remain in the dark as to how much their tax bill will be from 6 April 2013.
Ms Jenner said: 'Historically, the Government has always announced company car tax benefit-in-kind rates on a three-year cycle so drivers know where they stand. However, that routine has broken down. It is a concern that employees are taking delivery of new cars now and have no idea of how much tax they will be paying on a vehicle they will still be driving in 2013/14.'
With all car motoring taxes now linked to vehicle carbon dioxide emissions including company car benefit-in-kind tax, Vehicle Excise Duty and capital allowances, ACFO says it's straightforward for the Government to tighten all thresholds while keeping the tax structure unchanged.
Ms Jenner said: 'We know that the Government is keen to pursue a carbon-cutting agenda. However, due to a lack of face-to-face dialogue with the new Government during its first six months in office we are in uncharted territory.
'Fleet decision-makers will play their part in helping the Government achieve its objectives. But, long-term planning is essential for business stability. A significant tightening of rates, for example cutting the capital allowance limit from 160g/km to 140g/km without warning, could cause major problems.
'In the last decade, Government has given businesses and drivers reasonable notice of company car tax changes. We want to underline the importance of that to ministers so corporate decision-making can be made in full knowledge of all the tax facts.
'Fleet decision-makers will play their part in helping the Government achieve its objectives. But, long-term planning is essential for business stability. A significant tightening of rates, for example cutting the capital allowance limit from 160 g/km to 140 g/km without warning, could cause major problems.'