The Editor’s View

THE Government has spent a decade encouraging employees to select low emission company cars with the incentive being ‘low’ benefit-in-kind (BiK) tax bills. However, a radical shake-up in BiK from April 6 will see the scale charges ranging from 10% to 35% instead of the current 15% to 35%. Lex Autolease calculates that 45% of new company car orders will be impacted by the change, which will also hit hundreds of thousands of existing company car drivers. Yet, in the decade that the emissions-based BiK system has been in existence the Government has not lifted the top 35% rate. It means, for example that the tax bill for the driver of an Audi Q7 6.0 V12TDI(298 g/km), BMW 750i (266 g/km) or Range Rover 4.4 TDV8 (253 g/km) has theoretically not changed in a decade. Instead of continually squeezing drivers who have chosen low emission cars and find their tax bills rising, perhaps the Government should introduce a greater tax burden at the opposite end of the scale. At least it would send a ‘green’ signal and raise additional revenue.

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