September’s Advisory Fuel Rates are a little different this time in that this is the first quarter HMRC have published an Advisory Electricity Rate (AER).

This was formally announced in the August 2018 Employer Bulletin and there are some important points to note:

  • ·        Electricity is still not regarded as a fuel for tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) purposes, e.g. car fuel benefit. Therefore, it is applicable for reimbursement of business mileage in a company car
  • The AER is 4p per mile for the quarter starting 01 September 2018
  • The AER should really be considered a concession by HMRC.  The Bulletin says that ‘HMRC will accept’ that 4p per mile in a fully electric company car is a rate that does not constitute any profit element for tax and Class 1 NICs
  • Employers can pay at a higher rate if they can justify that the electricity cost per mile is more than 4p.  If they cannot, the excess over 4p is profit and subject to tax and Class 1 NICs

As this rate will be kept under review, it is worth starting a table that will show a history of this rate over time:

The above information is contained on the Gov.UK Website within the document ‘Advisory Fuel Rates.

HMRC’s Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR) can be used by employers in two situations, both applying where the employee has a company car:

  1. To reimburse employees for business travel, or
  2. To calculate the amount employees should repay where they are required to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel

The AFRs are reviewed quarterly at the start of March, June, September and December.  When new rates are announced, employers can choose to implement the new rates immediately or use the old rate for up to one further month.  The pence per mile rates effective 01 September 2018 are shown in the tables below.  This also shows the movement of rates in the last 12 months and highlights in red the changes from the rates that applied from June 2018:

HMRC documents the way that the AFRs rates are calculated.

They are based on ‘Applied Miles per Gallon’ for different engine sizes.  This is a figure based on manufacturers’ miles per gallon information, reduced by 15% to take into account real driving conditions and lower fuel economy for older cars.  The LPG miles per gallon information is assumed to be 20% lower than for petrol due to ‘lower volumetric energy density’.

Having identified the Applied Miles per Gallon figure, they are then compared to the latest petrol and diesel fuel prices from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the LPG (UK Average) fuel price from the Automobile Association (AA).  The fuel prices used are:

  • Petrol – 128.40p per litre (583.70p per gallon)
  • LPG – 62.00p per litre (281.90p per gallon)
  • Diesel – 132.60p  per litre (602.60p per gallon)

The above information is contained on the Gov.UK Website in four separate places:

  • ‘Current rates’
  • ‘When you can use AFRs’
  • ‘How AFR rates are calculated’
  • ‘Previous rates’

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