If you buy a new car for your business that has CO2 emissions of no more than 95g/km, you can claim a full deduction against your business profits. There are approximately 30 cars that fall into this category, but the list is growing.
If you run your business as a limited company, the private use element is reflected in an income tax charge as a benefit. This is also based on CO2 emissions, but the tax charge is low to reflect low emissions.
If you are a sole trader or partner, the private use element is reflected simply by a reduction in the 100% tax write-off. For example, 10% private use means that 90% of the cost is tax deductible. If you reduce your self-employed activities while still owning the car (perhaps through planning a phased retirement), you can create a tax opportunity. Upon selling the car, the sale proceeds are charged to tax, as you originally obtained tax relief on the full purchase price. This charge to tax is then reduced by reference to private use on what is called a just and reasonable basis. For example, an increase in private use to 25% by the time the car is sold can result in a tax charge on only 75% of the proceeds, rather than the 90% you might have thought.
HMRC provide guidance on this and we will always be ready to get the best tax deal for you in these circumstances.
For further information please contact John Elliott