Taxation Changes for Emergency Vehicles

Taxation Changes for Emergency Vehicles

We are very sorry, but the Emergency Vehicles Seminar due to take place on Friday 15 November 2019 at South Yorkshire Fire Training Centre has been postponed due to the recent flooding.  This Seminar will be rescheduled and we will be advising of the new date as soon as we are able.

Are you ready for the changes in April 2020?

There will be a major change to the way emergency vehicles are taxed from April 2020.  The changes could lead to officers paying significantly more tax on the private use of their vehicles. The changes need to be understood and communicated urgently to the affected officers.  These Seminars will prepare delegates for the changes and help them ensure a smooth transition to the new rules.

The Seminars will also cover the VAT treatment of emergency service vehicles, where the concept of private use is often different, leading to potentially significant liabilities. 


You will recall the problems encountered in 2017/18 following the introduction of new rules for taxing ‘assets’, ie emergency vehicles, made available for private use. 

When these tax increases were first communicated in 2017, they caused an uproar in many emergency service organisations with some officers even returning the keys of their vehicles. 

At the time PSTAX represented over 25 Emergency Services in discussions with HMRC. These led to the introduction, in April 2018, of transitional rules covering 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.

 Although HMRC had originally stated that consultation would precede any subsequent change, we know now that the transitional rules will make way for the actual legislative position with effect from April 2020.

That means that the April 2017 rules will apply to emergency vehicles from April 2020. 

The changes will create a significant increase in officers’ taxable benefits from April 2020. The changes need to be communicated urgently to officers to give them time to review their options and prepare.  

To help emergency service organisations prepare for the changes, the PSTAX Seminars will explain the changes and how they will affect officers provided with emergency vehicles.

The Seminar will also cover the VAT treatment of emergency service vehicles and where the risks of liabilities can arise.

Seminar Programme

09.15 to 09.45  Registration (with refreshments)

09.45 to 09.50  Introductions

09.50 to 10.20  Explanation of the new legislation on the ‘use of assets’ taking effect from April 2020

10.20 to 11.00  New concept of ‘unavailable days’
·       How might this affect the calculation of the benefit
·       Comprehensive record-keeping justifying ‘unavailable days’

11.00 to 11.40 Revisions to the emergency vehicles exemption under S248A and the potential for officers to be offered a switch to exempt use on or before April 2020; and Principal Officers and the emergency vehicle exemption
·       HMRC acceptance of 24/7 on call requirements

11.40 to 12.00   Cash option to FDOs or POs – does the current policy on use of cars correctly reflect OpRA ‘Optional Remuneration Arrangements’ rules?

12.00 to 12.45  VAT recovery position for cars/assets used by Chief              Officers and across the Force

12.45 to 13.15   Questions and one to ones with PSTAX Consultants

13.15   Lunch

South Yorkshire Fire Training College, Beaver Hill Road, Handsworth, Sheffield, S13 9QA – 15 November

RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7PY – 20 November

West Midlands Police, HQ Lloyd House, Colmore Row, Birmingham, B4 6AT – 27 November

Mid Devon District Council, Phoenix House, Phoenix Lane, Devon, EX16 6PP – 4 December 

To book a place please contact quoting your purchase order number.  The cost for each delegate is £200 plus VAT (with a 10% discount offered for three or more places).