In Broadsteady Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT TC04886 vehicles used by sales reps did not give rise to a VAT fuel scale charge liability as private use was incidental. 

The taxpayer company owned two cars used by its two sales reps for work purposes and provided all fuel.

Up to April 2012:

  • The sales reps worked in the company’s offices and the cars were kept there.
  • They used either car as needed.
  • A couple of times a year, when they had a late appointment, the sales reps would take a car home for safety reasons.

After April 2012:

  • The sales reps worked from home.
  • The vehicles were kept at their homes
  • They were used to travel to the company’s offices as well as customers.

The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) rejected HMRC’s submission that if there was any private mileage then there was a requirement to account for output tax by reference to the fuel scale charge.

In reviewing the legislation it decided that it was only if cars were allocated to an individual that the fuel scale charge would apply. Further, a vehicle is not to be regarded as allocated if any private use is merely incidental.

The FTT found that:

  • Up to April 2012 any private mileage was incidental.
  • Post April 2012 although the vehicles were allocated to the sales reps, any travel between home and the company’s offices was not private use.
  • There was no private use and no fuel scale charge was due.


Cases on fuel scale charges are rare, presumably as the legislation is fairly clear cut. 

In this case HMRC’s arguments on private usage failed.  In particular, it was confirmed that home to office journeys do not constitute private mileage for homeworkers. 


Our subscriber guide: Fuel Scale Charges (VAT)

Case reference: Broadsteady Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT TC04886