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What is the VAT fuel scale charge? What alternatives are to the VAT fuel scale charge? Does the VAT fuel scale charge apply to vans?

If a business recovers VAT on road fuel, it will have to account for output VAT when a vehicle is put to private use.

The VAT fuel scale charge
To simplify accounting for VAT on private use of fuel by car drivers, a business can choose to apply the VAT fuel scale charge: This adds back a fixed sum, per VAT period, to account for private consumption of fuel.

The scale charge is calculated according to a car's CO2 emissions and the fixed charge is added to output VAT, on the VAT return.

One scale charge must be used for each car that is put to private use.

The European Commission has recently confirmed that the UK can Continue to use the fuel scale charge until at least 31 December 2020.

Alternatives to the VAT fuel scale charge
It may not be worth paying the VAT fuel scale charge, particularly if private mileage is very low. The alternatives are as follows:

Tax traps: Mileage payments

If you want to recover output VAT based on mileage payments made to employees, you must still ensure that employees submit fuel VAT receipts, proving that they have incurred costs and VAT on fuel. Without fuel receipts, HMRC may deny the VAT recovery on mileage reimbursements.

If you reimburse mileage at 45p and 25p, where employees use their own car, you cannot recover VAT on 45p/25p as this is supposed to represent the full cost of using the car: Including depreciation, fuel, insurance etc.

Instead you would only be able to recover VAT on the fuel element, using the advisory fuel rates or calculating your own fuel mileage rate, which would be subject to HMRC scrutiny.

Vans and commercial vehicles
It is assumed that the drivers of most commercial vehicles undertake little or no private mileage. If there is a significant level of private mileage VAT claims should be adjusted to exclude VAT on this. The fuel scale charge can only be used for cars.

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme

If a business is using the VAT Flat Rate Scheme no VAT is claimed back on fuel and no scale charge is required, as input VAT is automatically adjusted using the flat rate percentage.

Annual VAT scale charge rates

Accounting periods beginning on or after:

1 May 2019

CO2 emissions figure

12 month VAT period

3 month VAT period

1 month VAT period

120 or less

£592

£147

£49

125

£886

£222

£73

130

£947

£236

£78

135

£1,004

£250

£83

140

£1,066

£265

£88

145

£1,123

£280

£93

150

£1,125

£295

£98

155

£1,241

£310

£103

160

£1,303

£325

£107

165

£1,360

£340

£113

170

£1,421

£354

£117

175

£1,478

£369

£122

180

£1,540

£384

£128

185

£1,597

£399

£132

190

£1,658

£414

£137

195

£1715

£429

£143

200

£1,777

£444

£147

205

£1,834

£458

£152

210

£1,895

£473

£157

215

£1,952

£487

£162

220

£2,014

£502

£167

225 or more

£2,071

£517

£172

 

1 May 2018 as table

CO2 emissions figure 12 month VAT period 3 month VAT period 1 month VAT period

120 or less

£562 £140 £46

125

£842 £210 £70

130

£900 £224 £74

135

£954 £238 £79

140

£1,013 £252 £84

145

£1,067 £266 £88

150

£1,125 £280 £93

155

£1,179 £295 £98

160

£1,238 £309 £102

165

£1,292 £323 £107

170

£1,350 £336 £111

175

£1,404 £351 £116

180

£1,463 £365 £121

185

£1,517 £379 £125

190

£1,575 £393 £130

195

£1,630 £407 £135

200

£1,688 £421 £140

205

£1,742 £436 £145

210

£1,801 £449 £149

215

£1,855 £463 £154

220

£1,913 £477 £159

225 or more

£1,967 £491 £163

 

1 May 2017 as table

CO2 emissions figure 12 month VAT period 3 month VAT period 1 month VAT period

120 or less

£563 £140 £46

125

£842 £211 £70

130

£901 £224 £74

135

£955 £238 £79

140

£1,013 £252 £84

145

£1,068 £267 £88

150

£1,126 £281 £93

155

£1,180 £295 £98

160

£1,239 £309 £102

165

£1,293 £323 £107

170

£1,351 £337 £111

175

£1,405 £351 £116

180

£1,464 £365 £121

185

£1,518 £379 £125

190

£1,577 £393 £131

195

£1,631 £408 £136

200

£1,689 £422 £140

205

£1,743 £436 £145

210

£1,802 £449 £149

215

£1,856 £463 £154

220

£1,914 £478 £159

225 or more

£1,969 £492 £163

 

1 May 2016 as table

CO2 emissions figure 12 month VAT period 3 month VAT period 1 month VAT period

120 or less

£467 £116 £38

125

£699 £175 £58

130

£747 £186 £61

135

£792 £197 £65

140

£841 £209 £69

145

£886 £221 £73

150

£934 £233 £77

155

£979 £245 £81

160

£1,028 £256 £85

165

£1,073 £268 £89

170

£1,121 £279 £92

175

£1,166 £291 £96

180

£1,214 £303 £101

185

£1,259 £314 £104

190

£1,308 £326 £108

195

£1,353 £338 £112

200

£1,401 £350 £116

205

£1,446 £362 £120

210

£1,495 £373 £123

215

£1,540 £384 £128

220

£1,588 £396 £132

225 or more

£1,633 £408 £135

 

1 May 2015 as table:

CO2 emissions figure

12 month VAT period

3 month VAT period

1 month VAT period

120 or less

£536

£133

£44

125

£802

£200

£66

130

£857

£213

£70

135

£909

£227

£75

140

£965

£240

£80

145

£1,016

£254

£84

150

£1,072

£267

£88

155

£1,123

£281

£93

160

£1,179

£294

£97

165

£1,231

£308

£102

170

£1,286

£320

£106

175

£1,338

£334

£111

180

£1,393

£347

£115

185

£1,445

£361

£119

190

£1,501

£374

£124

195

£1,552

£388

£129

200

£1,608

£401

£133

205

£1,660

£415

£138

210

£1,715

£428

£142

215

£1,767

£441

£146

220

£1,822

£455

£151

225 or more

£1,874

£468

£155

 

Links to earlier years:

1 May 2014

1 May 2013

1 May 2012

1 December 2008 to 30 April 2012