When is a van not a van?

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Most people know there is a tax charge (benefit in kind) if your company or employer provide you with a vehicle which you can use for private use.  The amount of tax is a lot less for vans than for cars.  A van is a vehicle where its primary construction is for the conveyance of goods or burden (ITEPA 2003 S.115).  By concession HMRC will treat double cab pickups (including both uncovered and covered models) with payload capacity exceeding one tonne as a van.

However in a recent tax case (Noel Payne vs HMRC) a judgment was reached that the primary construction of a VW Transporter Kombi van was not for the conveyance of goods alone but rather that its purpose was for the conveyance of both goods and people equally. This means that the Kombi did not meet the requirement to be considered to be a van and therefore for benefit in kind purposes it is a car.

As with all of our tax tips and web pages this information is necessarily summarised and of a general nature.  If you would like detailed specific advice please contact us.