Should you buy a car through your limited company? Is it better from a tax saving point of view? Or should you just stick to a personal purchase and claim business mileage expenses?
Buying a vehicle personally
Regardless of the method used to purchase the vehicle, the initial cost or finance costs are not tax deductible when you acquire a vehicle personally. Additionally you will not be able to claim tax relief on running costs such as road tax, insurance, fuel and servicing.
You are entitled to claim a tax-free allowance from your company for any qualifying business mileage. The mileage rates below are calculated to include all costs associated with the vehicle, including purchase and running costs.
For a car or van you can charge your company a reimbursement expense of 45p a mile for the first 10,000 business miles that you travel in each tax year and 25p per business mile thereafter. These are the HMRC approved rates and are not subject to Personal Tax. The limited company claims Corporation Tax relief on the amounts reimbursed.
When calculating whether you have exceeded 10,000 business miles, therefore having to use the 25p rate, you need to look at the business mileage done in the 12 months from 6 April to 5 April of each year.
The mileage rate for a motorcycle is 24p per mile for all business miles travelled.
If the limited company pays more than the approved mileage rates as shown above, tax and NI will need to paid on the excess as this will be classed as income. Any excess mileage paid will be shown on the form P11D, with the relevant tax due being calculated on the preparation of your tax return.
Buying a car through your Limited Company
If a loan is taken out to purchase the vehicle or the vehicle is purchased on Hire Purchase, only the interest payments are an allowable company expense. Your company is also able to claim Capital Allowances to gain relief for the cost of the vehicle, which reduce the company’s taxable profit.
The Capital Allowance available for cars is dependent on CO2 emission levels:
|Cars purchased between from 1st April 2018||2022/23|
|FYA for electric cars or if CO2 emissions are 0g/km or lower||100%|
|WDA if CO2 emissions are between 1-50g/km||18%|
|WDA if CO2 Emissions exceed 110g/km||6%|
If the vehicle is leased, so your limited company does not own it, the monthly lease payments can be claimed by your limited company as a business expense. However, there is a flat rate disallowance of 15% of relevant payments and applies only to cars with CO2 emissions above 50g/km. This means 15% of the expense is not allowable for tax purposes. The company will also be able to reclaim 50% of the VAT on the lease payment if registered for VAT.
Your limited company will also pay for the running costs of the vehicle such as insurance and tax. These will be deductible expenses for Corporation Tax.
Regardless of how the vehicle is purchased, the use, or availability to use the vehicle, will create a taxable Benefit in Kind on you as an individual. This is calculated as a percentage of the market list price of the car, based on the CO2 emissions.
The lower the CO2 emissions, the lower the % is applied to the list price. This is why 100% electric company cars has seen a lot of interest due to their zero emissions and minimal taxable benefit for the employee.
The list price is calculated as the market list price of the car when new, not the price you pay for the car, together with any extras added to the car. Some dealers sell new cars for less than the nationally recognised list price so you should be aware of this when making the purchase.
There will be an additional taxable Benefit in Kind if your limited company pays for your private fuel costs.
Your limited company must then pay additional National Insurance on these benefits and a P11D form must be completed. This discloses the car details and the value of the benefit(s). Taxable benefits are treated as income and are therefore included in your total earnings for the tax year.
Ultimately the decision on a company or personal car comes down to the type of car and more importantly, affordability and the deal you are able to achieve on the purchase price.
Buying a van through your Limited Company
Vans are classified as plant and machinery for tax purposes. As such they qualify for 100% allowances under the Annual Investment Allowance regime, and therefore they also qualify for the Super Deduction currently in place. This means you get a deduction for 100% (130%) of the cost to reduce your company’s taxable profits.
The assessable van benefit if it is used regularly for private use is £3,600 in 2022/23 and the relevant fuel benefit is £688 in 2022/23. Where there is an “insignificant” level of private use HMRC acknowledge that there is no benefit arising and these amounts do not apply.
Insignificant private use would be classed as, for example, calling at the dentist on the way home from an assignment. Using a van to do the weekly shopping would not qualify as insignificant private use. If there is an insignificant level of private use clearly there are substantial tax benefits in utilising a company van compared to a vehicle with high CO2 emissions.
MATCH is working hard to keep on top of all the latest news and government support so, as always, feel free to get in touch if you have any queries and we’ll be happy to help.
MATCH Accounting Limited