HMRC and vehicle allowances

We have now clarified the situation with regard to claiming your vehicle expenses. Although the Finance Act of 2013 did not specify that dual control vehicles don’t qualify for claiming mileage, there has been a test case in court which sets the precedent (Bourne v Auto School of Motoring (Norwich) Ltd 42TC217). The judge in the case considered that the vehicles were of a type not commonly used as private vehicles and unsuitable to be used so. So the dual controlled vehicles are excluded from simplified expenses vehicles by Section 94G(2)d Finance Act 2013.
We are informed that anyone currently using the simplified expenses method (ie mileage claims) should continue to do so until the car is changed.
There is a webinar this week on self employed car expenses run by HMRC, on the topic of self employed car expenses. You can get the details here.

Colleagues in Scotland have a new 5 tier framework of restrictions. Driving lessons are specifically mentioned and are permitted until an area goes into the top tier, level 4.

Sadly our Welsh colleagues are prohibited from teaching for 17 days, fingers crossed they can resume on the current date of 9 November. It has caused something of a headache for instructors living on the borders, with students in Wales who have tests booked at English test centres. Let’s hope it doesn’t go on longer than that.

We had an enquiry this week whether a test candidate with special needs and an exemption from wearing a face covering could use a visor, to avoid the problem of having to find a volunteer examiner to conduct the test. The answer from DVSA was:
“Face visors are not supported for DVSA staff as we have concerns about how they would react in a collision or airbag incident. If a candidate arrives wearing one they will be advised of the risks, offered a face covering. If the candidate insists on wearing a face visor, they will not be stopped, the test will go ahead. However, it is compulsory for everyone in the vehicle on test to wear a face covering (subject to exceptions), so they would be required to wear a face covering in addition to the visor.
If they are unable to wear a face covering for a good reason, a face visor is not an acceptable alternative. They should follow the standard procedure for booking and declaring special needs, whereby we will identify a volunteer driving Examiner to take the test without a face covering.”

As always, the best financial advice comes from Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, and he has updated information on the financial situation for self-employed rights and grants. You can access this here.