Tribunal case – Pool cars
The First-tier Tribunal heard an appeal from a taxpayer against closure notices and revenue assessments regarding tax on car and fuel benefits for a Porsche 911. The taxpayer in this case was an employee (and for periods a shareholder and director) of the company in question, as was his wife. The company has since ceased trading.
The taxpayer argued that he was not liable to tax on car and fuel benefits because the vehicle was at all material times a pool car within the meaning of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. HMRC argued that the taxpayer had not established that this was the case.
The facts of this case make interesting reading. When the car was not in use it was kept on company premises, initially under a tarpaulin, and later in a locked steel container. The car was, according to the taxpayer, made available to more than one employee. However, the car was rarely used and it was only used for business purposes. The Tribunal countered that the evidence was vague and did not establish conclusively that the vehicle was not available for private purposes.
The taxpayer was able to satisfy many of the conditions necessary for the car to qualify as a pool car including the important condition that a pool car should not normally be kept overnight on or in the vicinity of residential premises of the employees. However, the taxpayer was ultimately unable to convince the Tribunal that all the necessary conditions were met. The case serves as in interesting reminder of the importance of holding proper evidence to be able to prove that a pool car meets all the necessary conditions. The taxpayer’s appeal was dismissed.