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There are strong rumours that HMRC are planning a benefit in kind tax for high-end light commercial vehicles with car like specifications. In saying this HM Treasury has not broken its silence on the matter.

Such specifications rumoured to be mentioned, are Air conditioning, Leather Seats, DAB radio and Sat Nav as a few examples. We have already seen standard van specification become more comprehensive over the last few years. Although yet to be confirmed it is said the government is considering such a measure in order to generate revenue from the businesses and drivers operating such vehicles.

One LCV manufacturer that wished to remain anonymous has admitted that the issue was on the ‘Industry’s radar’. Again HMRC have failed to confirm.

Some industry officials believe that the introduction could result in the aftermarket conversion market going ‘underground’ fitting luxury equipment to vehicles after the initial sale in order to avoid the tax.

There may also be a knock on effect on residual values of LCV’s forcing manufacturers to resort to selling basic model vans. The majority of LCV customers spend a great time in their vehicles and have recently become accustom to the high specifications currently on offer.

This asks the question whether HMRC will increase revenue as expected or is it losing out on the opportunity because it is pushing new vehicle prices down?

All are still rumours but within the industry there is a strong feeling that this is the route that will be taken in the near future.
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