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Personalised number plate

Purchased for a van

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Director owns a company van which is used only for business and commuting. If the company purchase a personalised number plate for the van (which has no connection with the name of the company so couldn’t be advertising) , what are the tax implications?

Is it an intangible asset? Tax relief available ? Any BIK, I assume not?

Out of interest how would it work if it was for a company car? 

Replies (21)

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By Accountant A
29th May 2019 01:56

You need to speak to your accountant. It will take them about 30 seconds to look up the answers in the HMRC manuals.

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By Tax Dragon
29th May 2019 06:40

I took the 30 second challenge. Within that time I found EIM24290, which (with related guidance) answers the "out of interest" question. But it doesn't answer the OP.

So I failed the challenge :-(

I'll be looking at some legislation later, I'm more comfortable with that than the manuals. I'm also more confident it's up to date (as I don't rely on gov.uk).

I certainly would not "assume" that there's no BIK. For an advisor, that would be close to negligent.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By johnhemming
29th May 2019 08:01

Do you find
http://www.legislation.gov.uk

Particularly unreliable?

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By johnhemming
29th May 2019 08:01

Do you find
http://www.legislation.gov.uk

Particularly unreliable?

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Replying to johnhemming:
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By Tax Dragon
29th May 2019 08:50

It's hard enough to read consolidated legislation.

When: "Changes to legislation:
There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003. Those changes will be listed when you open the content using the Table of Contents below. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations" is followed by having to work through "changes and effects yet to be applied" (and others) - and you're not 100% sure that all the changes are yet listed anyway - you would be foolhardy to think you had correctly interpreted what was going on.

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Replying to johnhemming:
By Duggimon
29th May 2019 08:55

johnhemming wrote:

Do you find
http://www.legislation.gov.uk

Particularly unreliable?

Yes, frequently. There's bits missing.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Accountant A
29th May 2019 09:55

Tax Dragon wrote:

So I failed the challenge :-(

You need a faster internet connection ....

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By Tax Dragon
29th May 2019 10:51

Ha ha… doing it on a computer after a cup of coffee instead of with a phone when I should have been making a cup of coffee, you're right.

As the answer to my "commuting" question is needed to answer the OP, and as the OP is ignoring me,

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By Tax Dragon
29th May 2019 06:58

OP, to clarify: by "business and commuting", do you mean "business and private"?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
29th May 2019 08:50

The cost of the plate is allowable for income or corporation tax.

Sadly, the rights to using a vanity number on it are relievable only under CGT (or its corporate equivalent) acquisition cost rules.

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By Adam12345
29th May 2019 13:14

Director owns the van...

The number plate is going on the van and is available for private use so subject to some exception, BiK will be on point.

The cost of a private number plate is dealt with under the intangible asset rules.

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By SA2016
29th May 2019 19:15

Really sorry for the delay.

I meant the company owns a van which is used for business purposes only so no BIK

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Replying to SA2016:
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By Tax Dragon
30th May 2019 09:19

SA2016 wrote:

...so no BIK

Except on the number plate, since the exclusion (see Adam12345's comment) in s239(4) won't apply.

Turns out I did get the relevant manual page inside my original 30 seconds, even on a phone and even with sleep in my eyes, as it's the same rules for vans as it is for cars. See also bottom of EIM22710.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Vile Nortin Naipaan
30th May 2019 09:50

I agree that s 239(4) does not apply, as the van is not a "taxable" van, on the facts given.

However, you have not finished. You need to then visit Chapter 10 of Part 3. And I disagree with Adam12345. What private USE is there? How is this number plate being USED privately?

He gets to drive a van for work that has a number plate with some personal value, but is that really private USE?

It is no longer the case that the asset must simply be made available. It must be USED privately.

Unless he's eating his morning cornflakes with it, I fail to see how it is being USED privately.

If you cite s 316(3)(b), by the way, I will become agitated.

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Replying to Vile Nortin Naipaan:
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By Tax Dragon
30th May 2019 10:13

I would not want to see you agitated. So I'll steer clear of s316. I don't see its relevance anyway, since I'm not sure that "bragging rights" (or whatever it is that the number plate gives... don't ask me, I've never personalised mine) could be described as accommodation, supplies or services.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Vile Nortin Naipaan
30th May 2019 10:15

Actually, I don't (necessarily) agree that s 239(4) does not apply.

If the van is used for commuting (I accept that the OP has come back and said it isn't when they initially indicated that it wasn't), and meets the restricted private use condition ins s 155(4) et seq, then it is a taxable van (but the benefit is nil), and s 239(4) will apply.

Duck alignment exercise, I think.

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Replying to Vile Nortin Naipaan:
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By Tax Dragon
30th May 2019 10:25

It'd have to be a helluvan insignificant commute (if "helluvan insignificant" is not an oxymoron). One where you could, like, leave the van at work and walk home if you wanted to.

I'll have to revisit some sections to catch up with your logic on this one though. It's certainly interesting.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Vile Nortin Naipaan
30th May 2019 10:49

I think if you read s 155(4) et seq properly, you'll realise that it doesn't matter how long the commute is, as long as it is just a commute.

Actually, I think you're replying to my first point.

Whilst the registration number has to "be there", and the number pates themselves have to be affixed to the vehicle, my point was whatever is being done with the van, the number cant't be said to be being USED at all. It is there, but nothing is being done with it. If there is no USE at all, then ther can be no private USE.

It seems prudent though to get the van within s 155(4), so that s 239(4) then applies if there is any benefit.

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Replying to Vile Nortin Naipaan:
By SteLacca
30th May 2019 10:55

But the number plate is USED. It's used to specifically identify the vehicle, it's used to comply with the law. Simply because the use is passive does not mean it isn't being used.

EDIT: I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your end analysis, but simply this specific observation.

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Replying to SteLacca:
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By Tax Dragon
30th May 2019 11:15

SteLacca wrote:

But the number plate is USED.

For s316 to be relevant, use is essential. That's ss1.

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Replying to Vile Nortin Naipaan:
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By Tax Dragon
30th May 2019 10:58

I have done so. I also read Ss155(1A), 154(1) and 239(6) and have caught up with your logic.

Always a pleasure, doing that.

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