A recent tax ruling that a Land Rover Discovery provided to an employee for work use should be taxed as a car rather than a van is an “unacceptable” application of benefit-in-kind rules on company cars, according to ICAS tax director Derek Allen.
In a recent ICAS tax podcast Allen highlighted the First Tier Tax Tribunal case Jones v Revenue & Customs  UKFTT 265 that turned on the classification of a Land Rover Discovery as a car rather than a van.
The appeal was brought by a mobile technician working for Jaguar Land Rover, who was supplied with a new Land Rover Discovery 4 2.7 TDV6 GS Auto for work purposes.
The vehicle had been modified to carry engine components and tools as a mobile workshop, but HMRC determined that it was a car available for his private use. Jones was hit with an assessment for roughly £2,600 in income tax.
The rear seats and seat belt fittings were still in, but tool boxes fixed above the seats made them unusable. HMRC argued the vehicle should be treated as a car as the modifications were not permanent, nor substantial enough to have altered its original manufactured construction.
The case also generated interest in AccountingWEB’s company car discussion group. James Mitchell argued that Land Rover lovers could satisfy their motoring urges and HMRC’s criteria for tax relief.
“Rules for the Land Rovers do already exist,” he posted. There is a qualifying commercial Discovery range, and a Utility Pack option is available for 110 models that would allow them to be classed as commercial vehicles.
About Nick Huber
I’m a specialist business journalist and have a particular interest in tax and technology.