PRESS RELEASE: ACTIVA Contracts Enhances Industry- Leading 'TAX Guide For Fleets' With critical Cash Or Car Calculator

Activa Contracts has enhanced its industry-leading ‘Tax Guide for Fleets’ app to include the ability for users to calculate if a cash alternative offered by their employer will increase their tax bill.

The ‘Tax Guide for Fleets 2017/2018’ - a data-driven tax calculator enabling users to calculate their monthly tax bill on a specific company car - has been enhanced to reflect all the spring Budget tax announcements including reforms to car salary sacrifice and car or cash allowance tax rules.

Developed in partnership with leading automotive industry consultancy and tax experts BCF Wessex, the app provides up to the minute details of every aspect of corporate and personal tax relating to company cars enabling users to ‘dip in and out’ when necessary to check specific factors.

What’s more, unlike paper-based data sources, it will never be out of date, as any tax changes are incorporated within hours of being announced. That means following the June 8 general election and any subsequent ‘emergency Budget’ as well as following this year’s November Budget all information will be updated almost immediately.

Furthermore, the ‘Tax Guide for Fleets 2017/2018’ app supplements Activa Contracts’ recently launched web-based company car or cash allowance calculator. The simple to use, highly visual and quick to calculate ‘business car toolkit’ was also developed in partnership with BCF Wessex and builds on its award-winning business car software, Gensen.

The new car salary sacrifice and car or cash allowance rules, known as Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA), essentially mean employees opting for a salary sacrifice arrangement or taking a company car in lieu of a cash alternative will pay tax on the higher of the existing company car benefit value and the salary sacrificed or cash allowance given up. However, car arrangements in place before April 6, 2017 are protected until April 2021 and ultra-low emission vehicles - currently those with CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less - are exempt from the regulation.

Additionally, Activa Contracts continues to hold client benefit roadshows during which the tax-efficient benefits of company cars and specifically ultra-low emission vehicles are highlighted and salary sacrifice and cash or car allowances are a major discussion topic.

Activa Contracts’ sales and marketing director Lisa Temperton said: “Employees driving their own cars on business trips continue to prove to be an administrative and compliance burden for many employers. We believe a company car remains exceptional value for money for both employers and employees and limits organisations’ risk exposure. Our enhanced app is a key tool in proving the case and helping employees make the cash or car decision with all the critical information at their fingertips. It further adds to Activa Contracts’ industry-leading position as provider of a range of tools to enable clients to make fully-informed decisions.”

Not only does the ‘Tax Guide for Fleets’ use an extensive database of around 9,000 vehicles identifying cars by make/model/fuel type/transmission - it critically incorporates the new OpRA calculation enabling users to find out if the cash alternative offered by their employer would increase their tax burden.

BCF Wessex director Jeff Whitcombe said: “A huge number of company car drivers are offered a cash allowance as an alternative to a company car. The new way that benefit-in-kind tax is calculated may give them a financial headache if they don’t consider the effect cash alternatives now have on the cash or car decision. We believe we are the first to introduce this particular functionality to a benefit-in-kind tax calculator.”

As well as the benefit-in-kind tax calculator, the updated ‘Tax Guide for Fleets 2017/2018’ tool includes:

  • All tax relevant tables including income tax rates/personal allowances, National Insurance rates/thresholds, corporate tax rates, capital allowances/lease rental restriction information, car and van benefit-in-kind tax rates, car and van fuel benefit charge rates, information on plug-in car and van grants, Approved Mileage Allowance Payment rates and Advisory Fuel Rates, Vehicle Excise Duty rates and VAT information including VAT on private fuel rates.
  • A summary of the 2017 spring Budget as it impacts on the fleet industry and company car and van drivers.
  • A glossary of terms used when discussing company cars and vans.

Ms Temperton said: “All Activa Contracts’ customers have been able to access the ‘Tax Guide for Fleets’ app for a couple of years, but the new edition reflects the far-reaching changes to tax rules relating to car salary sacrifice and car or cash allowances. The enhanced app puts all tax-related company car information at users’ fingertips.

“Activa Contracts prides itself on offering professional fleet policy advice using sophisticated financial modelling software that takes account of current and future tax legislation. The app ensures that all our customers - fleet decision-makers and company car drivers - can access the very latest tax information on the move.”

Activa Contracts’ ‘Tax Guide for Fleets 2017/2018’ app is accessible from any smartphone via the web link - http://activafleettax.co.uk/