Leigh said: 'We were not happy with the tax office's stance and thought it was a tax on safety. We are therefore pleased at the Inland Revenue's confirmation that driver training should not be taxed. The decision is a sensible one.' The Inland Revenue says legislation introduced at section 63 of the 1997 Finance Act exempts employees from being taxed on the benefit-in-kind of genuine work-related training.
The taxing of driver training has been a controversial issue with the Inland Revenue first trying to tax it as a benefit-in-kind seven years ago. It approached Hewlett Packard and threatened to impose a charge on any company drivers not covering at least 18,000 business miles annually. Three years later safety-conscious fleets were targeted again by the Inland Revenue when a company told Fleet NewsNet how staff sent on RoSPA driver training courses had been asked to pay benefit-in-kind tax by its local tax office.