Fleet software management company Jaama has now incorporated a fuel benefit and mileage reimbursement calculator within its third generation Electronic Driver Services (EDS) module.
EDS is a risk management tool and a driver information portal within Jaama’s Key2 Vehicle Management system.
Statistics from HM Revenue and Customs reveal that in 2007-08 - the most recent year for which official figures are available - a total of 340,000 company car drivers continued to pay benefit-in-kind tax on fuel used privately and paid for by their employer.
The number of drivers continuing to receive the benefit has reduced in recent years - it was 490,000 employees in 2003-04 and the taxman estimates that the total will have dropped to 310,000 when it publishes data for 2008-09.
Over the last decade employees in receipt of company-funded fuel used privately have seen the tax burden rise. The fuel benefit charge multiplier in the current financial year is £18,800 and the tax bill has also risen as company car benefit-in-kind tax thresholds have tightened.
Jaama’s EDS module enables drivers to make company car mileage returns online. Based on the private mileage element of their returns and the price of fuel, the technology also enables drivers to calculate whether they would be financially better off opting out of the so-called ‘free’ fuel benefit.
Jaama managing director Jason Francis said: “Given the advice over many years from financial experts it remains a mystery why so many drivers continue to receive ‘free’ fuel.
“Our EDS module enables drivers to calculate exactly how much tax they are paying and how much fuel they are using privately. The system then gives employees the option of opting out of the scheme and reimbursing their employer for fuel used privately.
“It is likely in most cases that drivers will be able to save cash and their employers will save money in relation to the cost of fuel, National Insurance paid on benefits-in-kind and the VAT scale charge if the benefit was withdrawn.”