Disabled company car driversFriday, February 25th, 2011
The income tax legislation provides a number of tax exemptions for benefits provided to disabled employees. These include:
- calculating the taxable value of a car with automatic transmission, which is provided for personal use as if it were a manual transmission car, in respect of its list price and its CO2 emissions figure, and
- accessories attached to a company car to enable a disabled person to use it.
One of the conditions for being treated as a “disabled employee” in respect of these two provisions is that the employee hold a “disabled person’s badge”. This expression refers to the Blue Badge scheme which allows the holder to park the car where it is otherwise not permitted.
Three sets of changes to Blue Badge schemes have been announced during February, relating to the schemes that operate in England, Wales and Scotland. The Blue Badge scheme rules differ in each country of the UK and are administered by local authorities. Links to the four national websites are provided below.
In Scotland, following a period of consultation during 2010, amendment Regulations have been made that include the following changes from 1 April 2011:
- Individuals with a severe congenital impairment in both arms and who have considerable difficulty in operating a parking meter are able to apply for a badge. The “congenital” requirement is removed in order to include those who have acquired the impairment.
- All individuals with limited mobility, irrespective of age or whether the disability is temporary, will have to be at least “virtually unable to walk”.
In Wales, similar changes to those in Scotland have been announced for urgent introduction.
In England, in order to reduce the fraudulent use of Blue Badges,
- the maximum fee a local authority can charge for a Blue Badge will increase from £2 to £10, and
- handwritten Blue Badges will be replaced with standard electronic ones which are harder to alter and forge.