HB and Van provided by Co


F

Fred

I am a director of a Ltd Co and have a Van which I may also use for private
use. Recently during a meeting with a HB officer a question about personal
transport arose where I volunteered that I had a company van which was
available for private use.

They are now asking for details of this vehicle together with costs of
insurance MOT fuel and maintenance etc.

Can anyone give an indication of whether they can ask for this info and
whether they will use it to reduce benefits?

It's an old van and even the Inland Revenue only tax it on £350 per year.
 
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R

Robbie

From: "Fred" (e-mail address removed)0m
Date: 15/06/04 13:20 GMT Daylight Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>

I am a director of a Ltd Co and have a Van which I may also use for private
use. Recently during a meeting with a HB officer a question about personal
transport arose where I volunteered that I had a company van which was
available for private use.

They are now asking for details of this vehicle together with costs of
insurance MOT fuel and maintenance etc.

Can anyone give an indication of whether they can ask for this info and
whether they will use it to reduce benefits?

It's an old van and even the Inland Revenue only tax it on £350 per year.
At a guess, I assume they are looking at this as being "benefit in kind" ie the
same as if your employer gave you luncheon vouchers or supplied you with a bus
pass to use during working hours but which you could then use to get to and
from work, or to generally travel around outside of working hours etc. It
sounds a bit harsh though, but the best person to answer this is a poster
called anthonyberet as he's a HB officer.

Robbie
 
F

Fred

Robbie said:
At a guess, I assume they are looking at this as being "benefit in kind" ie the
same as if your employer gave you luncheon vouchers or supplied you with a bus
pass to use during working hours but which you could then use to get to and
from work, or to generally travel around outside of working hours etc. It
sounds a bit harsh though, but the best person to answer this is a poster
called anthonyberet as he's a HB officer.

Robbie
Anthony has replied and given me invaluable information in the past. I
wasn't aware of benefits in kind being taken into account in this manner.
Sometimes with all the grief the LA give it'd be so much easier on Income
Support.
 
R

Robbie

From: "Fred" (e-mail address removed)0m
Date: 15/06/04 15:30 GMT Daylight Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>




Anthony has replied and given me invaluable information in the past. I
wasn't aware of benefits in kind being taken into account in this manner.
Sometimes with all the grief the LA give it'd be so much easier on Income
Support.
to be honest, I've never heard of either HB or IS asking the sort of questions
you are being asked. It sounds strange and a bit worrying too.

Just a guess here - how many hours per week do you work? I'm wondering if
you're working part-time job hours and they are suspicious about you having
access to a motor 24 hours a day (ie they think you could be working more hours
than you are declaring)?

Robbie
 
F

Fred

Robbie said:
to be honest, I've never heard of either HB or IS asking the sort of questions
you are being asked. It sounds strange and a bit worrying too.

Just a guess here - how many hours per week do you work? I'm wondering if
you're working part-time job hours and they are suspicious about you having
access to a motor 24 hours a day (ie they think you could be working more hours
than you are declaring)?

Robbie
I'm currently employed full time so hours per week shouldn't matter. I'm
essentially relying upon Tax Credits for income since I have a young son
living with me. Essentially the LA think I'm pulling a fast one but I'm not
taking any money out of the business until the company has paid back it's
loans, hence my claim for Tax Credits. The only perks are a company van and
a mobile phone, both I feel are essential to my work. It's been going for
nearly a year but still hasn't paid back all the start-up costs.
 
X

x x

Robbie said:
to be honest, I've never heard of either HB or IS asking the sort of questions
you are being asked. It sounds strange and a bit worrying too.

Just a guess here - how many hours per week do you work? I'm wondering if
you're working part-time job hours and they are suspicious about you having
access to a motor 24 hours a day (ie they think you could be working more hours
than you are declaring)?
The tax office tend to be interested in vehicles that are part business use
and part private use.

Maybe they are interested in whether the company is paying for your private
use, or whether you pay the company for the right to use it.

Martin <><
 
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R

Robbie

From: "Fred" (e-mail address removed)0m
Date: 15/06/04 16:49 GMT Daylight Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>




I'm currently employed full time so hours per week shouldn't matter. I'm
essentially relying upon Tax Credits for income since I have a young son
living with me. Essentially the LA think I'm pulling a fast one but I'm not
taking any money out of the business until the company has paid back it's
loans, hence my claim for Tax Credits. The only perks are a company van and
a mobile phone, both I feel are essential to my work. It's been going for
nearly a year but still hasn't paid back all the start-up costs.
Is the business your own? I think I can see where they're coming from if this
is the case...

Robbie
 
X

x x

Robbie said:
Is the business your own? I think I can see where they're coming from if this
is the case...

Director of Ltd company? They tend to be classed as employed by the company,
which is a seperate legal body.

The use of van and mobile may be essential for the business - while working.
But when you finish work for the day they can be classed as payment in kind,
if you get use out of them and the business pays the bills.
Certainly can be treated that way by tax office - whether HB treats it same
way is the question.

Martin <><
 
R

Robbie

From: "x x" (e-mail address removed)
Date: 15/06/04 18:30 GMT Daylight Time



Director of Ltd company? They tend to be classed as employed by the company,
which is a seperate legal body.

The use of van and mobile may be essential for the business - while working.
But when you finish work for the day they can be classed as payment in kind,
if you get use out of them and the business pays the bills.
Certainly can be treated that way by tax office - whether HB treats it same
way is the question.

Martin <><
I was thinking more along the lines of the HB office doing an assessment of his
income and deciding whether to class the costs involved in the running of the
van as being a legitimate business expense to write off against any income he
may be making from the business.

Robbie
 
F

Fred

Robbie said:
I was thinking more along the lines of the HB office doing an assessment of his
income and deciding whether to class the costs involved in the running of the
van as being a legitimate business expense to write off against any income he
may be making from the business.

Robbie
It's not my business. I am an employee (company director) and I won't get
any remuneration until the company is in the black apart from expenses. I
don't own any shares in this company.
 
X

x x

You are working for a company without shares and without pay, thats not even
your company? (minimum wage doesn't apply I presume).

You are a braver man than I.

Martin <><
 
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F

Fred

Not really. I work in design and it's agreed I own the designs irrespective
of whatever the company does. I think they're quite brave! Essentially as
with many walks of life it takes a team to make things work. Those who have
put up the capital have the shares.
 
A

anthonyberet

In Usenet post: [email protected],
x x went on and on and on:
The tax office tend to be interested in vehicles that are part
business use and part private use.
- But the HB office wont be asking about this on behalf of the taxman.
 
A

anthonyberet

In Usenet post: [email protected],
Fred went on and on and on:
I am a director of a Ltd Co and have a Van which I may also use for
private use. Recently during a meeting with a HB officer a question
about personal transport arose where I volunteered that I had a
company van which was available for private use.

They are now asking for details of this vehicle together with costs of
insurance MOT fuel and maintenance etc.

Can anyone give an indication of whether they can ask for this info
and whether they will use it to reduce benefits?
The most likely explanation to my mind is that they want the info in order
to reduce your income and *increase* your benefit.

This however would be wrong, as business expenses should be offset for the
self-employed, but not directors of companies, who are employees.

It isn't such a leap to imagine that the officer in question does not
realise this though and is treating you as self-employed. - it might be
worth pointing them to:


Another possible (though to my mind unlikely) interpretation is that they
are not keen to assess you as having no income, and would prefer to treat
this 'perk' as an income.
This would be unusual, and such income is not specified in the HB regs as
having to be taken into account. -Although it might be considered to be
'earnings'.
http://www.hbinfo.org/menu2/pchbregs/025.shtml

http://www.hbinfo.org/menu2/pchbregs/030.shtml

If they do indeed do this, it would be worth appealing.

- However, I cannot say offhand for certain that there has never been a
commisioner's decision or judicial review says it is ok to count this as
income.

HB officers are uneasy about assessing anyone as on nil income for long - it
doesn't audit well and it begs the question of how you pay for your lager.

On the brighter side - the income they calculate from this is likely to be
low, and if below your 'personal allowance' of £55.65 per week (for a single
person aged 25-60), it will not reduce your benefit one iota.

Maybe you should call the officer in question and ask them?
- Let this group know what you find out.
 
D

Donald McCaskey

Robbie said:
to be honest, I've never heard of either HB or IS asking the sort of questions
you are being asked. It sounds strange and a bit worrying too.
I could see these questions being asked in relation to any expenses you
receive on top of your wage but not for payments in kind themselves (which
are disregarded for I.S. / JSA purposes).

Do you receive any expenses on top of your wages? For instance does your
employer give you, say, £20 to put fuel in the van? If so, and half of that
fuel is used for your own private use, I could see £10 expenses being
attributed as income.

Other than that, though...

Don
 
D

Donald McCaskey

Fred said:
Not really. I work in design and it's agreed I own the designs irrespective
of whatever the company does. I think they're quite brave! Essentially as
with many walks of life it takes a team to make things work. Those who have
put up the capital have the shares.
Yet you expect the state to keep you until this company is in a position to
pay you? Minimum wage would apply in this situation and I wouldn't be
surprised if a notional income assessment was done and you ended up with no,
or very little, housing benefit.

After all, you are working for a company and it's up to them, not the state,
to pay you.

Don
 
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F

Fred

Donald McCaskey said:
Yet you expect the state to keep you until this company is in a position to
pay you? Minimum wage would apply in this situation and I wouldn't be
surprised if a notional income assessment was done and you ended up with no,
or very little, housing benefit.

After all, you are working for a company and it's up to them, not the state,
to pay you.

Don
--
You are entitled to your opinion but at least I am trying to get out and do
something. The alternative is Income Support. This is the best offer I can
find which has a future. Most lone parents I know sit at home all day
watching Sky etc. I ask for temporary support and that's all. When I'm on
my feet then no doubt I'll be contributing to help those who aren't working
and feel sore like you!

The minimum wage doesn't apply to all and that included directors. If the
company doesn't have any money, then it is my fiduciary duty not to take any
drawings from the company.

If what you suggest about notional income ends up being true I would have no
choice and resign my directorship and go back on income support.
 
A

anthonyberet

Fred said:
I am a director of a Ltd Co and have a Van which I may also use for private
use. Recently during a meeting with a HB officer a question about personal
transport arose where I volunteered that I had a company van which was
available for private use.

They are now asking for details of this vehicle together with costs of
insurance MOT fuel and maintenance etc.

Can anyone give an indication of whether they can ask for this info and
whether they will use it to reduce benefits?
Sorry if this appears twice, my server is playing up tonight...


The most likely explanation to my mind is that they want the info in order
to reduce your income and increase your benefit.

This however would be wrong, as business expenses should be offset for the
self-employed, but not directors of companies, who are employees.

It isn't such a leap to imagine that the officer in question does not
realise this though and is treating you as self-employed. - it might be
worth reminding them that you are a director of a Ltd company.

Another possible (though to my mind unlikely) interpretation is that they
are not keen to assess you as having no income, and would prefer to treat
this 'perk' as an income.
This would be unusual, and such income is not specified in the HB regs as
having to be taken into account. -Although it might be considered to be
'earnings'.
http://www.hbinfo.org/menu2/pchbregs/025.shtml

http://www.hbinfo.org/menu2/pchbregs/030.shtml

If they do indeed do this, it would be worth appealing.

- However, I cannot say offhand for certain that there has never been a
commisioner's decision or judicial review says it is ok to count this as
income.

HB officers are uneasy about assessing anyone as on nil income for long - it
doesn't audit well and it begs the question of how you pay for your lager.

On the brighter side - the income they calculate from this is likely to be
low, and if below your 'personal allowance' of £55.65 per week (for a single
person aged 25-60), it will not reduce your benefit one iota.

Maybe you should call the officer in question and ask them?
- Let this group know what you find out.
 
A

anthonyberet

In Usenet post: [email protected],
Fred went on and on and on:
You are entitled to your opinion but at least I am trying to get out
and do something. The alternative is Income Support. This is the
best offer I can find which has a future. Most lone parents I know
sit at home all day watching Sky etc. I ask for temporary support
and that's all. When I'm on my feet then no doubt I'll be
contributing to help those who aren't working and feel sore like you!

The minimum wage doesn't apply to all and that included directors.
If the company doesn't have any money, then it is my fiduciary duty
not to take any drawings from the company.

If what you suggest about notional income ends up being true I would
have no choice and resign my directorship and go back on income
support.
It would certianly be worth appealing against sucha decision.
However, what money are you actually using to live on at the moment?
- How long is this situation expected to last?
 
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F

Fred

anthonyberet said:
In Usenet post: [email protected],
Fred went on and on and on:

It would certianly be worth appealing against sucha decision.
However, what money are you actually using to live on at the moment?
- How long is this situation expected to last?
My income is a small part time job (in addition to this main employment) and
Working Tax Credits. I live rather frugally and don't have the luxuries of
Sky etc yet have sufficient to support myself and my child without scrimping
on the necessities. I am sure many on the group would regard my income as
below the poverty line but I feel our quality of life is actually quite
good. My main bother has been the housing benefit office all along who seem
to have nothing better to do apart from harass me and cut down trees showing
their (normally incorrect) HB calculations. Sorry rant over.

How long with this situation last? Well most of the money has been paid
back but I don't see a life on riches in front of me just this minute.
Unfortunately some of the hopes the company had have been dashed. Lots of
promise but things haven't taken in the manner expected.
 

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