Money Grouse: 'Unfair' protest at new car tax

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The Independent Online
AN AGGRIEVED company car driver has just discovered that the way he is going to be taxed is unfair.

Peter Swann, a contracts manager with a construction firm, drives a two-litre Vauxhall, which had a list price of pounds 14,600 when it was bought in August 1992.

A colleague drives an almost identical model, but with one difference: when it was bought in January 1993, the list price was pounds 13,580. Because company car tax is to be levied on the list price of a vehicle, his colleague will pay pounds 60 a year less tax when the new codes are introduced next month.

Mr Swann, who lives in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, said: 'It seems really ludicrous and unfair that we should be paying different amounts of tax for what is the same benefit.

'Also, the way they have imposed the new system is wrong. When my company supplied the vehicle, there was no way of knowing what the Government intended. In effect, this is a retrospective tax.'

Mr Swann said he only discovered the change by accident, when his office manager began to compile price lists for all the cars being driven by the company. 'When I got my new tax code and made inquiries, I found that because of the different prices I was paying more than my colleague.

'My colleague thinks it's quite good and there is a friendly rivalry between us over this. But it is wrong.'

An Inland Revenue spokeswoman was less than totally sympathetic: 'That is simply the way it crumbles.

'The way in which the new tax band is devised will generally speaking benefit people who have cheaper, small company cars. Tell him to send back his company car.

'It was not a secret that the Chancellor wanted to move to a price-based system.'

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