Fuel card errors result in BIG penalties

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ABAX are seeing a growing trend in HMRC using fuel card invoices to reconcile the mileage claimed for business travel in the UK. Any company where employees repay the cost of private miles driven could be at risk.
Fuel card errors

In the few minutes between pulling up at the pump and handing over your fuel card to the cashier, something strange happens. The mileage reading of your car stares at you the entire time you are driving. You take one last look before you get out of the car knowing that you will be asked for the mileage when you head inside. You must remember that mileage!

You pick up the diesel pump. It is wet, greasy and stinks of fuel. Now so do you. An old Focus pulls up opposite you, there are definitely 4 kids and a dog in the back. You head inside. Ginsters are on offer but only if you buy 2 cans of a sugar and caffeine filled drink. Is it worth using the bathroom now or do you wait until you get back?

At the counter, "Pump number and mileage please."

"Errr... 15,600?"

And with that, there is an error imprinted forever on a fuel card invoice. An invoice that HMRC will check during a business record check along with the log of your mileage that you also compile, usually on a Friday afternoon, right at the end of the month.

The events at the petrol station may differ from person to person but HMRC regularly uncover situations where the mileage readings on a fuel card invoice do not match that of the mileage claims used to apportion the business and private mileage split or even the reading on the car itself.

ABAX have received an influx of inquires for Triplog in recent months. With the burden of proof sitting on the employee and employer to verify that all private mileage is paid for by the employee in order to avoid the costly fuel benefit charge, variances in fuel spend and distance between refills give HMRC the ammo they need to impose benefit charges.

If the employee does not cover the cost of EVERY mile driven privately, the fuel fuel benefit tax for the year will be charged. Employers are then left to foot the bill for the associated NIC's and a potential £3000 fine. Employees must also pay the tax derived from the fuel benefit charge, potentially in excess of £3,000.

As a GPS based mileage capture system, Triplog not only helps you verify your exact private and business mileage, it can even let you know the vehicle mileage once you get inside the petrol station!

Call 01733 69 88 88 for more information.

/ Chris Miller