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HMRC cracks down on red diesel

15th November 2012
Page 7
Page 7, 15th November 2012 — HMRC cracks down on red diesel
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HMRC IS CRACKING down on illegal use of rebated fuel, increasing the penalty for vehicles found with illicit red diesel in their tanks.

The changes, which began on 1 November, will mean that vehicles found to be unlawfully using rebated fuel will be charged VAT and duty on the total fuel tank capacity – not the quantity of illegal fuel remaining, as previously charged. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed the increased penalties and is urging HMRC to report unlawful use of rebated fuel, or red diesel, to the traffic commissioners (TCs). RHA director of policy Jack Semple said: “We have been pressing for the unlawful use of red diesel to be reported to the TCs so it can be regulated. It appears to be slow progress by HMRC.” Under previous penalties, hauliers had to pay £250 for unlawfully taking rebated fuel into a vehicle, a further £250 for using the fuel, VAT and duty on the amount of fuel found in the tank and, if the vehicle was seized, for removal and storage costs. Rebated fuel carries a lower rate of duty than road fuel and is only allowed to be used by agricultural and construction vehicles, which are covered by an exception. It is illegal for any other vehicle to use rebated fuel on public roads.

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