Police, Camera… Taxation? Could Tax Loopholes Stop the ULEZ Vandals?

Police, Camera… Taxation? Could Tax Loopholes Stop the ULEZ Vandals?

A ULEZ tax loophole for self-employed drivers has been highlighted. It effectively means many motorists will be able to claim back tax on the £12.50 daily charge. In certain circumstances, employees can also claim a degree of relief.

The Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone expanded to include all boroughs within the capital on August 29th. It hits drivers of vehicles that fail to meet minimum emission standards when they enter London. Mayor Khan states that the scheme is needed to improve air quality. However, the policy has generated a great deal of resentment since its announcement. Anti-ULEZ campaigners have focused on the impact it will have on Londoners in outer boroughs, who depend on having a vehicle but are struggling financially.

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“The ‘Blade Runners’ of London: Vandalism in Protest of ULEZ Expansion”

The strength of ill-feeling has led to widespread vandalism. Anti-Ulez protesters, referring to themselves as ‘Blade runners’, have targeted the scheme’s operating infrastructure. Monitoring vehicles and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras across the Capital have been damaged. Over 4,000 people have joined a Facebook group that coordinates the strikes. Before the new charges even came into effect the Metropolitan Police revealed that 510 crimes relating to ULEZ cameras had been recorded from April through to August.

Do you support the Blade Runners who take down the Ulez cameras? pic.twitter.com/dgzgLPZY3k

— Lyndon Wood ✌️👽🙏 (@Lyndonx) September 13, 2023

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”Vandalism is unacceptable and all incidents on our network are reported to the police for investigation.”

“Criminal damage to ULEZ cameras or vehicles puts the perpetrators at risk of prosecution and injury, while simultaneously risking the safety of the public.”

“’Camera vandalism will not stop the ULEZ operating London-wide.”

“’All vandalised cameras are repaired or replaced as soon as possible.”

“We have an extensive camera network which is sufficient to support the effective operation of the scheme.”

A TfL spokesman

ULEZ WARS🔞:BLADE RUNNERS VS KHAN: HIN tragically report, yet more ULEZ cameras are being ruthlessly ‘retired’, by the group known as the Blade Runners. ‘Micro-Mayor’ Sadiq Khan is said to be melting with ‘Retirement Rage’ from his New York suite on saving the planet.

The… pic.twitter.com/3ozL4UUxwM

— Herd Immunity News🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@HerdImmunity12) September 19, 2023

ULEZ Tax Benefits for Self-Employed Drivers in the ULEZ

Meanwhile, the Mayor has recommended that eligible drivers scrap their non-compliant vehicles via his funding scheme. It is offering financial assistance to qualifying Londoners to help scrap or retrofit vehicles that don’t reach the ULEZ emissions standards. It will provide grant payments of up to £2,000 for cars and between £6,000 – £11,500 for vans and mini-buses. It is only open to small businesses (under 50 employees), micro-businesses (with up to 10 employees), sole traders and registered charities. Organisations must operate within the 32 boroughs of London or the City of London. Other forms of assistance are also available.

Yet, it appears self-employed drivers may instead be able to claim the charge as a legitimate business expense. HMRC confirmed that when submitting their annual tax returns, self-employed drivers can claim tax relief on their travel expenses. A HMRC statement outlined the logic, “Self-Assessment customers are entitled to tax relief on travel expenses, including low emission zone charges if they have been incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade.” “When a self-employed individual claims an allowable expense, the amount is deducted fully from their taxable profits.”

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Clean Air Zones Spread Across the UK: Stay Informed About Tax Exemptions

Certain criteria apply, for example, whether the journey commenced from home and whether it was to a permanent place of work will be important. To ensure you comply with the rules it could be worth utilising the expert services of a firm like Eazitax. Founder Gary Jacobs’ specialises in advising professional drivers and those in construction-related trades. His team will be able to assist and answer any questions you might have.

In addition to London, so far Birmingham and Bristol have Class D clean air zones, meaning they include private cars. Bradford, Bath, Sheffield and Tyneside have Class C clean air zones, which apply to light goods vehicles such as vans. As more regions across the country adopt charging zones, keeping up to date with tax exemption and relief rules will be important to an increasing number of drivers.

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