Arborist Tax Amendment

The Arboricultural Association have released news regarding amendments to the 2022 Fuel Tax changes.  

In summary it appears that from the 15th of March arborists will be able to claim rebated tax on diesel for arboricultural purposes in relation to plant and machinery I would think this covers MEWPS, wood chippers and timber moving plant. It is quite clear it doesn't cover vehicles and I am unsure how it would work for telehander plant. I would suggest anyone using specialist plant should seek guidance from HMRC. Anyway in the main its a good news day for a change.  

The document explains that the measure introduces minor amendments to changes that were introduced in April 2022 to restrict the entitlement to use rebated diesel and biofuels, including marked oils. The changes were legislated for in Finance Act 2021 and amended by Finance Act 2022. These amendments will add arboriculture to the list of activities for which machines and appliances (other than vehicles) can use rebated fuel, a clarification which will allow those working in this sector to use rebated fuel in the same machines and appliances as they did before April 2022.

Arboriculture As part of the reforms introduced in April 2022, machines and appliances can continue to use rebated fuel for purposes relating to horticulture and forestry. The government has subsequently become aware that because HMRC’s interpretation of horticulture and forestry does not include some aspects of arboriculture, machines used for these purposes can no longer use rebated fuel following the 2022 reforms. For example, tending trees in parks and gardens is accepted as a purpose relating to horticulture but tending trees in streets and housing estates is not. Also, the upkeep and management of forests is only accepted as a purpose relating to forestry when growing and harvesting timber. The government recognises that this has created unintended difficulties for arboriculture businesses whose work requires them to use their machines and appliances for a combination of allowed and no longer allowed purposes. This measure will allow arborists to use rebated fuels in machines and appliances (but not vehicles) for all forms of tree work as they could before the changes made in April 2022. 

These measures (aside from the technical amendment of section 14B) will have effect in relation to any rebated diesel and biofuels, including marked oils, used from 6pm on 15 March 2023 . The amendment to section 14B will have effect from the date of Royal Assent to the Finance Bill.

View the full PDF document from the Arboricultural Association HERE