HMRC publishes latest Benefit-in-Kind statistics

HM Revenue & Customs has released new Benefits-in-Kind statistics showing company car figures for tax year 2018/2019 alongside earlier years and provisional figures for 2019/2020.

The statistics show a continuing decline in the number of company car BiK payers, which are down from 870,000 to 800,000 in 2019/20. A significant reduction from the numbers seen in 2015/16, which was then at 960,000. 

Commenting on the figures, the HMRC explained that the collation of figures was done in line with the introduction of voluntary payrolling which has created challenges, stating: “… this ‘reporting gap’ is likely to have substantially exaggerated the observed trend in the number of company car recipients in years since April 2016.” 

HMRC also noted that the Real-Time Information reporting of cars becoming compulsory in April 2018 is likely to have had an impact on figures: “...there is internal evidence to suggest that a substantial number of company car benefits were not correctly reported to HMRC in tax year 2019 to 2020, which suggests that the 800,000 figure underestimates the true number of company car recipients.”  

HMRC also notes; “...further possible breakdowns of the company car statistics by gender and by region are currently under review. Note that this year’s commentary document includes for the first time an estimate of the gender breakdown of all recipients of company car benefit (72% male in tax year 2019 to 2020).” 

Prior to publishing the data, HMRC had carried out a review of what Benefit-in-Kind statistics should be shared. The BVRLA provided input, stressing the importance of company car BiK statistics to the industry and put forward a case for additional reporting.  

The user engagement exercise resulted in maintaining company car data provision, with some consolidations and updates to the tables.