Electric refueling at the employer's expense
Employees who receive a company car from their employer are taxed on a benefit
in kind. The calculation is based on the list price of the vehicle. If the
employer also provides a fuel card with the car, this has no impact on the
calculation of the benefit in kind. But what if the employee refuels
electricity at the employer's expense?
In the case of a classic diesel or petrol car, the benefit in kind depends
on the list price, CO2 emissions and the age of the vehicle. Whether or not a
fuel card is issued has no impact on the calculation of the benefit in kind.
With the current high fuel prices, this is a bonus that should not be
However, there is a difference between the car 'with' and the 'without' fuel
card: car expenses are only deductible for taxpayers to a certain extent. For
company cars, it is specifically stipulated that the employer is taxed on a
disallowed expenses' amounting to 17% of the benefit, but for fuel costs with
respect to the private use of a company car the disallowed expenses amount to
It should always be considered that a benefit in kind only exists and
therefore leads to limited deductibility to the extent that the employee uses
the vehicle for private purposes. This does not only apply to real private
trips, such as taking the children to school or weekend trips with the family.
Also the employee's travel to work is no professional use for the employer. Even
if the employee only makes commuting trips, there still is a taxable benefit in
The minister was recently asked about the tax consequences of refueling at the
employer's expense with an electric company car.
The minister distinguishes
1. Refueling electricity at the company
A first possibility is that the employee may charge at the charging stations
that the company has installed itself. According to the minister, this does not
provide any additional benefit in kind. The green mobility law, which is
currently still being prepared, also provides important incentives to install
such charging stations.
2. 'Tank card' for electric refueling
It is also conceivable that you provide the employee with a card allowing to
charge at public charging stations. Even then there is no advantage/benefit in
3. Refuel at home at your own charging station
If the employee has a charging station at home, he charges at his own expense.
We can imagine that the employer would compensate the employee for this.
However, this compensation is regarded as a benefit in kind and is, in
principle, fully taxable.
The only exception to this is if the electric car is used exclusively for business purposes, and therefore not for private trips or for commuting.
Possibly, a pro rata calculation can be made: if you can demonstrate the mileage you drive in the form of business trips compared to the total mileage, you can get an exemption for the business part.
4. Refuel at home at the employer's charging station
Another possibility is that the charging station is installed by the employer.
In that case it is possible that the charging does not triggers any additional
benefit in kind. Therefore, two conditions should be fulfilled: the charging
station communicates with the employer about the electricity consumption and the
car policy provides for a refund of the expenses.
Electricity is also fuel and for that reason the electricity 'made available' to
drive the vehicle, as with the more traditional fuels, leads to disallowed
expenditure amounting to 40% of the fuel costs.
The minister also clarifies that it is not the intention that the amount of the
benefit in kind would be valued as a lump sum.
However, this is not that strange. The dynamics of electricity consumption is
completely different from conventional fuels. Smart charging stations allow the
employee to charge the car when it suits him or her: e.g. in sunny weather. In
addition, the charged car battery can also be used as a battery to mitigate
household electricity consumption. This is not at all about malicious intent of
the employee, but about smart charging stations and batteries that seek and
obtain electricity where it is available.
The system proposed by the minister therefore only seems possible if the charging station is not too smart.