The Taxman Cometh !

Photo of small Propane cylinder
In an earlier article (see Fill ’er up) I wrote that you can legally fill your car from the red cylinders of industrial propane - another of those things you might have been told you can’t do. But of course, you have to do it right so as to keep the taxman happy - and don’t forget that “The Customs Men” have some of the strongest powers available (until recently they were the only people with a right of entry without a search warrant) of any civil authority.

To use untaxed fuel legally you must register with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as they are now - and you need to ask for form C&E930B. This form allows you to register with HMRC so you can account for the untaxed fuel you’ve used and pay the tax directly to them - it asks for details of the vehicles you’ll be filling, where, how you’ll determine the quantities, etc. After that, each quarter you’ll get a form C&E930A where you detail how much fuel you’ve “put aside” for road use and send it back to them with a cheque for the tax (the internet age hasn’t caught up with this section yet !).

More details are (at the time of writing) available at HMRC Website in the form of “Excise duty on gas for use as fuel in road vehicles, HMRC Reference:Notice 76 (February 1996)”

There is just one tiny complication - your supplier should charge you a higher rate of VAT than gas supplied for heating. However, if you mention this then you will most likely be met with a vacant expression !

And that’s it ! It’s REALLY easy, and it’s completely legal.