I’ve been working in tax since October 1984. And virtually from the get-go there’s been questions about business fuel reimbursement

Back in 1984 there was no AMAP. There was something called the Fixed PROFIT Car Scheme (FPCS). I’ve capitalised the word PROFIT because it was there for a reason. I was told that the profit element was to encourage you to drive because it was cheaper to reimburse mileage than public transport costs. Not a joke.

At the time I’d understood that initially HMRC argued FPCS was only for civil servants, but they had to relent and let everyone use it. Later they changed the rates and the name to give us AMAP.

Then industry bodies pushed for a fixed fuel reimbursement rate for company cars. From memory HMRC pushed back arguing maintaining the flat rates would be hard to for them to administer, would often be out of date and would create winners and losers. But we persisted and they gave us a rate. Scroll forwards and, much later, we had the same debate about AER, and HMRC had the same reservations, but we made them do it.

So yes, I do get a bit annoyed when we then complain that the rates are out of date or not flexible enough to handle different scenarios – because that’s what HMRC said at the time! And as they said at the time, and have repeated now, you can set any rate for tax free business mileage reimbursement for a company car as long as you can evidence that it’s appropriate.

In their own way AMAP, AFR and AER have done much to ease administration for employers and have benefited millions of employees.