Transport operators face new tax

Many transport companies do not realise that they will have to pay the Apprenticeship Levy from next April, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned.

It is concerned that, although most firms know that there are new industry apprenticeships, many are unaware that at the same time they are going to have to pay towards the cost.

The Apprenticeship Levy will not only apply to very large companies, the RHA’s Colin Snape stressed. All firms with total gross payroll costs exceeding £3 million at consolidated group level will have to pay up.

He points out that the Apprenticeship Levy, which is currently set at 0.5% of payroll cost above the £3 million threshold, will hit those haulage firms currently operating with roughly 80 trucks or more.

It could also apply to businesses with a smaller fleet if they also run other activities, such as van operations, warehouses or workshops.

Mr Snape also warned that the possibility cannot be ruled out that the £3 million threshold could be reduced in future years.

To avoid losing the money they pay into the levy, transport operators should ensure that they recoup it in the form of apprenticeship funding, he advised.

Trailblazer apprentices (including LGV driver, warehouse operative and supply chain operative) are funded from April next year, Mr Snape explained, with payers anticipated to comprise most of those interested in the new apprenticeships.

Although companies with payrolls of less than £3 million will not be subject to the new tax, they will be eligible to access funding for apprenticeships. Information about the Apprenticeship Levy is available at www.gov.uk.

Last updated 20 December 2016