UK Pushes for Tax on Bizjet Flights

 - March 24, 2011, 12:18 PM

The UK government signaled its intention yesterday to start taxing business-jet passengers in a process that would mirror the country’s existing airline passenger duty (APD). A decision on the proposed per-passenger tax will be made in June, and if approved could be implemented as soon as this fall. What remains unclear is whether the tax would apply only to charter flights and what exemptions might be allowed. An initial consultation document implies that exemptions might be granted for aircraft with a takeoff weight of less than 5.7 metric tons (12,566 pounds) and also for business aircraft used for functions such as medical evacuation. The government has indicated that it might remove the existing “not carried for reward” exemption from the APD rules to allow it to tax non-commercial business aircraft flights. “The proposal is to have a single rate of duty per passenger in 2012-13, irrespective of distance traveled, equivalent to the highest standard rate of APD,” said the government announcement. This implies that the per-passenger rate could be as high as £170 since this is the current top rate at which APD applies for first-class, long-haul airline tickets. The industry is invited to comment on the proposal.