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When the chancellor rolled out the red briefcase on March 19th 2014 to deliver the budget there was some good news for beer drinkers with a small reduction in duty but as he stood proudly outside number 11 there was even better news for owners of post 1974 TR's with the introduction of a 40 year rolling Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) exemption for classic vehicles.

Previously, owners of TR2 – 5 and some early TR6's for example were exempt from VED under the previous classification of Historic Vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1973.

The budget in 2013 announced a measure to extend the scope of the Vehicle Excise Duty exemption to historic vehicles by one additional year. This measure comes into force on the 1st April 2014 and allows vehicles manufactured before 1st January 1974 to be added to the exemption category.

The latest Budget announcement however goes one step further to introduce a 40 year rolling exemption to be legislated in the Finance Bill 2014. This will however, not apply until 1st April 2015. Thereafter the cut-off date will be rolled forward by one year on every 1st April in each subsequent Finance Bill. This should mean for instance, that on April 1st 2016 the first of the 4-speed Speke built TR7's would qualify for Vehicle Exercise Duty exemption as historic vehicles.

The news will be warmly welcomed by TR owners but doesn't come without its complexities. Commenting on the news FBHVC Legislation Director, Bob Owen said, "While we welcome the fact that our campaign for a rolling exemption has finally borne fruit and that the efforts we have taken in providing research based information to government have been taken into account in the making of this decision, we view the 40 year cut-off as anomalous given that the generally accepted definition of a historic vehicle across Europe is 30 years. We have also noted that the procedure introduced by DVLA to implement the announcement in the 2013 Budget of extension of exemption pre-1974 vehicles on 1st April of this year has the effect that any qualifying vehicle for which VED has already paid in respect of any month or months after 1st April this year, financial benefit from the exemption will be obtainable only from 1st May 2014. FBHVC is questioning this administrative approach, which does not appear to reflect the 2013 Budget announcement, and will be asking if this administrative anomaly is intended by DVLA to be rolled forward along with the rolling exemption. We would suggest that this arrangement in effect provides DVLA with revenue to which it is not entitled and we do not believe this could have been the Chancellor's intention."

TR Register members looking to take advantage of the rolling VED will have to do some work in order to qualify, as it is understood that the DVLA will not be automatically issuing "free tax discs". The paperwork will be up to TR owners.

TR owners will need to change an eligible vehicles taxation class on the V5C and V10 forms, which can be downloaded from the DVLA website or obtained from the Post Office. Section 7 of the V5C contains a box relating to tax class and you will have to enter the word 'Historic' and sign the declaration. Additionally, TR owners will need to fill out the V10 Tax Application form once again stating "historic" in the tax class and enclose the vehicles current MoT and certificate of insurance. The DVLA assures the TR Register that in most cases these documents should be returned within one month. If a refund on a tax disc already paid is required then this can also be applied for by using the V14 form.

But what if the registration date is later than the build date? TR owners will need to provide proof of manufacturing date, which could take the form of a Heritage certificate.

To download the DVLA forms visit www.gov.uk/dvlaforms

To read the HM Revenue and Customs document: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/293910/TIIN_2507_8011_40_year_rolling_exemption_for_classic_vehicles_.pdf

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