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New rules for the deduction of the VAT on company cars 
Since 1 January 2011, the rule is that the deduction by a VAT payer of the VAT on company cars and other assets that are used by employees is limited to their business use as opposed to the private use by the employee.  However, that rule is difficult to use in practice and was suspended last year.

In a decision ET 119.650/3 on 11 December 2012, the VAT Authorities clarified that the VAT payer can choose one of three methods to determine the business use of company assets.

The first method is based on the actual use ; for company cars, the company would need to keep a record of the distances covered for business use.

The second method is a semi lump sum method. The private use is calculated as a percentage of the private kilometres over the total number of kilometres, where the private kilometres are calculated as the actual commuting distance (home-work-home) over 200 working days plus 6,000 km for other private use. 

The third method is a lump sum deduction of 35%. If the VAT payer considers the two methods as too cumbersome, he can opt to limit the VAT deduction to 35 %.  If the VAT payer opts for the third method, that will apply to all his cars ; if not, he can combine the first two methods.

The decision will take effect as of 2013. For 2012, VAT payers have the choice between the old and the new system.

If the employee pays a contribution for the use of the company car, the VAT deduction is 50% but VAT must be charged on the contribution.

The decision also proposes, by way of experiment to determine the business use of other items provided by the employer (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, tablet computers) as 75 %.

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