What’s Happening with ULEZ Charges in London?

London‘s clean air area, called the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), is now bigger. It covers the entire city. This is a big deal because if your car isn’t clean enough by the city’s standards, you have to pay £12.50 each time you drive in this special area as a ULEZ Charges. This change started on August 29 and came about because the city is trying to make the air cleaner for everyone.

Why Was the Zone Expanded?

The goal is simple: better air quality. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wanted to make the air cleaner. Some local councils didn’t like the idea and even went to court over it. But the mayor won, so the zone got bigger.

Can Some People Get Tax Back on ULEZ Charges?

Here’s a bit of good news: some people won’t have to say goodbye to that £12.50 forever. They can claim it back when tax time comes around. But how does that work? Who gets to claim it?

Who Is Eligible for Tax Relief?

If you work for yourself, you might be able to get the £12.50 ULEZ charge back when you pay your taxes. HMRC, the tax office, says this is okay. But remember, you can only claim it if you drove in the ULEZ for work reasons, not for personal stuff like shopping or visiting friends.

How to Claim the Tax Back on ULEZ Charges

To get this money back, you’ll include it when you fill out your yearly self-assessment forms. There are two ways to do this:

  • Paper Forms: If you’re using the old-fashioned paper forms, make sure to mail them in by 31st October 2023.
  • Online Forms: If you’re more into doing things on the computer, you have until midnight on 31st January 2024.

Transport for London (TfL) mentioned that the usual rules for claiming things on your taxes also apply to ULEZ charges. So make sure you’re following those.

What Do Small Business Owners Say?

People who work for themselves are pretty happy about this. The Federation of Small Businesses said this option to claim back is a good thing, especially for small business owners and freelancers.

Quick Recap and ULEZ Charges

So to sum up, if you work for yourself and had to pay the £12.50 ULEZ charge for work reasons, don’t forget you can claim it back on your tax return. Just make sure to send in your forms by the deadlines—October 31 for paper and January 31 for online—and follow all the rules about what you can and can’t claim on your taxes.

And that’s it! A simple guide to navigate the ULEZ charges and how to get some of that money back if you’re eligible.