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Finance Act 2012

Part 4 of Schedule 23 - Other Provisions

40.At Budget 2011 the Chancellor announced that, instead of replacing air passenger duty with a per plane tax, the Government had instead decided to extend the scope of APD to private jets and consulted on how this could be done.

41.There is no ready definition of a private jet, so, in order to extend the scope of APD to private jets, changes to the de minimis weight limit for APD are needed in order to bring smaller aircraft (including private jets) within the scope of the tax.

42.In recognition of the fact that private jets may be customised to provide exceptional standards of luxury travel, new rates of APD will be introduced to apply to these aircraft.  These aircraft are to be defined on the basis of weight and seating capacity, so that large aircraft with an authorised weight of more than 20 tonnes and authorised to seat fewer than 19 passengers will attract new rates of APD.

43.Changes are also required to the definition of a passenger.  Under the current APD structure, exemptions apply to passengers who are not carried for reward.  As private jet passengers are often carried for no reward or fare (for example, an aircraft owner may be flown in their own private jet) changes to the definition of a passenger are required.

44.Equally private jet passengers are not always flown as part of a formal arrangement or agreement, but instead may be flown as part of an informal agreement such as the type that may exist between family members or friends.  In order to ensure that these types of passengers are included in the scope of APD, the interpretation of 'agreement for carriage' will be amended.

45.Part 4 of the Schedule also includes changes to reflect the devolution of direct long haul APD rates to the Northern Ireland Assembly and provides that the new rates to be applied for carriage on aircraft considered to provide exceptional standards of luxury travel (as defined by weight and seating capacity – see para 50 above) are to be twice those to be applied to non standard class travel.

46.These changes apply to flights that take off on or after 1 April 2013.

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