Pool vehicles - This is what you need to know

By Malena Gärtner

Pool vehicles may only be used in compliance with certain guidelines. The tax office always keeps an eye on the vehicles. The only remedy is strict compliance with instructions while on duty.

Areas of application for pool vehicles

There are a number of things to consider when using pool vehicles. In some cases, private use is permitted. The focus here is on motivation for daily work. However, the regulations for the areas of use are anything but trivial. According to renowned lawyers, private use is not permitted because the employee can derive a financial benefit from the use for private purposes. The calculation basis for the one percent rule is all pool vehicles used in total. In particular, the total price of all vehicles is relevant. This total is then divided by the number of employees. The extent of use is irrelevant for the calculation.

For the daily commute between home and work, 0.03 percent is used as a basis. This share of the total is then divided again by the number of employees. This value is then multiplied by the respective kilometers traveled for the commute.

But what happens if the release for private use is completely prohibited?

In this case, there is no adequate regulation, as it is assumed by the highest authority that misuse practically does not occur. Only if a corresponding vehicle is provided by the company, it is also used. In connection with pool vehicles, the employer must present a clear document that explicitly prohibits private use. Such clauses can be used both in the employment contract and in corresponding service instructions. If the company assumes exclusive service use, a waiver of corresponding clauses is possible.

Special regulations in the context of business travel

What if the company sends an employee on a business trip with the pool vehicle, during which any private use is prohibited?

Even the journey between home and the workplace can be categorized as a business trip. However, no taxes have to be paid on the salary for this trip. Private trips would therefore be entirely possible here. Even if private use is prohibited, tax law grants effective use of up to five days per month for private purposes. 0.001 percent of the list price per kilometer is assessed in such cases.

Another special feature is the regulation in the area of on-call duty. Driving a pool vehicle during on-call duty can never be considered a financial benefit through use. So there is little to fear from the driver's side here. The employer knows about the special features of on-call duty and is happy to overlook the possible pecuniary benefits through private use. So in this context, there is a clear distinction and classification. Even in the case of the use of a workshop car, the tax office is not interested in any tax revenue. The situation is different for the classic company car. Here, the valid rules regarding the sporadic use of vehicles must be urgently considered.