Almost 90% of employees are frequently submitting inaccurate mileage claims with many deliberately including personal mileage totals for their own gain.
The practice leaves them and the employer exposed to potential tax and legal action which could result in significant penalties.
This is particularly important after employers were warned that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was being particularly watchful on mileage claims.
And the scale of the practice could also prompt some employers to consider using vehicle tracking technology, although many are hesitant.
The survey of 1,200 company car drivers found that 89% had submitted an inaccurate mileage claim in the past with 63% of respondents adding personal miles to their total for personal gain.
Some admitted to multiple errors in their reporting.
More than one in three (36%) didn’t keep accurate records of the business and private mileage, so “just made something up that looked right”, 20% said they’d added private miles “by mistake” and 12% did not realise they had to keep personal and business mileage separate, the Flexed.co.uk survey reported.
And some comments received by the survey highlighted the disregard some workers took to the issue. These included:
- “Everybody does it, nobody in this company has ever been caught”
- “I make the odd mistake on my paperwork, but I’ve never been asked for receipts”
- “Diesel is so expensive, I think I deserve something back”
- “Victimless crime, isn’t it?”
However, Flexed.co.uk noted that deliberately logging private driving as business miles to cheat bosses out of money was fraud.
Even unwittingly doing the same thing by being too lazy or uninformed to record driving habits accurately has implications for company accounts and the taxman.
Flexed.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall said: “Either through laziness, lack of knowledge or just greed, virtually every company with a car fleet is losing money through inaccurate claims, but most bosses seem to put up with what they think are acceptable losses.
“It’s an epidemic that’s costing businesses millions of pounds per year, but very few are ever actually caught. Those that are usually face internal discipline rather than bringing the attention of the law down on a company, and drivers we spoke to usually paid the money back if questioned.
“Only one business driver we spoke to knew of anybody who had been sacked for faking their miles. It’s certainly not a victimless crime, but there is a culture of impunity for those who do it,” he added
Source: WSB Workplace Savings and Benefits- http://www.wsandb.co.uk/wsb/news/2357272/minie-in-ten-drivers-admit-to-victimless-crime-of-faking-mileage-claims.