Fuel costs per kilometer: higher rates in 2021

The scale of fuel costs per kilometer has been updated by the tax authorities in a note published in the Bulletin officiel des finances publiques (BOFIP) of February 9, 2022. The scale has been significantly revised to take account of the current surge in fuel prices.

A scale for sole proprietors in the BIC and BA sectors

Sole proprietors can estimate fuel costs for business travel on a flat-rate basis, based on the scale updated each year by the tax authorities. To do so, they must be able to justify the business use of the vehicle and the mileage covered.

The fuel cost scale in euros per kilometer for 2021 varies according to the type of fuel used (diesel, super unleaded, LPG) and tax rating. It mainly applies to fuel expenses for mixed-use vehicles, i.e. for personal and professional use. In other words, the cost of fuel consumed by vehicles used solely for business purposes (commercial vehicles or tractors) cannot be assessed on the basis of this scale.

More specifically, the flat-rate assessment scale for fuel costs can be used by sole traders who :

  • are taxed as industrial and commercial profits (BIC) or agricultural profits (BA);
  • are automatically or optionally subject to the simplified tax regime;
  • have opted for super-simplified accounting.

This scale can be used, under certain conditions, by people taxed in the BNC category for leased vehicles, loaned vehicles and vehicles associated with partnerships for commuting purposes.

A significantly upgraded 2021 scale

The 2021 scale has been significantly upgraded compared with the 2020 scale, particularly for gasoline and diesel. For example, for vehicles with between 5 and 7 HP, the diesel rate has been raised by 12.8%, and the super unleaded rate by 13.6%. For LPG vehicles, the increase is between 1.2% and 1.5%. The same levels of increase are also seen for motorized two-wheelers.

The scale of fuel costs per kilometer should not be confused with the tax scale of mileage allowances, which is used to assess the travel costs associated with the use of a vehicle by employees who have opted for the system of deductible actual costs. It can be used for expenses incurred on the way to and from work, and for expenses incurred when using the vehicle for business purposes. In line with the Prime Minister's announcement, the mileage scale has been increased by 10% for 2021 income tax purposes. This exceptional revaluation takes into account the sharp rise in prices borne by employees who need their vehicle to carry out their professional activity.