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Understanding Air Passenger Duty

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5th February 2024

You have planned your flights from London and filled the aircraft with passengers – that’s the first step. But what now? Part of the ticket costs will be payable to HMRC (the UK Government), and you’ll need to pay it once the flight has taken place.

What is Air Passenger Duty?

Air Passenger Duty, or APD, is a tax paid by operators when they have a flight departing the United Kingdom. It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure the right amount of tax is paid, and this is based on the number of passengers, the class of seat they occupy, the size of the aircraft, and the destination.

There are four destination groupings or bands which are determined based on the distance between London and the destination’s capital city. The first band is domestic and covers all routes within the UK. Bands A, B, and C are the international groups. We have a handy download that will help you determine which band your flight falls into.

Why does it exist?

Introduced in 1994, this tax was seen as an alternative to fuel tax, which is charged on other forms of transport in the UK. Since its creation, the rates and bands have changed and now cover all regions.

There are exemptions – children under two in business class and children under 16 in economy are not required to pay the tax. People travelling for a particular reason, such as escorting a passenger or goods, do not need to pay if they carry out the task within 72 hours of the flight landing. You can read a full list of these exemptions on our bands and rates document.

How can Chapman Freeborn help?

Chapman Freeborn offers a service that sees us act as a fiscal representative for aircraft operators based outside of the UK and who do not have a registered UK address. We ensure that operators remain compliant and avoid a heavy penalty for either non-payment or incorrect payment. Our team understands this complex duty well, and can navigate the various bands and rates effortlessly on your behalf. Many operators find that using our service makes the whole process easier and more efficient. To find out how, read our ETF Airways case study.

The rates, and sometimes the bands, change annually, so it is important to make sure you are equipped with the latest information.

Email <[email protected]> to receive APD updates and stay abreast of any changes, and get in touch today for further details about our APD service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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