Coronavirus Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver and Operator Support Fund 2021-22

Deadline now extended

The Scottish Government have announced a one week extension to the Taxi Operators Support Fund, for those that are eligible but not applied so far, the new deadline is now Friday 23 July 2021. Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted.

What can I get?

The Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund 2021-22 assumes that local authorities will making separate payments to eligible drivers and operators, based on distinct criteria, and capped by each individual local authority at £10,000 in total for both elements (with the exception of owner/operators with fifty or more vehicles). 

For the driver element

All previous recipients of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Fund who have remained available for work and hold a licence with Aberdeen City Council that remains current and valid as off the 3rd June will have received an automatic top-up.  If you are a previous recipient and have not received the top-up payment to date, this may be because our records show your no longer have a valid licence or your bank details have changed, in either case please contact: businessgrowthteam@aberdeencity.gov.uk   

For the operator element

Amounts payable will be differentiated and scaled, with a base grant payable to owner-operators with one vehicle, and higher grants for those operators holding multiple vehicle licences. The grant is payable based on the number of vehicle licences each owner/operator holds, as follows.
•    Owner/operators with one vehicle - a single award of £1,000; 
•    Owner/operators with two to nine vehicles - a single award of £3,000; 
•    Owner/operators with 10 - 49 vehicles - a single award of £7,000; or
•    Owner/operators with 50 or more vehicles – a single award of £15,000.

How will the grant be provided?

Local authorities will administer the grants and will be responsible for delivering the funding to eligible taxi and private hire drivers and licenced private hire and taxi operators. The Scottish Government will fund local authorities to make these payments. 

When will I get this grant?

For the operator element

Aberdeen City Council have contacted all eligible vehicle licence holders from mid-June to brief them on their potential entitlement and invite them to provide relevant supporting information and bank details through an online application form. Payments will be made within 10 working days off applications being approved.  

Payments will be made into a business bank account, where possible, and personal accounts. 

Eligibility

For the operator element of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund 2021-22 eligibility is based on the following criteria:
•    an individual or company holding a valid taxi or private hire vehicle licence as at 3 June 2021; one claim per vehicle, generally and in particular where a licence is held jointly by a number of individuals; and
•    the operator must have experienced loss of income (50% of turnover, compared with 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses.

Other eligibility criteria

Taxis and private hire operators applying for support must also meet the following criteria and where necessary supply appropriate documentation to substantiate each. 

  • they must not have breached wider COVID regulations/requirements;
  • they must not have connections to tax havens, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (Nov.) Act 2020; or
  • Applicants may be required to declare all previous support received from UK or Scottish or Local Government support schemes to provide local authorities with the necessary information to ensure payments are made correctly and compliant with EC State Aid limits/UK Government subsidy control policies.

Tax & benefits

Grant income received by a business is taxable. The operator element of the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support Fund will need to be included as income in the tax return of the business. 

Grant income through the Taxi and Private Hire Driver and Operator Support will be regarded as capital by the Department for Work and Pensions. Recipients this support who are also in receipt of working age benefits must declare the grant to the Department of Work and Pensions in order to have it taken into account when calculating their benefit entitlements.

How do I apply?

The application is an online form through our Online Services, if you have not used it before you will need to register an account.  The whole process of applying should only take 15 minutes.

If you have not used Online Services before, further information and support is available: Get help with using our online services. 

If you require further support completing your application please contact us:
Email: businessgrowthteam@aberdeencity.gov.uk 
Telephone: 01224 346145
 

What evidence do I need to supply for the operator support fund?

Evidence of Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle (operator) Licenses:

  • Submit the licence numbers and expiry dates for licences held through the online form.

Evidence of Business:

  • Upload an image or digital copy of one of the following in support of your application (select the most appropriate option for your business type: 
  • Company: Certificate of Incorporation or Companies House registration number.
  • Partnership: Partnership agreement or HMRC registration.
  • Sole Trader: HMRC registration, Self-assessment documents or valid business insurance document. (please note standard car insurance is not acceptable as evidence, only)
  • Trust: Constitution documents, HMRC registration or VAT registration document.

Evidence of valid bank account and loss of income: 

  • A recent bank statement dated in the past 3 months, (payments will be made into a business bank account, where possible, or a personal account), showing your name, account number, sort code and business-related transactions. Please note that we cannot accept screenshots from an online banking system which only show your recent activity.
  • A comparison bank statement to highlight the drop in trading income due to Covid-19 restrictions or alternatively a self-assessment tax return or year-end accounts for 2019/20.

Please note: the application form will provide a free text box under this section so can provide additional information and narrative to support your submission.

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