A considerable group of owners of older diesels has since received the dreaded letter from the Tax Authorities. It states that from January 1, 2020, the tax authorities will apply a surcharge of 15% on the already applicable MRB. For example, those who have a diesel car without a soot filter (note: ex factory) will be next.
There are more conditions attached to the particulate matter surcharge. When a diesel car emits more than 5 milligrams of particulate matter per kilometer, the 15% rosette also applies. Furthermore, the surcharge applies to diesel vehicles for which the date of first authorization is before 1 September 2009 and for which the particulate matter emissions have not been laid down. The Tax and Customs Administration and the RDW are currently looking at how a correction can be made for diesel engines with a soot filter and a DET from before 1 September 2009, an observant reader told us. But who does not escape the fine dust tax pays. For example, for an average car that runs on diesel and weighs between 1350 and 1450 kilos, that means a particulate matter surcharge of 225 euros per year.
Order diesel, calculated on milligrams per kWh
Some diesel cars, such as heavy-duty diesel vans, have a fine dust emission in milligrams per kilowatt hour (kWh). There is also a standard for this. The owner of a diesel car that emits more than 10 milligrams per kWh of particulate matter will probably also pay a particulate matter surcharge from 1 January 2020. These tax measures have since been approved by the Senate.
Furthermore, older camping vehicles that run on diesel are also taxed if they are considered polluting. When a special rate is used for the camper, the tax authorities will take this into account when calculating the particulate matter surcharge. So at a quarter rate, a quarter of the particulate matter surcharge is levied, at a half rate, half of the particulate matter surcharge is applied. With these allowance (s), the government wants to discourage the possession and use of polluting diesel cars. Particulate matter emissions are considered to be harmful to the environment and health. In addition, diesel cars with a particulate filter have a much lower soot emission.
The measure had been announced for a long time. We already informed you in 2015 about the fact that Autobrief II referred to extra tax for old diesels. The intentions are therefore being further implemented four years later. Actually, the allowance should have been introduced this year, but the Tax Authorities had not yet got IT-technical matters in order, so a one-year delay was opted for.
Modern cars also emit fine dust
Of course the older diesels are less clean than a Euro 6 diesel with a particulate filter, but that does not mean that cars with modern engines do not emit particulate matter. The motor vehicles with direct petrol injection certainly do that. But across the board, old diesels (CO2, nitrogen, particulate matter) are more polluting than modern diesels and petrol vehicles. However, a soot tax goes way too far, especially when it is taken into account that the actual reduction of NoX for many old diesel vehicles could have been solved by having (subsidized / compulsory) soot filters installed on diesels that are technically suitable for this. The owners could then have worked quietly towards the search for a replacement vehicle in the long term. And it also served the sustainability ideal. Because: there is no need to produce a new car, insofar as it would be a feasible option given the current financial position of the population earning one and a half times the average earnings. There would certainly be room for such an investment from the government, certainly because the motor vehicle tax to be collected for 2020 will rise to a record high, and this is by no means only spent on infrastructure and mobility.
Old diesel clearing has been used for a long time
Let's go back to 2015. That was the year of the announcement of the measure. On January 1, 2015, 720.414 diesels were driving around, between January 1, 1980 (as of January 1, 2020 these cars are tax-free, which is why the date 1-1-1980 has been adopted) and January 1, 2010 (chosen because after September 1, 2009 the clean one Euro 5 standard became current) their date of first authorization. There are now only 400.000. The clearing has already started due to the measure, and that has had a significant impact on the retirement of the old diesel. We also calculated that the share of the extra taxed diesel passenger cars amounts to only 6.5% of the total number of kilometers driven by 1-1-2019 of all Dutch passenger cars.
NoX and PM10 percentages: small numbers in old passenger diesel engines
The NoX emissions of all now extra taxed passenger car diesels in today's danger zone, then accounted for a 2% share in total road traffic, and the fine dust emissions of the same category amounted to 7% of total road traffic emissions. Please note: this concerns grams per kilometer, moreover, the calculation was made before the current MRB scheme was set up. If we look at the deforestation that has taken place since then, and the decreased average mileage covered by this category, the conclusion is justified that the old diesel has become relatively non-polluting and the influence on the NoX and particulate matter emissions is probably even smaller , while the fleet in the Netherlands in the last ten years mainly with clean one motor vehicles has been supplemented.
Old-timer diesel currently out of reach
With regard to the old-timers on diesel (40 years and older), various media have reported to the world that no particulate matter surcharge is levied for this, due to the fact that these old diesels are also exempt from MRB. However, the KNAC reported that there are indeed owners of old-timer diesels who have received a particulate matter attack. According to the Ministry of Finance, that would not be right. Whether additional measures will be taken for old-timer diesels has not been denied or confirmed. However, the recently resigned State Secretary Snel announced that "a number of measures to combat pollution from traffic will be reconsidered." The successor yet to be designated will probably feel the same way. Undoubtedly to be continued.
Image: Fiat Argenta Diesel, 1983 © Fiat Chrysler Automobiles