Cycle To Work Scheme
To encourage the public to reduce the environments pollution and promote healthier lifestyles, the Government has introduced a way in which employers can offer its employees a tax free loan for bicycles and cycling safety equipment. This is part of the Government's Green Transport Plan where they are attempting to combat the harmful emissions given from motorised vehicles.
Eligibility: All sizes of business may take part in the scheme within the public, private and voluntary sectors. The employer should make the Cycle to Work Scheme open to as many employees as possible to maximise the environmental benefit. The bicycles and cycling safety equipment must be loaned by the employer to the employee to qualify for the tax exemption. It can't be closed to, or offer any better incentives to company directors, and should be available to any employee working for that company.
Equipment Included in the Tax Exemption: The scheme offers bicycles and cycling safety equipment to employees. Their definition of 'bicycle' includes push bikes, tricycles, bicycles with 4 or more wheels, but excludes any motorised vehicle. However they do include electrically assisted push bikes in the Cycle to Work Scheme. The inclusion of cycling safety equipment is dependent upon the employer's decision as to what safety products they wish to include however the general equipment includes (but is not limited to): cycle helmets (conforming to European Standard EN 1078), lights (with or without dynamo packs), mudguards, bells, mirrors, panniers or luggage carriers and straps, puncture repair kits, pumps, tyre sealant, tool kits, locks, chains and reflective clothes as well as white cycle reflectors. It would be advisable to check with a local tax inspector as to what safety equipment is included in the tax exemption.
Total Value Limitations: The Government haven't limited the value of the scheme. Therefore you could potentially buy two bikes to use at either end of a bus or train journey. However, the Office of Fair Trading may limit the employer to a maximum loan value of ?1000 (please visit the Department for Transport website below for further details)
There are a variety of shops who offer additional incentives to participants of the Cycle to Work Scheme, such as giving you an initial discount off the value of bicycles sold to customers who are joining the initiative. Some employers may also have small variations to a scheme of this nature, but usually use a similar principle.
For further details on the Cycle to Work Scheme please follow the link to the Department for Transport website.