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Transferring a company bicycle to an employee

We currently supply some of our employees with bicycles to get to our premises. Can you advise on the tax implications for us and the employees concerned. Also, some employees use the bicycles to deliver packages for business purposes, so does this affect the position?

Generally, company owned assets which are provided for the use of employees attract a benefit in kind based on 20% of the market value. However, bicycles which are supplied to employees for home to work travel do not attract a benefit in kind. One condition for this is that the bicycles or equipment are made available generally to all employees of the employer. This does not mean that every employee has to be provided with a bicycle or equipment, just that the offer of bicycles or equipment is open to all employees if they wish to take it up.

If your employees are using bicycles for business deliveries, it may be more tax efficient for them to own these personally. Employees who use their own pedal cycle for business mileage can claim a tax free expense of 20p per mile from the employer.

Please be aware that if you transfer the bicycle to the employee for this purpose, the employee will be assessed on the higher of the market value at the time it was first made available to employee for private use, or the market value at the time of the transfer. So if you give an employee who pays tax at basic rate, a bicycle worth £500, then he will incur a tax charge of £100. Therefore, you should always consult your employee before implementing such a change.

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