The UK government is keen to encourage use of more sustainable "greener" modes of transport, so introduced substantial tax breaks in the Finance Act 2003 for employees who cycle to work.
No tax or National Insurance is payable if your employer provides you with a bicycle and/or related safety equipment and they ensure the provision of the bicycle and equipment is available to all staff, and they are used for journeys to and from the workplace.
Some firms have implemented a salary sacrifice scheme to encourage the use of this scheme, as it reduces the amount of employers National Insurance Contributions payable.
However, in December 2009 HM Revenue & Customs clarified where employees are aged under 18, they are prevented them from entering into a legal agreement under which the employer would loan them the bike. Therefore they cannot participate in the scheme which means that the ‘All Employee’ condition of the cycle to work scheme is not met. You should ensure you check the validity of the scheme before agreeing to a salary sacrifice.
By Jo Nockels
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