It’s a programme that’s had a profound change on urban bike use – and might change cycling in Ireland as a whole
We talk about it a lot. Other cyclists talk about it a lot. Your employer (or employees), your local politicians, and plenty more besides, too; chances are you’ve heard a lot about the Cycle to Work Scheme.
It’s an amazing way to get on the saddle, and save some cash in the process. So what is it, how does it work, and what are the need-to-knows? We’ve got the skinny right here…
WHAT IS IT?
The Cycle to Work scheme is a government incentive which aims to use tax incentives to encourage people to use pedal power to and from work. Under the scheme, employers pay for bikes and equipment on behalf of their employees, with the sum repaid through deductions from your monthly paycheck.
The key is that the repayments are not subject to tax, PRSI or USC – meaning you could save a bundle as well as avoiding the significant hit of buying a bike in one go.
The scheme covers the purchase of bicycles and equipment up to the value of €1,000, and you can avail of the scheme once in a five year period.
WHAT DOES IT COVER?
Needless to say, the biggest expense involved will be your bike – and that obviously falls within the remit of the scheme. So too, though, does equipment you’ll need along the way, including:
Cycle helmets which conform to European standard EN 1078
- Bells and bulb horns
- Lights, including dynamo packs
- Mirrors and mudguards
- Cycle clips and dress guards
- Panniers, luggage carriers and straps
- Locks and chains
- Pumps, puncture repair kits, cycle tool kits and tyre sealant
- Reflective clothing, along white front reflectors and spoke reflectors
HOW DO YOU QUALIFY?
The scheme is offered on the basis of the bike – and everything else – being used for the journey between work and home. That includes parts of a journey, too, so even if it’s just to and from the train station, it counts.
And as far as qualifying within your company – it’s all or nothing. The tax breaks only apply when all employees receive the offer; selecting certain recipients is not allowed.
There’s ton’s more information – including pointers on how employers can get involved – available here