Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced a tax exemption scheme for bikes, The Green Transport Plan, which could see you saving up to 50% on your bike, and there's no upper limit on the value of the bike. The only catch, if you can call it that, is that the Inland Revenue's rules say that the bike must be used "mainly for transport to and from work" but that's not really a terribly onerous requirement.
The scheme is offered through your employer and a participating retailer. Briefly, how it works is that employers offer their employees bike-buying loans. The bikes bought from the retailer attract VAT at 17.5 percent but this is claimed back by the employers. The loan is deducted from the total salary before tax and national insurance contribution (NI), so is essentially tax and NI free.
Until recently only Halfords was participating in the scheme, but now Giant (who only supply bikes to independent bike shops) have got involved. Booost anticipate that national companies with several offices will probably deal with Halfords, while smaller, single-office firms may well go with a local shop.
Whichever way you look at it, this is a good thing. So get on to the powers that be at your place of work and badger them to get on to Booost and get things sorted. Oh, and you can get computer equipment under a similar arrangement...
Further details can be had from Booost.
Thanks to Bikebiz for the story.