Tax breaks for electric bikes?

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AndrewT
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Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby AndrewT » 27 Apr 2019, 3:41pm

Can anyone tell me if there are any tax breaks currently available for purchasing an electric bike? I have searched the web but can not find anything definitive and much of the information is very old.

I know the reason we are seeing a lot of Tesla cars on the road at the moment is in some ways due to the fact that the cost of a fully electric car is 100% tax deductible. Is the same thing available for electric bikes?

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NUKe
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby NUKe » 27 Apr 2019, 8:21pm

In a word no, with the exception you can buy them through the cycle to work scheme provided your employer is signed up.
Last edited by NUKe on 28 Apr 2019, 7:52am, edited 1 time in total.
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Campag
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Campag » 27 Apr 2019, 8:28pm

There should be, but probably seen as too 'outside the (tin) box for our car obsessed decision makers.

mattsccm
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby mattsccm » 27 Apr 2019, 9:43pm

To my mind any tax break should also be applied to normal bikes then.
I assume that breaks go to electric cars as they are "good" for the environment. An Ebike is not as environmentally friendly as a real bike as there is more to it thus more pollution as well as any environmentally negative issues attached to a battery plus the energy used for recharging.
Of course if they reduce car use then they may balance things somewhat but I doubt that would be significant.

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robgul
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby robgul » 28 Apr 2019, 7:39am

Sort of YES - the Cycle to work schemes offer a tax break through salary sacrifice (if your employer is on a scheme) - for most that's limited to a £1,000 purchase (not enough for a decent ebike) but can be topped up in cash.

There is another C2W scheme that is unlimited in value called Green Commute Initiative and they are pushing ebikes .... again the employer is part of the equation (athough I think that sole traders/small companies can be accommodated) - the limit is different as it comes under some other HMRC rules to do with the Consumer Credit Act.

In essence the "purchaser" sort of "rents" the bike for the purchase/payment period and the amount is deducted from salary before income tax (bit like a pension payment) so the saving is whatever your highest tax rate is.

Rob

Oldjohnw
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Apr 2019, 10:33am

I would imagine that if you were self employed and used your bike significantly you could get a percentage write off against the purchase price each year plus any running costs. For the self employed the criteria is that an expense should be "wholly and necessarily " incurred. For the employed it has to be "wholly, necessarily and exclusively" incurred.

If you are employed you can always make a claim to HMRC. You might get knocked back or find that anything from your employer exceeds the bookkeeping cost of running a bike, incurring a liability.

I write as a one time tax Inspector but not since the early 1980s.
John

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UpWrong
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby UpWrong » 28 Apr 2019, 1:16pm

The EU has since last year slapped something like a 36% tarrif on electric bikes from China. Anticompetitive or what?

PH
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby PH » 28 Apr 2019, 1:17pm

mattsccm wrote:To my mind any tax break should also be applied to normal bikes then.

Yes and the consumables, simplest way to do it would be to remove VAT, though we couldn't do that as a member of the EU :twisted:

Psamathe
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Psamathe » 28 Apr 2019, 2:48pm

PH wrote:
mattsccm wrote:To my mind any tax break should also be applied to normal bikes then.

Yes and the consumables, simplest way to do it would be to remove VAT, though we couldn't do that as a member of the EU :twisted:

I'm unsure about that. Certainly years ago France was able to charge 0% VAT on home maintenance repairs carried out by professionals (with EU exemption, unsure if they still do it these days). I suspect it's just a matter for the government to make a case - which should be pretty easy to do if they were so motivated (which it seems they aren't). I suspect it would be available to many EU countries as the UK is not the only one to face terrible air pollution, obesity and other health issues that would be improved with more activity, reducing carbon pollution, etc., etc.

I think 0% VAT on bikes, parts an maintenance would be easy to introduce, have a big positive impact and although the government would lose a small revenue income that would be offset by lower road maintenance, lower health service costs, etc.

That said, I'd guess that e-bikes use some battery technology that is not particularly good so I wonder how easily those "consumable" batteries are to recycle and what the environmental impacts are for heir production, etc. Without any knowledge I'd guess probably better than doing comparable milage in a car (but that's just a guess not based on anything I've read).

Ian

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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby PH » 28 Apr 2019, 3:04pm

Psamathe wrote:
PH wrote:
mattsccm wrote:To my mind any tax break should also be applied to normal bikes then.

Yes and the consumables, simplest way to do it would be to remove VAT, though we couldn't do that as a member of the EU :twisted:

I'm unsure about that. Ian

I'm very sure of it.
Under proposed VAT reforms member states will by allowed to set reduced or zero rates for cycles but E-Bikes are specifically excluded.
https://www.bike-eu.com/laws-regulation ... 1556459805

Psamathe
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Psamathe » 28 Apr 2019, 3:40pm

PH wrote:
Psamathe wrote:
PH wrote:Yes and the consumables, simplest way to do it would be to remove VAT, though we couldn't do that as a member of the EU :twisted:

I'm unsure about that. Ian

I'm very sure of it.
Under proposed VAT reforms member states will by allowed to set reduced or zero rates for cycles but E-Bikes are specifically excluded.
https://www.bike-eu.com/laws-regulation ... 1556459805

What are the real pollution impacts of an e-bike - thinking mainly of the battery, how long do they last, how much Lithium (and other rarer compounds), how easy to get recycled, etc.

Ian

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robgul
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby robgul » 28 Apr 2019, 3:46pm

UpWrong wrote:The EU has since last year slapped something like a 36% tarrif on electric bikes from China. Anticompetitive or what?


I think you'll find that the levy on Chinese made ebikes started in January 2019 as an anti-dumping measure ..... on the upside it's surprising how many ebikes are made elsewhere in the Far East (Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand ... and Taiwan althougth China thinks tha's China) - as well as quite a lot in the EU - Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain as examples.

Rob

Ivor Tingting
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Ivor Tingting » 28 Apr 2019, 4:21pm

There should be NO tax breaks for motorised bikes full stop. Any tax breaks should solely be for conventional all your own effort bicycles with NO motor. I cannot understand how people can even consider riding these things let along buying one. Are they so ignorant about the environment or that lazy? The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever made with low environmental impact. But the lazy brigade who cannot be bothered to pedal want to stick a motor and li ion batteries on a bicycle making them highly un environmentally friendly. Manufacture of these motors and batteries causes tremendous environmental damage and then again when they are worn out or knackered and chucked in land fill. They are the work of the devil and should be taxed heavily or banned.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.

mattsccm
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby mattsccm » 28 Apr 2019, 7:18pm

I'm with 'im.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Tax breaks for electric bikes?

Postby Oldjohnw » 28 Apr 2019, 7:43pm

Ivor Tingting wrote:There should be NO tax breaks for motorised bikes full stop. Any tax breaks should solely be for conventional all your own effort bicycles with NO motor. I cannot understand how people can even consider riding these things let along buying one. Are they so ignorant about the environment or that lazy? The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever made with low environmental impact. But the lazy brigade who cannot be bothered to pedal want to stick a motor and li ion batteries on a bicycle making them highly un environmentally friendly. Manufacture of these motors and batteries causes tremendous environmental damage and then again when they are worn out or knackered and chucked in land fill. They are the work of the devil and should be taxed heavily or banned.



Now I know. I'm lazy and/or ignorant.
John

Cycling and recycling