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Cycle to work scheme

What it is

The Cycle to Work scheme is a tax incentive under the Finance Act 2008 aimed at encouraging more employees to cycle to and from work. It is a Revenue scheme and it was amended as part of the July Stimulus Package 2020.

The department must purchase the bicycle/safety equipment, so you can not buy the bicycle/safety equipment and get a refund from your department.

Entitlements

The scheme allows your employer to buy a bicycle and safety equipment for you as a non-taxable benefit in kind. You must use the bicycle and safety equipment mainly for qualifying journeys, which means all or part of a journey between your home and your normal place of work.

You can see full details of the tax benefit on the Revenue Cycle to Work scheme page. This also has a full list of safety equipment that qualifies for the scheme.

There are two limits to the benefit, depending on the type of bicycle you buy:

  • For pedelecs or ebikes (electrically assisted bicycles), and related safety equipment, the limit is €1,500
  • For all other types of bicycles and related safety equipment, the limit is €1,250
  • You can apply once every four years
  • If you wish to order the bicycle from abroad and wish to avail of the scheme, please check the Revenue Cycle to Work scheme page.

The exemption only applies to expenditure incurred in the purchase of a whole bicycle or associated safety equipment.

You can only avail of the exemption once in every 4 years. It does not matter that they may have been exempted from a benefit-in-kind charge for an amount less than €1,250 or €1500. The exemption is available once in every 4 year period.

How to apply

To submit an application, you can log into HR self-service. To attach supporting documents, to view progress on an existing case, or to submit a manual application form, you can log into the case management system. Please note: only officers without HR self-service access may submit manual forms.

Choose a supplier from the approved suppliers list and order your bicycle and/or safety equipment using the price limits outlined in the section above.

Obtain an itemised invoice from your supplier. The invoice must be made out to your department, and it must contain the following information:

  • The word ‘invoice’ (work orders or quotes not accepted) Exception: Halfords see below
  • An invoice number
  • Your name
  • Supplier’s VAT number
  • VAT rate applicable
  • Your bicycle model/record number
  • Total amount (not exceeding €1,250 or €1,500 as appropriate)
  • The supplier’s details, including their name, address, email address, and bank details (IBAN, sort code, branch address etc.)

If you are buying from Halfords, it will provide you with a quote and a till invoice for the same amount. You need to email cycletowork@nsso.gov.ie directly with the subject line ‘Halfords CTW request’ before you submit your application or set up a case.

Click apply online and enter your self-service User ID and password. Under the ‘employee schemes’ heading, select ‘Cycle to Work’. Complete the Cycle to Work eForm, using the information from your invoice. This will create a unique case ID when you have finished.

Important: When completing the ‘salary sacrifice’ section of the eForm, be sure to enter the total amount of the cost of your bicycle and any safety equipment.

Once you have submitted your eForm, you will get an email confirming your case has been raised and giving you a unique case number.

Email a PDF of the original invoice to the NSSO with the unique case number in the subject line. If you don’t have access to email or to a PDF copy of the invoice, you should post the original to the NSSO, Block 5, Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4, D04 A9P2.

If you are approved to avail of the Cycle to Work scheme, NSSO will notify you when your case has been processed and when you can collect your bicycle and/or safety equipment.

Please note that deductions automatically take place over a 12-month period. If you are on a temporary contract or if you expect to retire, resign, or take unpaid leave during that time, please email cycletowork@nsso.gov.ie, quoting your case ID at to advise us of this.

We will amend the deduction period to ensure that the deductions are spread equally over the pay periods before your contract ends, you retire, resign or take unpaid leave. We will not process deductions beyond a 12-month period.

Please Note: Officers that don’t have access to the system to raise a case can ask for a paper application form by emailing cycletowork@nsso.gov.ie or by phoning the contact centre on 0818 107 100.

Please check voluntary deductions regularly to ensure they are correct.

How the salary sacrifice works

Under a salary sacrifice arrangement, you agree to forego or sacrifice part of your salary every pay period (weekly/fortnightly), in order to cover the cost of the bike and equipment provided. The amount of salary you sacrifice will be exempt from tax, employee’s PRSI and income levies. It will also be exempt from your employer’s PRSI. The salary sacrifice arrangement must be completed within a maximum period of twelve months. Salaries will make the deductions at source.

Availing of the exemption if spending in excess of €1,250

The exemption applies to the first €1,250 expenditure incurred by an employer in connection with the provision of a bicycle and/or bicycle safety equipment in respect of any one employee or director. However, a higher exemption limit of €1,500 applies in the case of the provision of an electric bike (which may also include bicycle safety equipment).

The rules regarding the €1,250 or €1500 limit on expenditure and the availability of the exemption once in every 4-year period will apply in the case of bicycle safety equipment, as it will in the case of bicycles.