More bicycle allowances paid in 2020, but for lower amounts | Inland

The number of employees who cycle to work and receive a bicycle allowance for this has increased again in 2020. In the 2021 tax year, almost 600,000 people filled in a bicycle allowance on their tax return for the 2020 income year. There is a kink in the amount paid out. This is evident from figures from the Federal Public Service Finance on Thursday.

Employers can decide to pay compensation to their employees who make part or all of their commute by bicycle. Unless such compensation is laid down in the collective labor agreement, the bicycle compensation is a favor of the employer. Up to a certain amount per kilometer cycled (0.25 euros in 2022, 0.24 euros in 2021), the employer can deduct the bicycle allowance as a 100 percent deductible business expense. For the employee, the compensation then constitutes untaxed income.

In 2016, all bicycle allowances paid out, slightly more than 400,000 in total, were still worth 100.7 million euros. Both numbers have climbed over the years. In assessment year 2021, 593,810 people already filled in the bicycle allowance on their tax return for the 2020 income year, compared to 572,047 people in income year 2019. The employees cycled together a total of 159 million euros in bicycle allowances in 2020, in 2019 that was still 163.9 million euros . Thus, the total amount makes a small kink downwards. The Fietsersbond has a comment on the figures: not all employees who receive compensation would indicate this on their tax return.

However, it cannot be denied that the number of bicycle allowances is on the rise: more people are cycling to work. “It is a good trend that people continue to cycle,” says Wies Callens of the Fietsersbond. Since the lockdowns made more people reach for the bicycle for recreational purposes, cycling has become more common, it is said, also to go to work.

Home work

So where does that kink in the total amount of bicycle allowances come from? Due to the lockdowns and working from home, employees traveled fewer kilometers in the corona year 2020, according to the FPS Finance. The Fietsersbond acknowledges this: in 2020 many employees no longer cycled their daily commute.

The Fietsersbond also points out that more and more joint committees are making the bicycle allowance mandatory. At the same time, some joint committees limit the daily amount, explains Callens. For example, employees of the joint committee 200, the supplementary joint committee for white-collar workers, have been entitled to 0.10 euros per kilometer travelled since July 2020, with a maximum of 4 euros and therefore 40 kilometers per working day. Anyone who works further than 20 kilometers from home is also entitled to the fixed amount of 4 euros per day.