EXCLUSIVE: Personal computer schemes rebooted

Personal computer schemes are gaining popularity, with KPMG and National Grid all offering staff access to iPads or computers, through updated versions of the former home computing initiative (HCI), tax breaks for which were removed in 2006.

Personal computer schemes, including Apple products, enable employees to pay for a computer or laptop over a fixed term, with the cost deducted monthly from salary.

Shawn Healy, director – employment tax at BDO, said: “There are a number of schemes in the market, most of which do not offer any tax efficiencies.”

Staff can benefit from discounts thanks to an employer’s buying power. As an employer-supplied product, a computer is taxed as a loan of an asset. “The tax charge is based on 20% of the cost to the employer of providing it,” said Healy.

National Grid does not refer to its scheme as HCI. Employee benefits manager Caroline Adams said: “It is our personal computer scheme.”

KPMG employees can take out a hire agreement, spreading the cost over 24 months, with payments taken from net salary.

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