Private PC scheme - also iPod and GPS are concerned

Your employer can contribute partly tax free to the purchase of your computer. The private PC scheme allows you to receive 780 EUR tax free. The tax authorities have issued new guidelines in this respect.

General principles of the private PC scheme

It has been since several years that the government introduced a favourable measure for companies encouraging their employees to acquire their own private computer. Based on the private PC scheme, employers can contribute partly tax free to the purchase of a new computer by their employees. It is a tax free contribution, so the employee is not taxed on the received amount. The scheme only applies to employees. Company directors are excluded, even when they are engaged with an employment contract.

The general principles of the private PC scheme are as follows:

The computer should be purchased by the employee itself. The employer can never be or become owner of the purchased equipment;

It should concern a new computer. The purchase of the computer can be completed by the purchase of peripherals, internet connection and internet access;

The tax exemption can only be applied every three years. The tax exemption for the private PC scheme cannot be combined with the “Internet for everybody”-package.

Also the purchase of an iPod or GPS are concerned

The tax exemption not only applies to the purchase of the computer itself, but also to the peripherals. However, in that case the peripherals should be purchased at the occasion of the purchase of the computer.

'Peripherals' does not only refer to classic components such as a mouse, scanners or loudspeakers. Also other equipment such as a digital photo camera, mp3 player (iPod), smart phone (Blackberry, iPhone), GPS and digital video camera are concerned.

Internet access

If your employer contributes to your internet access, he can do so every year with you losing the said tax exemption. This contribution is not subject to the limitation that it can only be granted every three years (as it is for the purchase of a computer and its peripherals). You can still obtain the tax exemption even if your employer in 2010 contributed to the purchase of a computer and internet access and he also does so this year for the internet access.

Maximum tax exemption 780 EUR

The tax exemption amounts to maximum 760 EUR for tax years 2010 and 2011 and to 780 EUR for 2012. If the employer's contribution is higher, the difference is to be considered as taxable income.

Only for employees with a limited taxable income

Only employees with a limited taxable income can apply for the tax exemption. Therefore, the taxable income of the employee cannot exceed 29.900 EUR for tax year 2010 and 2011 and 30.540 EUR for tax year 2012.

Income tax return

You should report on your income tax return:

Under code 240: total amount of the contribution;

Under code 241: amount of the tax exemption.