The tax treatment that applies where an employer provides an employee with a travel card/oyster card depends on the circumstances of its use.

Travel card provided primarily for private use by the employee

If the travel card is provided by an employer to enable the employee to travel primarily for private purposes (e.g. ordinary commuting), the employee is provided with a benefit in the form of a transport voucher under Section 84(3) ITEPA. The cash equivalent of the benefit is the difference between the cost of providing the travel card, less any part of that cost made good by the employee to the employer (Section 87(2) ITEPA).

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