Despite the government hammering the final nail in the coffin of the Home Computing Initiative (HCI) last week (CRN, 8 May), the channel is proving there is life after HCI, as several alternative schemes have emerged.
HCI VAR RedPC was the first victim of the government’s decision to scrap HCI
when it entered into
voluntary liquidation at the beginning of April (CRN, 10 April). A creditors’ meeting took place on 5 May, but CRN understands it is unlikely that creditors will receive any money.
However, Martin Prescott, managing director of RedPC, is in the process of setting up an alternative to HCI.
“We are engaged in putting together a franchise operation and hope to get HCI resellers on board,” Prescott told CRN. “All of the contracts have been approved by tax specialists.
“We’re just in the process of deciding how we can package it to give it some integrity. The government accused the industry of abusing HCI, so we want to draw up a charter so that there can be no abuse of our scheme.”
Prescott was reluctant to give any more details about the scheme. However, he did say that he is looking to launch the scheme very soon.
Former HCI provider ClubIT already has its own alternative to HCI up and running. Billy McClean, managing director of ClubIT, said: “We provide a fully managed service for businesses to offer computers to staff. Our scheme enables UK employees to save 35 per cent on the retail price of a new computer, with the lowest earners set to receive the greatest tax benefits.”
Launched in April, ClubIT’s Tax-Efficient Computing scheme is based on existing P11D tax rules and uses a gross salary sacrifice system.
McClean said: “Our scheme has been approved by HM Revenue & Customs and tax specialists PwC. Since the launch we’ve been in discussions with numerous companies. There really is life after HCI.”
Specialist HCI reseller OneCallPC told CRN it also has “something else” in the pipeline.
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